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Title: Improving Satellite Quantitative Precipitation Estimation Using GOES-Retrieved Cloud Optical Depth

To address significant gaps in ground-based radar coverage and rain gauge networks in the U.S., geostationary satellite quantitative precipitation estimates (QPEs) such as the Self-Calibrating Multivariate Precipitation Retrievals (SCaMPR) can be used to fill in both the spatial and temporal gaps of ground-based measurements. Additionally, with the launch of GOES-R, the temporal resolution of satellite QPEs may be comparable to that of Weather Service Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) volume scans as GOES images will be available every five minutes. However, while satellite QPEs have strengths in spatial coverage and temporal resolution, they face limitations particularly during convective events. Deep Convective Systems (DCSs) have large cloud shields with similar brightness temperatures (BTs) over nearly the entire system, but widely varying precipitation rates beneath these clouds. Geostationary satellite QPEs relying on the indirect relationship between BTs and precipitation rates often suffer from large errors because anvil regions (little/no precipitation) cannot be distinguished from rain-cores (heavy precipitation) using only BTs. However, a combination of BTs and optical depth (τ) has been found to reduce overestimates of precipitation in anvil regions (Stenz et al. 2014). A new rain mask algorithm incorporating both τ and BTs has been developed, and its application to the existing SCaMPRmore » algorithm was evaluated. The performance of the modified SCaMPR was evaluated using traditional skill scores and a more detailed analysis of performance in individual DCS components by utilizing the Feng et al. (2012) classification algorithm. SCaMPR estimates with the new rain mask applied benefited from significantly reduced overestimates of precipitation in anvil regions and overall improvements in skill scores.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Hydrometeorology, 17(2):557-570
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States