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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jul 2019

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

Cross-comparison of cloud liquid water path derived from observations by two space-borne and one ground-based instrument in Northern Europe

Vladimir S. Kostsov1, Anke Kniffka2, Martin Stengel3, and Dmitry V. Ionov1 Vladimir S. Kostsov et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Physics, Faculty of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
  • 2Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • 3Satellite-based Climate Monitoring, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany

Abstract. Cloud liquid water path (LWP) is one of the target atmospheric parameters retrieved remotely from ground-based and space-borne platforms using different observation methods and processing algorithms. Validation of LWP retrievals is a complicated task since a cloud cover is characterised by strong temporal and spatial variability while remote sensing methods have different temporal and spatial resolution. An attempt has been made to compare and analyse the collocated LWP data delivered by two satellite instruments SEVIRI and AVHRR together with the data derived from microwave observations by the ground-based radiometer RPG‑HATPRO. The geographical region of interest is the vicinity of St.Petersburg, Russia, where the RPG‑HATPRO radiometer is operating. The study is focused on two problems. The first one is the so-called scale difference problem which originates from dissimilar spatial resolutions of measurements. The second problem refers to the land-sea LWP gradient. The radiometric site is located 2.5 km from the coastline where the effects of the LWP gradient are pronounced. A good agreement of data obtained at the microwave radiometer location by all three instruments (HATPRO, SEVIRI and AVHRR) during warm and cold seasons is demonstrated (the largest correlation coefficient 0.93 was detected for HATPRO and AVHRR data sets). The analysis showed no bias of the SEVIRI results with respect to HATPRO data and a high bias (0.013–0.017 kg m−2) of the AVHRR results for both warm and cold seasons. The analysis of LWP maps plotted on the basis of the SEVIRI and AVHRR measurements over land and water surfaces in the vicinity of St.Petersburg revealed the unexpectedly high LWP values delivered by AVHRR during cold season over the Neva river bay and over the Saimaa Lake and the abnormal land-sea LWP gradient in these areas. For the detailed evaluation of atmospheric state and ice cover in the considered geographical regions during the periods of ground-based and satellite measurements, reanalysis data were used. It is shown that the most probable reason for the observed artifacts in the AVHRR measurements over water/ice surfaces is the coarse resolution of the land-sea and snow/ice masks used by the AVHRR retrieval algorithm. The influence of a cloud field inhomogeneity on the agreement between the satellite and the ground-based data was studied. For this purpose, the simple estimate of the LWP temporal variability was used as a measure of the spatial inhomogeneity. It has been demonstrated that both instruments are equally sensitive to the inhomogeneity of a cloud field despite the fact that they have different spatial resolution.

Vladimir S. Kostsov et al.
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Vladimir S. Kostsov et al.
Vladimir S. Kostsov et al.
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