Bulk hydrometeor optical properties for microwave and sub-millimetre radiative transfer in RTTOV-SCATT v13.0
Journal article, 2021

Satellite observations of radiation in the microwave and sub-millimetre spectral regions (broadly from 1 to 1000 GHz) can have strong sensitivity to cloud and precipitation particles in the atmosphere. These particles (known as hydrometeors) scatter, absorb, and emit radiation according to their mass, composition, shape, internal structure, and orientation. Hence, microwave and sub-millimetre observations have applications including weather forecasting, geophysical retrievals and model validation. To simulate these observations requires a scattering-capable radiative transfer model and an estimate of the bulk optical properties of the hydrometeors. This article describes the module used to integrate single-particle optical properties over a particle size distribution (PSD) to provide bulk optical properties for the Radiative Transfer for TOVS microwave and sub-millimetre scattering code, RTTOV-SCATT, a widely used fast model. Bulk optical properties can be derived from a range of particle models including Mie spheres (liquid and frozen) and non-spherical ice habits from the Liu and Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator (ARTS) databases, which include pristine crystals, aggregates, and hail. The effects of different PSD and particle options on simulated brightness temperatures are explored, based on an analytical two-stream solution for a homogeneous cloud slab. The hydrometeor scattering "spectrum" below 1000 GHz is described, along with its sensitivities to particle composition (liquid or ice), size and shape. The optical behaviour of frozen particles changes in the frequencies above 200 GHz, moving towards an optically thick and emission-dominated regime more familiar from the infrared. This region is little explored but will soon be covered by the Ice Cloud Imager (ICI).


Alan J. Geer

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Peter Bauer

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Katrin Lonitz

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Vasileios Barlakas

Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Patrick Eriksson

Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Jana Mendrok

Deutscher Wetterdienst

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing

Amy Doherty

Met Office

James Hocking

Met Office

Philippe Chambon

University of Toulouse

Geoscientific Model Development

1991-959X (ISSN)

Vol. 14 12 7497-7526

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Physics Topics



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