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Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 357–370 | Cite as

TRMM-Based Optical and Microphysical Features of Precipitating Clouds in Summer Over the Yangtze–Huaihe River Valley, China

  • Yuan-Jian Yang
  • Hong Wang
  • Fengjiao Chen
  • Xiaoyi Zheng
  • Yunfei Fu
  • Shuxue ZhouEmail author
Article

Abstract

The optical and microphysical features of precipitating clouds are key information for studying the satellite-based precipitation estimation, cloud radiative effects, aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions, cloud and precipitation parameterization in weather and climate models. In this study, 15-year synchronous spectral and radar observations from the TRMM satellite were used to statistically explore the optical and microphysical features of precipitating clouds (PCs), including cloud effective radius (CER), cloud optical thickness (COT), cloud water path (CWP), thermal infrared brightness temperature at channel 4 (TB4) of cloud top, and storm top height (STH) and their relationships with surface rain rates in summer over Yangtze–Huaihe River Valley (YHRV). Results show that the optical and microphysical features of PCs/stratiform PCs/convective PCs vary with geographical locations in summer over YHRV, due to the different ambient meteorological and topographical conditions. Higher CER/COT/CWP/STH and lower TB4 mainly locate at areas of bigger rain rates. For PCs, their spatial distribution of CER is mainly dominated by stratiform PCs, while their spatial distribution of COT/CWP is mainly dominated by convective PCs. Moreover, stratiform precipitation is the dominant form in summer over YHRV and, thus, most PCs present vertical structures of optical and microphysical features as stratiform PCs. Stratiform PCs are usually thicker and contain more water vapor with bigger cloud particles than convective PCs (including deep and shallow convective PCs). In addition, existing shallow convective PCs are associated with lower storm heights and warmer cloud tops. Finally, surface rain rates of PCs (convective/stratiform PCs) increase gradually with the increment of CER/COT/CWP/STH, especially under 5 (15/5) mm/h. Similar relationship between surface rain rates and COT/CWP for shallow convective PCs is also found under 0.75 mm/h. Surface rain rate of PCs (convective/stratiform PCs) with cold cloud tops (TB4 < 247 K) obviously increases as TB4 decreases. Differently, for shallow convective PCs with warmer cloud tops (TB4 > 264 K), surface rain rate usually increases as CER decreases, which suggests that aerosol indirect effects are dominant in lower PCs, because over pollution regions abundant aerosols enter into lower clouds more easily and then suppress the development of shallow convective PCs.

Keywords

Optical feature microphysical feature precipitating clouds TRMM Yangtze–Huaihe River Valley 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We appreciate the comments and suggestions of the editors and anonymous reviewers. Many thanks are extended to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Goddard Space Flight Center for providing PR 2A25 and VIRS data. This work is jointly supported by the National Key Projects of Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFA0602100 and 2017YFC1501402), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41675009, 41675041, 41601550, 41620104009, 41230419 and 41505004), the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST, the Startup Foundation for Anhui Meteorological Bureau (RC201703), Jiangsu Provincial Natural Science Fund Project (BK20150910), Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (1808085MD99), Huaihe river basin meteorological open fund (HRM201507), the Open Project Program (KLME1508) of the Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, and The Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, School of Atmospheric PhysicsNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Anhui Meteorological Information CenterHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences and Satellite Remote Sensing of Anhui ProvinceAnhui Weather Modification OfficeHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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