Retrieved Vertical Profiles of Latent Heat Release Using TRMM Rainfall Products for February 1998

W.-K. Tao

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

S. Lang

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland and Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

W. S. Olson

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

R. Meneghini

Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

S. Yang

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

J. Simpson and C. Kummerow

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

E. Smith

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama

J. Halverson

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

ABSTRACT

This paper represents the first attempt to use Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall information to estimate the four-dimensional latent heating structure over the global Tropics for one month (February 1998). The mean latent heating profiles over six oceanic regions [Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) Intensive Flux Array (IFA), central Pacific, South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), east Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean] and three continental regions (South America, central Africa, and Australia) are estimated and studied. The heating profiles obtained from the results of diagnostic budget studies over a broad range of geographic locations are used to provide comparisons and indirect validation for the heating algorithm–estimated heating profiles. Three different latent heating algorithms, the Goddard Space Flight Center convective–stratiform heating (CSH), the Goddard profiling (GPROF) heating, and the hydrometeor heating (HH) algorithms are used and their results are intercompared. The horizontal distribution or patterns of latent heat release from the three different heating retrieval methods are very similar. They all can identify the areas of major convective activity [i.e., a well-defined Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in the Pacific, a distinct SPCZ] in the global Tropics. The magnitudes of their estimated latent heating release are also in good agreement with each other and with those determined from diagnostic budget studies. However, the major difference among these three heating retrieval algorithms is the altitude of the maximum heating level. The CSH algorithm–estimated heating profiles only show one maximum heating level, and the level varies among convective activity from various geographic locations. These features are in good agreement with diagnostic budget studies. A broader maximum of heating, often with two embedded peaks, is generally derived from applications of the GPROF heating and HH algorithms, and the response of the heating profiles to convective activity is less pronounced. Also, GPROF and HH generally yield heating profiles with a maximum at somewhat lower altitudes than CSH. The impact of different TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) rainfall information on latent heating structures was also examined. The rainfall estimated from the PR is smaller than that estimated from the TMI in the Pacific (TOGA COARE IFA, central Pacific, SPCZ, and east Pacific) and Indian Oceans, causing weaker latent heat release in the CSH algorithm–estimated heating. In addition, the larger stratiform amounts derived from the PR over South America and Australia consequently lead to higher maximum heating levels. Sensitivity tests addressing the appropriate selection of latent heating profiles from the CSH lookup table were performed.