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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-439
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-439
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Jan 2019

Research article | 18 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Sensitivity of liquid cloud optical thickness and effective radius retrievals to cloud bow and glory conditions using two SEVIRI imagers

Nikos Benas1, Jan Fokke Meirink1, Martin Stengel2, and Piet Stammes1 Nikos Benas et al.
  • 1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Offenbach, Germany

Abstract. Retrievals of cloud properties from geostationary satellite sensors offer extensive spatial and temporal coverage and resolution. The high temporal resolution allows the detection of diurnally resolved cloud properties. However, retrievals are sensitive to varying illumination and viewing geometries, including cloud glory and cloud bow conditions, which can lead to irregularities in the diurnal data record. In this study, these conditions and their effects on liquid cloud optical thickness and effective radius retrievals were analyzed using the Cloud Physical Properties (CPP) algorithm. This analysis was based on the use of SEVIRI reflectances and products from Meteosat-8 and -10, which are located over the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, respectively, and cover an extensive common area under different viewing angles. Comparisons of the retrievals over different underlying surfaces (ocean/land) and using different spectral combinations of visible and shortwave-infrared channels were also performed, to assess the importance of these factors in the retrieval process. The sensitivity of the cloud bow and glory related irregularities to the width of the assumed droplet size distribution was analyzed by using different values of the effective variance of the size distribution. The results suggest for marine stratocumulus clouds an effective variance of around 0.05, which implies a narrower size distribution than typically assumed in satellite-based retrievals. For a case with continental clouds a broader size distribution (effective variance around 0.15) was obtained. This highlights the importance of appropriate size distribution assumptions and provides a way to improve the quality of cloud products in future climate data record releases.

Nikos Benas et al.
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Nikos Benas et al.
Nikos Benas et al.
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Short summary
Cloud glory and bow phenomena cause irregularities in satellite-based retrievals of cloud optical and microphysical properties. Here we combine two geostationary satellites over the same areas to analyze retrievals under those conditions. Results show a high sensitivity of retrievals to the assumed width of the cloud droplet size distribution and provide insights into possible improvements in satellite retrievals by appropriately adjusting this assumed parameter.
Cloud glory and bow phenomena cause irregularities in satellite-based retrievals of cloud...
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