31 Jan 2022
31 Jan 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Climatology of estimated LWC and scaling factor for warm clouds using radar – microwave radiometer synergy

Pragya Vishwakarma1, Julien Delanoë1, Susana Jorquera1, Pauline Martinet2, Frederic Burnet2, Alistair Bell2, and Jean-Charles Dupont3 Pragya Vishwakarma et al.
  • 1LATMOS, IPSL, UVSQ Université Paris-Saclay, Guyancourt, France
  • 2CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 3LMD, IPSL, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France

Abstract. Cloud radars are capable of providing continuous high-resolution observations of the cloud. These observations are related to the microphysical properties of clouds. Power law relations in the form of Z = a · LWCb are generally used to estimate liquid water content (LWC) profiles. The constants a and b from the power-law relation vary with the cloud type and cloud characteristics. Due to the variety of such parameterizations, selecting the most appropriate Z-LWC relation for a continuous cloud system is complicated. Additional information such as Liquid water path (LWP) from a co-located microwave radiometer is used to scale the LWC of the cloud profile. An algorithm for estimating the LWC of warm clouds using radar-microwave radiometer synergy in a variational framework is presented. This method also accounts for attenuation due to cloud droplets and retrieves a suitable scaling factor (lna) of the profile in addition to the LWC. The optimal estimation techniques incorporate a priori information of desired variables, and the forward model converts these variables into observation parameters. In this algorithm formulation, the measure of uncertainty in observations, forward model and, a priori acts as weights in the retrieved quantities. These uncertainties in the retrieval are analyzed in the sensitivity analysis of the algorithm. The retrieval algorithm is first tested on a synthetic profile for different perturbations in sensitivity parameters. The sensitivity study has shown that this method is susceptible to LWP information. The algorithm is then implemented to various cloud and fog cases at SIRTA observatory to estimate LWC and the scaling factor. The scaling factor changes for each cloud profile, and the range of lna are consistent with suggested values in literature. The validation of such an algorithm is challenging, as we need reference measurements of LWC co-located with the retrieved values. During the SOFOG-3D campaign (South-West of France, October 2019 to March 2020), in-situ measurements of LWC were collected in the vicinity of a cloud radar and a microwave radiometer, allowing comparison of retrieved and measured LWC. The comparison demonstrated that the cloud-fog heterogeneity was playing a key role in the assessment.

The proposed synergistic retrieval algorithm is applied to 39 cloud and fog cases at SIRTA, and the behavior of the scaling factor is studied. This statistical analysis of scaling is carried out to develop a radar-only retrieval method. The climatology revealed that the scaling factor can be linked to the maximum reflectivity of the profile. From climatology, the statistical relations for scaling factor are proposed for fog and cloud. Thanks to the variational framework, a stand-alone radar version of the algorithm is adapted from the synergistic retrieval algorithm, which incorporates the climatology of scaling factor as a priori information to estimate the LWC of warm cloud. This method allows the LWC estimation using only radar reflectivity and climatology of scaling factor.

Pragya Vishwakarma et al.

Status: open (until 22 Jun 2022)

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Pragya Vishwakarma et al.

Pragya Vishwakarma et al.


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Short summary
Cloud observations are necessary to characterize the cloud properties at the local and global scales. These observations must be translated to cloud geophysical parameters. This paper presents the estimation of liquid water content (LWC) using radar and microwave radiometer (MWR) measurements. LWP from MWR scales the LWC and the scaling factor (lna) is retrieved. The retrievals are compared with in-situ observations. A climatology of lna is built to estimate LWC with only radar information.