The microwave radiative properties of falling snow derived from nonspherical ice particle models. Part II: Initial testing using radar, radiometer and In situ observations

AMS Citation:
Olson, W. S., and Coauthors, 2016: The microwave radiative properties of falling snow derived from nonspherical ice particle models. Part II: Initial testing using radar, radiometer and In situ observations. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 55, 709-722, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0131.1.
Date:2016-03-01
Resource Type:article
Title:The microwave radiative properties of falling snow derived from nonspherical ice particle models. Part II: Initial testing using radar, radiometer and In situ observations
Abstract: In this study, two different particle models describing the structure and electromagnetic properties of snow are developed and evaluated for potential use in satellite combined radar–radiometer precipitation estimation algorithms. In the first model, snow particles are assumed to be homogeneous ice-air spheres with single-scattering properties derived from Mie theory. In the second model, snow particles are created by simulating the self-collection of pristine ice crystals into aggregate particles of different sizes, using different numbers and habits of the collected component crystals. Single-scattering properties of the resulting nonspherical snow particles are determined using the discrete dipole approximation. The size-distribution-integrated scattering properties of the spherical and nonspherical snow particles are incorporated into a dual-wavelength radar profiling algorithm that is applied to 14- and 34-GHz observations of stratiform precipitation from the ER-2 aircraftborne High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP) radar. The retrieved ice precipitation profiles are then input to a forward radiative transfer calculation in an attempt to simulate coincident radiance observations from the Conical Scanning Millimeter-Wave Imaging Radiometer (CoSMIR). Much greater consistency between the simulated and observed CoSMIR radiances is obtained using estimated profiles that are based upon the nonspherical crystal/aggregate snow particle model. Despite this greater consistency, there remain some discrepancies between the higher moments of the HIWRAP-retrieved precipitation size distributions and in situ distributions derived from microphysics probe observations obtained from Citation aircraft underflights of the ER-2. These discrepancies can only be eliminated if a subset of lower-density crystal/aggregate snow particles is assumed in the radar algorithm and in the interpretation of the in situ data.
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7pg1t9h
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0131.1
Author(s):
  • William Olson
  • Lin Tian
  • Mircea Grecu
  • Kwo-Sen Kuo
  • Benjamin Johnson
  • Andrew Heymsfield - NCAR/UCAR
  • Aaron Bansemer - NCAR/UCAR
  • Gerald Heymsfield
  • James Wang
  • Robert Meneghini
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