CIMSS/SSEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Snowfall from Space: Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs Developing Global Snowfall Datasets from Spaceborne Microwave Sensors
Room 811 AOSS, January 30, 2017, 3:30 PM
Quantitative snowfall rate estimates extracted from microwave remote sensing observations are rife with complications. Significant progress related to this topic, however, has been achieved in recent years largely due to spaceborne remote sensing missions that have enabled the first global snowfall datasets to be derived from observational means. Two specific NASA missions - CloudSat and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission - have instigated concerted efforts to provide quantitative snowfall estimates using spaceborne radar and microwave radiometer observations. This presentation will present recent remote sensing snowfall results using both independent CloudSat observations and products, and a combined CloudSat and GPM observational dataset. A multi-year CloudSat global dataset analysis will be shown to highlight the unique capabilities of CloudSat's Cloud Profiling Radar for snowfall-related research, including the first global observational census of shallow cumuliform snowfall. The seasonal and interannual variability of shallow convective snow will also be presented, including valuable comparisons to the ERA-Interim reanalysis dataset. CloudSat's global snowfall population will also be analyzed as a function of key atmospheric variables, with land/ocean and hemispheric differences highlighted. CloudSat snowfall analysis linkages to the GPM mission will also be discussed, including efforts to assess GPM detection deficiencies and improved radar performance using CloudSat observations as a baseline evaluative dataset. Efforts to evaluate and improve spaceborne snowfall estimates using ground-based profiling radars and in situ cloud microphysics observations will also be shown using datasets collected at various sites around the world.