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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-2019-276
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-276
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 28 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 28 Aug 2019

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

Comparison of the cloud top heights retrieved from MODIS and AHI satellite data with ground-based Ka-band radar

Juan Huo, Daren Lu, Shu Duan, Yongheng Bi, and Bo Liu Juan Huo et al.
  • Key Laboratory for Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Bejing, 100029, China

Abstract. To better understand the accuracy of cloud top heights (CTHs) derived from passive satellite data, ground-based Ka-band radar measurements from 2016 and 2017 in Beijing were compared with CTH data inferred from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI). Relative to the radar CTHs, the MODIS CTHs were found to be underestimated by −1.10 ± 2.53 km and 49 % of CTH differences were within 1.0 km. Like the MODIS results, the AHI CTHs were underestimated by −1.10 ± 2.27 km and 42 % were within 1.0 km. Both the MODIS and AHI retrieval accuracy depended strongly on the cloud depth (CD). Large differences were mainly occurring for the retrieval of thin clouds of CD < 1 km, especially clouds higher than 4 km. For clouds with CD > 1 km, the CTH difference decreased to −0.48 ± 1.70 km for MODIS and to −0.76 ± 1.63 km for AHI. MODIS CTHs greater than 6 km showed better agreement with the radar data than those less than 4 km. Statistical analysis showed that the average AHI CTHs were lower than the average MODIS CTHs by −0.64 ± 2.36 km. The monthly accuracy of both retrieval algorithms was studied and it was found that the AHI retrieval algorithm had the largest bias in winter while the MODIS retrieval algorithm had the lowest accuracy in spring.

Juan Huo et al.
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Juan Huo et al.
Juan Huo et al.
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Short summary
Cloud top height (CTH) is an important parameter of clouds. Active surface and passive satellite instruments have different strength and weakness on CTH measurement. We use ground-based Ka-band radar measurements from 2016 to 2017 in Beijing to compare with the CTH inferred from Terra/Aqua MODIS and Himawari-AHI. It is found that MODIS and AHI underestimate CTHs relative to radar by −1.10 km. Accuracy of the satellite CTH retrieval algorithm depends strongly on cloud depth.
Cloud top height (CTH) is an important parameter of clouds. Active surface and passive satellite...
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