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Simulations of microwave brightness temperatures at AMSU-B frequencies over a 3D convective cloud system

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Numerical simulations have been carried out to understand the effects of clouds associated with a tropical deep convective cloud system on the Advanced Microwave Sensor Unit-B (AMSU-B) channels at 89, 150, 183.3 ± 7, 183.3 ± 3, and 183.3 ± 1 GHz. The hydrometeor profiles including cloud liquid water, cloud ice, snow, graupel, and rain water for a deep convective cloud system simulated by a realistic dynamical cloud model, the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble model, have been input to a Vector Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer model to simulate the nadir down-looking microwave brightness temperatures at the top of the atmosphere. It is found that the AMSU-B channels have large brightness temperature depressions occurring over the clouds with large ice water paths. Moreover, for the three water vapour sounding frequencies around 183.3 GHz, the frequencies broader and further away from the centre of the water vapour absorption line show stronger depressions. The three water vapour channels, particularly the channels closer to the absorption line centre, essentially have negligible influence from liquid water. However, the window frequencies at 89 and 150 GHz have distinct influence from liquid water, particularly the 150 GHz, although they are also strongly influenced by frozen hydrometeors. The AMSU-B frequencies at 150 GHz and water vapour channels of 183.3 ± 7 and 183.3 ± 3 GHz are sensitive to cirrus clouds with total ice water paths above 0.1-0.2 kg m-2. The influence of deep convective clouds and thick cirrus clouds on the AMSU-B water vapour channels demonstrates that they have a potential to estimate ice water paths in thick cirrus clouds and in the upper parts of deep convective clouds, which can complement the retrievals from the 89 and 150 GHz channels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA 2: Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany 3: Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD, USA 4: Joint Center for Satellite Data assimilation, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD, USA,QSS Group, Incorporated, Camp Springs, Maryland, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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