Potential of millimeter- and submillimeter-wave satellite observations for hydrometeor studies


The distribution of hydrometeors is highly variable in space and time, since it is the result of a complex chain of processes with scales from microphysical (1e-6 m) to synoptical (1e3 m). It is a challenging task to observe these highly variable atmospheric constituents on a global scale with a temporal and spatial resolution sufficient for numerical weather prediction (NWP) and hydrological purposes. This study investigates the potential of the millimeter- and submillimeter-wavelength range on space-borne sensors for hydrometeor and surface precipitation rate observations. The approach is based on simulations with cloud resolving models (CRMs) coupled to a radiative transfer (RT) model. The simulations are performed for mid-latitude cases covering a broad band of precipitation events such as heavy convective and light stratiform winter precipitation. Realistic atmospheric conditions were simulated with two mesoscale CRMs: the Meso-scale NonHydrostatic model (Meso-NH) on a 10 km and the COSMO-DE (COnsortium for Small-scale MOdeling-DEutschland) on a 2.8 km horizontal resolution. When calculating brightness temperatures for satellite observations with the one-dimensional radiative transfer model MWMOD (MicroWave MODel), the detailed cloud microphysics and the three-dimensional fields of temperature, humidity, and pressure of the CRMs are considered in the calculation of the interaction parameters ...
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