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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Simultaneous and synergistic profiling of cloud and drizzle properties using ground-based observations
Stephanie P. Rusli1,2, David P. Donovan2, and Herman W. J. Russchenberg1 1Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, TU Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
2Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands
Abstract. Despite the importance of radar reflectivity (Z) measurements in the retrieval of liquid water cloud properties, it remains non-trivial to interpret Z due to the possible presence of drizzle droplets within the clouds. So far, there has been no published work that utilizes Z to identify the presence of drizzle above the cloud base in an optimized and a physically-consistent manner. In this work, we develop a retrieval technique that exploits the synergy of different remote sensing systems to carry out this task and to subsequently profile the microphysical properties of the cloud and drizzle in a unified framework. This is accomplished by using ground-based measurements of Z, lidar attenuated backscatter below as well as above the cloud base, and microwave brightness temperatures. Fast physical forward models coupled to cloud and drizzle structure parametrization are used in an optimal estimation type framework in order to retrieve the best-estimate for the cloud and drizzle property profiles. The cloud retrieval is first evaluated using synthetic signals generated from large-eddy simulation output to verify the forward models used in the retrieval procedure and the vertical parametrization of the liquid water content. From this exercise it is found that, on average, the cloud properties can be retrieved within 5 % of the mean truth. The full cloud-drizzle retrieval method is then applied to a selected ACCEPT campaign dataset collected in Cabauw, The Netherlands. An assessment of the retrieval products is performed using three independent methods from the literature, each was specifically developed to retrieve only the cloud properties, the drizzle properties below the cloud base, or the drizzle fraction within the cloud, respectively. One-to-one comparisons, taking into account the uncertainties or limitations of each retrieval, show that our results are generally consistent with what is derived using the three independent methods.

Citation: Rusli, S. P., Donovan, D. P., and Russchenberg, H. W. J.: Simultaneous and synergistic profiling of cloud and drizzle properties using ground-based observations, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-402, in review, 2017.
Stephanie P. Rusli et al.
Stephanie P. Rusli et al.
Stephanie P. Rusli et al.


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