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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-2019-81
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-81
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 03 Jun 2019

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

A Fast Visible Wavelength 3-D Radiative Transfer Procedure for NWP Visualization and Forward Modeling

Steven Albers1, Stephen M. Saleeby2, Sonia Kreidenweis2, Qijing Bian2, Peng Xian3, Zoltan Toth4, Ravan Ahmadov5,4, Eric James5,4, and Steven D. Miller2 Steven Albers et al.
  • 1Spire Global, Inc., Boulder, CO
  • 2Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
  • 3U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA
  • 4Global Systems Division, ESRL/OAR/NOAA
  • 5CIRES at Global Systems Division, ESRL/OAR/NOAA

Abstract. Solar radiation is the ultimate source of energy for all atmospheric motions. The visible wavelength range of solar radiation represents a significant contribution to the Earth’s energy budget and visible light is a vital indicator for the composition and thermodynamic processes of the atmosphere from the smallest weather to the largest climate scales. The accurate and fast description of light propagation in the atmosphere and its lower boundary environment is therefore of critical importance for the simulation and prediction of weather and climate.

Simulated Weather Imagery (SWIm) is a new, fast and physically based visible wavelength 3-dimensional radiative transfer model. Given the location and intensity of the sources of light (natural or artificial) and the composition (e.g., clear or turbid air with aerosols, liquid or ice clouds, and precipitating rain, snow, or ice hydrometeors) of the atmosphere, it describes the propagation of light and produces visually and physically realistic hemispheric or 360° spherical panoramic color images of the atmosphere and the underlying terrain from any specified vantage point either on or above the Earth's surface.

Applications of SWIm include the visualization of atmospheric and land surface conditions simulated or forecast by numerical weather or climate analysis and prediction systems for either scientific or lay audiences. Simulated SWim imagery can also be generated for and compared with observed camera images to (i) assess the fidelity, (ii) and improve the performance of numerical atmospheric and land surface models, as well as (iii) through their inclusion into an observational data assimilation scheme, improve the estimate of the state of atmospheric and land surface initial conditions for situational awareness and NWP forecast initialization applications.

Steven Albers et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Steven Albers et al.
Steven Albers et al.
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Latest update: 20 Sep 2019
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Short summary
A fast visible light forward operator is used to realistically visualize, validate, and potentially assimilate ground- and space-based camera and satellite imagery for NWP models. 3D fields of hydrometeors, aerosols, and 2D land surface variables are considered.
A fast visible light forward operator is used to realistically visualize, validate, and...
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