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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-497
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-497
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 30 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Improvement in cloud retrievals from VIIRS through the use of infrared absorption channels constructed from VIIRS-CrIS data fusion

Yue Li1, Bryan A. Baum2, Andrew K. Heidinger3, W. Paul Menzel1, and Elisabeth Weisz1 Yue Li et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • 2Science and Technology Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • 3NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Abstract. Retrieval of semitransparent ice cloud properties from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) satellite sensor on the Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 platforms is challenging due to the absence of infrared (IR) water vapor and CO2 absorption channels. However, on these platforms, there is a companion sensor called the Crosstrack Infrared Sounder (CrIS) that provides these spectral measurements, but at a lower spatial resolution (~ 15 km at nadir). To mitigate the lack of VIIRS spectral measurements in these IR absorption channels, recent studies suggest an approach to supplement VIIRS measurements by fusion of the imager and sounder data. In particular, Weisz et al. (2017) demonstrate a method to construct IR water vapor and CO2 absorption channel radiances for VIIRS at 750 m spatial resolution. Based on these constructed channels for both Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20, this study evaluates three cloud properties – cloud mask, cloud thermodynamic phase, and cloud top height – through comparison to the CALIPSO/CALIOP V4-20 cloud layer products and MODIS Collection 6.1 cloud top products. Each of these cloud properties show improvement with the use of these constructed channel radiances. The major improvement for the cloud mask is found over polar regions, where the correct cloud detection percentage increases due to decrease in missed cloud and/or false detection. For cloud thermodynamic phase, the ice cloud fraction increases over non-polar regions and the combined liquid water and ice cloud discrimination improves in comparison with CALIPSO. The retrieved cloud top height for semitransparent ice clouds increases over non-polar regions and tends to be closer to the true CALIPSO/CALIOP cloud top height. Moreover, the uncertainty of cloud top height retrievals decreases globally for these clouds.

Yue Li et al.

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Latest update: 17 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Use of VIIRS-CrIS fusion products, which provide VIIRS with MODIS-like IR sounding channels, improves cloud mask, cloud phase, and cloud top height retrievals when compared to those using VIIRS data only. NOAA CLAVR-x cloud retrievals for both Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 data are evaluated through comparisons to the CALIPSO V4 and MODIS Collection 6.1 cloud products. Cloud height retrievals show significant improvement for semitransparent ice clouds, with a reduction in retrieval uncertainties.
Use of VIIRS-CrIS fusion products, which provide VIIRS with MODIS-like IR sounding...
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