2018 Volume 96 Issue 1 Pages 55-63
As an alternative approach to previous multisensor satellite evaluations for cloud system resolving models (CSRMs), a technique for precipitation clouds over the ocean of CSRMs is presented using combined infrared and microwave channels. This method quantitatively analyzes precipitation clouds using cloud-top temperatures and ice scatterings from infrared 11 μm and high frequency microwave (89.0 GHz) brightness temperatures (TBs). The TB threshold at low frequencies (18.7 GHz) is used to identify precipitation regions. This method extends a previous approach based on tropical rainfall measuring mission (TRMM) precipitation radar which uses a narrow coverage, by incorporating a wide passive microwave sensor swath and ice cloud sensitivity.
The numerical results of the non-hydrostatic icosahedral atmospheric model, NICAM, with two cloud microphysics schemes were evaluated over the tropical open ocean using this method. The scattering intensities in both simulations at 89.0 GHz were different due to the parameterizations of the snow and graupel size distributions. A bimodal snow size distribution improved the TB underestimation at 89.0 GHz. These results exhibited similar structures to the joint histograms of cloud-top temperatures and precipitation-top heights generated using the previous method; the frequencies of overestimated scattering intensities in this study and the frequencies of high precipitation-top heights above 12 km in the previous study. It was observed that the change in the snow size distribution in the cloud microphysics scheme can lead to better agreements of simulated TBs at 89.0 GHz. Furthermore, we investigated the impacts of nonspherical snow assumptions using a satellite simulator. The effect of a nonspherical snow shape in the radiative transfer model caused a smaller change in TBs at 89.0 GHz compared to the difference between the TBs of the two simulations without nonspherical assumptions.