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Rain detection over land surfaces using passive microwave satellite data

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An algorithm is presented for the detection of surface rainfall using passive microwave measurements by satellite radiometers. The technique consists of a two-stage approach to distinguish precipitation signatures from other effects: (1) Contributions from slowly varying parameters (surface type and state) are isolated by comparing observed brightness temperatures to those obtained from previous orbits only containing rain-free observations. (2) Effects of more dynamic parameters, i.e., surface temperature and moisture, are reduced by successive subtraction from the observations by means of principal component analysis. For this purpose, the general signatures of both temperature and moisture variations are deduced from radiative transfer simulations. The fundamentals of this approach are based on a methodology developed by CONNER and PETTY (1998). The technique is applied to TMI observations and compared to co-located measurements of TMI and PR as well as independent techniques over selected regions in Africa, North and South America and India, but less skill over South America. All techniques provide similar rainfall screening skill where our technique showed superior results over Africa, North America, and India. Based on HEIDKE skill scores as a function of rainfall and brightness temperature range, an efcient calibration tool to retrieve near-surface rainfall intensities is provided.

Es wird eine Methode vorgestellt, mit der Niederschlag über Landoberächen aus Daten von satellitengetragenen Mikrowellenradiometern verbessert erkannt werden kann. Die Methodik basiert auf der Arbeit von CONNER und PETTY (1998) und reduziert den Beitrag der im Jahresgang variierenden Oberäche zum Signal durch Vergleich der Messungen mit Hintergrundkarten gemittelter vorheriger Beobachtungen. Der Einuss von kleinskaligen Schwankungen der Bodentemperatur und-feuchte wird über eine Analyse ihrer relativen Beiträge zu den Hauptkomponenten der Strahlungstemperaturen aus Strahlungstransportsimulationen korrigiert. Das verbleibende Signal des Niederschlags wird anhand von übereinander liegenden Messungen von TMI und PR verglichen. Im Vergleich zu Standardalgorithmen ergibt unsere Methode leicht verbesserte Ergebnisse über Afrika und Nordamerika und deutlichere Verbesserungen über Indien, jedoch schlechtere Ergebnisse über Südamerika. Unter Verwendung des HEIDKE Skill Scores als Funktion des Dynamikbereichs der Regenintensität und Strahlungstemperatur wird ein efzientes Kalibrationswerkzeug für die Entwicklung eines Regenalgorithmus bereit gestellt.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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