The impact of the melting layer on the passive microwave cloud scattering signal observed from satellites: A study using TRMM microwave passive and active measurements
Journal article, 2013
Concurrent passive and active microwave measurements onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) show that under cloudy conditions, when a melting layer is detected by the precipitation radar, a polarized scattering signal at 85GHz in passive mode is often observed. Radiative transfer simulations confirm the role of large horizontally oriented non-spherical particles on the polarized scattering signal and assess the effect of changes in particle phase, from solid ice to dry snow to melting snow, on the radiative properties. We conclude on the necessity to account for this polarization generated by the clouds in passive microwave rain retrievals and to use this specific signature to help diagnose the precipitation type and derive more accurate algorithms. In addition, analysis of the passive microwave polarized scattering is a unique way to get insight into microphysical properties of clouds at global scale, and this potential should be explored at millimeter and submillimeter frequencies that are more sensitive to the scattering generated by smaller particles.
MEASURING MISSION TRMM