AbstractThis study uses Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) and Ka-precipitation radar observations to quantify the snowfall detection performance for different channel (frequency) combinations. Results showed that the low-frequency-channel set contains limited snow detection information with a 0.34 probability of detection (POD). Much better performance is evident using the high-frequency channels (i.e., POD = 0.74). In addition, if only one high-frequency channel is allowed to be added to the low-frequency-channel set, adding the 183 ± 3 GHz channel presents the largest POD improvement (from 0.34 to 0.50). However, this does not imply that the water vapor is the key information for snowfall detection. Only using the high-frequency water vapor channels showed poor snowfall detection with POD at 0.13. Further analysis of all 8191 possible GMI channel combinations showed that the 166-GHz channels are indispensable for any channel combination with POD greater than 0.70. This suggests that the scattering signature, not the water vapor effect, is essential for snowfall detection. Data analysis and model simulation support this explanation. Finally, the GPM constellation radiometers are grouped into six categories based on the channel availability and their snowfall detection capability is estimated, using channels available on GMI. It is found that type-4 radiometer (all channels) has the best snowfall detection performance with a POD of 0.77. The POD values are only slightly smaller for the type-3 radiometer (high-frequency channels) and type-5 radiometer (all channels except 183 channels).
Journal of Hydrometeorology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 6, 2017
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