A New Method to Study Tropical Clouds and Precipitation During the Tropical Monsoon


Better understanding of precipitation formation mechanisms in tropical clouds is essential for improved climate prediction since two-thirds of global precipitation falls in the tropics. The DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility at Darwin, Australia, is equipped with two cloud radars for precipitation measurements. A new remote sensing algorithm was developed for distinguishing cloud liquid, precipitating rainfall liquid, and cloud ice in clouds using combined radar measurements and meteorological observations. The algorithm was successfully tested using observational data from two precipitation periods. The availability of simultaneous estimates of cloud and rainfall parameters will improve the representation of these variables in climate models and will improve our ability to predict climate and climate change.


Matrosov, S.Y., 2010: Synergetic use of millimeter- and centimeter-wavelength radars for retrievals of cloud and rainfall parameters. Atmos.. Chem. Phys., 10, 3321-3331.