Combined Radar and Radiometer Analysis of Precipitation Profiles for a Parametric Retrieval Algorithm

Hirohiko Masunaga and Christian D. Kummerow

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado


A methodology to analyze precipitation profiles using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) is proposed. Rainfall profiles are retrieved from PR measurements, defined as the best-fit solution selected from precalculated profiles by cloud-resolving models (CRMs), under explicitly defined assumptions of drop size distribution (DSD) and ice hydrometeor models. The PR path-integrated attenuation (PIA), where available, is further used to adjust DSD in a manner that is similar to the PR operational algorithm. Combined with the TMI-retrieved nonraining geophysical parameters, the three-dimensional structure of the geophysical parameters is obtained across the satellite-observed domains. Microwave brightness temperatures are then computed for a comparison with TMI observations to examine if the radar-retrieved rainfall is consistent in the radiometric measurement space. The inconsistency in microwave brightness temperatures is reduced by iterating the retrieval procedure with updated assumptions of the DSD and ice-density models. The proposed methodology is expected to refine the a priori rain profile database and error models for use by parametric passive microwave algorithms, aimed at the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, as well as a future TRMM algorithms.