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William Hahn

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UW-Madison

Exploring Spacebourne Snowfall Retrieval Biases Using a Long Term, Ground Based Profiling Radar in Barrow, AK

Room 811 AOSS, March 15, 2017, 2:30 PM


Spaceboure radars like CloudSat's Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) are the best resource for making direct measurements of falling snow on a global scale. However, one main drawback is that measurements involving clouds less than ױ km in height is limited creating a 'blind-zone'. With this information, the amount of snowfall accumulation from shallow snowfall events is in question. In order to investigate this problem, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility in Barrow, Alaska, which has a ground-based, vertically-pointing mm-wavelength Cloud Radar (MMCR), is utilized. Barrow, AK serves as a useful location to study shallow snowfall events as it receives a fair amount of snowfall and on average from 2004-2011, about one-third of all snowfall events in Barrow are associated with cloud top heights less than 1km. From this study, information can be gathered to exemplify how spacebourne radars like CloudSat can be improved and further show how many snowfall events and how much accumulation spacebourne radars are missing from this specific ARM site and potentially other sites around of the world. Also included in this study is the effect certain environmental parameters may have on snowfall in the region.

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