Verification of Hydrometeor Properties Simulated by a Cloud-Resolving Model Using a Passive Microwave Satellite and Ground-Based Radar Observations for a Rainfall System Associated with the Baiu Front

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This paper compares satellite microwave radiometer and ground-based radar observations with the Japan Meteorological Agency nonhydrostatic model (JMA-NHM) simulations, using a bulk microphysical parameterization, for a typical rainfall system associated with the Baiu front around the Okinawa Islands, Japan, on 8 June 2004. The JMA-NHM correctly replicated the shape, location and intensity of the precipitation associated with the observed rainfall system. Radar reflectivities and microwave brightness temperatures (TBs) were simulated using output from the JMA-NHM simulations. They were then compared with concurrent corresponding observations by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), CRL Okinawa Bistatic Polarimetric Radar (COBRA), and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E). Fairly good agreement was obtained between the simulated and observed reflectivities under the melting layer and TBs at low frequency (18.7GHz), indicating that the JMA-NHM adequately simulated the amount of liquid hydrometeors. However, the intensity of scattering in the simulations was stronger than that in the COBRA observations above the melting layer and the AMSR-E observations at high frequencies (36.5 and 89.0GHz). This was due to the fact that the JMA-NHM overestimated the amount and size of snow particles as a result of large depositional growth. The excessive snow contents were reduced by adjusting some of the microphysical processes in the JMA-NHM: the snowfall speeds were increased and a riming threshold for snow to graupel conversion was changed. These adjustments helped to reduce the amount and size of snow, resulting in further agreement with the COBRA observations. These adjustments also further improved the simulated TBs at high frequencies, especially at 36.5GHz. However, differences still exist between the simulated and the observed TBs at high frequencies, suggesting that additional adjustment to and improvement of the snow microphysical processes are needed for the application of the model to microwave remote sensing of precipitation.


  • Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan

    Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan 87, 425-446, 2009-03-31

    Meteorogical Society of Japan

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