Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Quantitative Investigation of Radiometric Interactions between Snowfall, Snow Cover, and Cloud Liquid Water Over Land

Version 1 : Received: 21 June 2021 / Approved: 22 June 2021 / Online: 22 June 2021 (14:22:16 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Takbiri, Z.; Milani, L.; Guilloteau, C.; Foufoula-Georgiou, E. Quantitative Investigation of Radiometric Interactions between Snowfall, Snow Cover, and Cloud Liquid Water over Land. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2641. Takbiri, Z.; Milani, L.; Guilloteau, C.; Foufoula-Georgiou, E. Quantitative Investigation of Radiometric Interactions between Snowfall, Snow Cover, and Cloud Liquid Water over Land. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2641.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2641
DOI: 10.3390/rs13132641

Abstract

Falling snow alters its own microwave signatures when it begins to accumulate on the ground, making retrieval of snowfall challenging. This paper investigates the effects of snow-cover depth and cloud liquid water content on microwave signatures of terrestrial snowfall using reanalysis data and multi-annual observations by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite with particular emphasis on the 89 and 166 GHz channels. It is found that over shallow snow cover (snow water equivalent (SWE) ≤ 100 kg m-2) and low values of cloud liquid water path (LWP 100–150 g m-2), the scattering of light snowfall (intensities ≤ 0.5 mm h−1) is detectable only at frequency 166 GHz, while for higher snowfall rates, the signal can also be detected at 89 GHz. However, when SWE exceeds 200 kg m-2 and the LWP is greater than 100–150 g m-2, the emission from the increased liquid water content in snowing clouds becomes the only surrogate microwave signal of snowfall that is stronger at frequency 89 than 166 GHz. The results also reveal that over high latitudes above 60°N where the SWE is greater than 200 kg m-2 and LWP is lower than 100–150 g m-2, the snowfall microwave signal could not be detected with GPM without considering a priori data about SWE and LWP. Our findings provide quantitative insights for improving retrieval of snowfall in particular over snow-covered terrain.

Subject Areas

Snowfall Retrieval; Snow Water Equivalent; Cloud Liquid Water; Emissivity; Brightness Temperature; Passive Microwave; GPM

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