Remote Sensing of Tropical Cyclone Thermal Structure from Satellite Microwave Sounding Instruments: Impacts of Optimal Channel Selection on Retrievals
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Accurate information on atmospheric temperature of tropical cyclones (TCs) is important for monitoring and prediction of their developments and evolution. For hurricanes, temperature anomaly in the upper troposphere can be derived from Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) through either regression-based or variational retrieval algorithms. This study investigates the dependency of TC warm core structure on emission and scattering processes in the forward operator used for radiance computations in temperature retrievals. In particular, the precipitation scattering at ATMS high-frequency channels can significantly change the retrieval outcomes. The simulation results in this study reveal that the brightness temperatures at 183 GHz could be depressed by 30–50 K under cloud ice water path of 1.5 mm, and thus, the temperature structure in hurricane atmosphere could be distorted if the ice cloud scattering was inaccurately characterized in the retrieval system. It is found that for Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey that occurred in 2017, their warm core anomalies retrieved from ATMS temperature sounding channels 4–15 were more reasonable and realistic, compared with the retrievals from all other channel combinations and earlier hurricane simulation results.
Key wordsAdvanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) Microwave Retrieval Testbed (MRT) warm core hurricane Irma Maria Harvey
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