Estimating snow microphysical properties using collocated multisensor observations

AMS Citation:
Wood, N. B., T. S. L'Ecuyer, A. J. Heymsfield, G. L. Stephens, D. R. Hudak, and P. Rodriguez, 2014: Estimating snow microphysical properties using collocated multisensor observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 119, 8941-8961, doi:10.1002/2013JD021303.
Date:2014-07-27
Resource Type:article
Title:Estimating snow microphysical properties using collocated multisensor observations
Abstract: The ability of ground-based in situ and remote sensing observations to constrain microphysical properties for dry snow is examined using a Bayesian optimal estimation retrieval method. Power functions describing the variation of mass and horizontally projected area with particle size and a parameter related to particle shape are retrieved from near-Rayleigh radar reflectivity, particle size distribution, snowfall rate, and size-resolved particle fall speeds. Algorithm performance is explored in the context of instruments deployed during the Canadian CloudSat CALIPSO Validation Project, but the algorithm is adaptable to other similar combinations of sensors. Critical estimates of observational and forward model uncertainties are developed and used to quantify the performance of the method using synthetic cases developed from actual observations of snow events. In addition to illustrating the technique, the results demonstrate that this combination of sensors provides useful constraints on the mass parameters and on the coefficient of the area power function but only weakly constrains the exponent of the area power function and the shape parameter. Information content metrics show that about two independent quantities are measured by the suite of observations and that the method is able to resolve about eight distinct realizations of the state vector containing the mass and area power function parameters. Alternate assumptions about observational and forward model uncertainties reveal that improved modeling of particle fall speeds could contribute substantial improvements to the performance of the method.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 American Geophysical Union.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7js9rfc
Publisher's Version: 10.1002/2013JD021303
Author(s):
  • Norman Wood
  • Tristan L'Ecuyer
  • Andrew Heymsfield - NCAR/UCAR
  • Graeme Stephens
  • David Hudak
  • Peter Rodriguez
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