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Radiative effects of simulated cirrus clouds on top of a deep convective storm in METEOSAT second generation SEVIRI channels

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¶Cirrus clouds often form above intense convective storms due to several different mechanisms and affect the radiation field at the top of the atmosphere. Radiative transfer computations are performed to characterize these effects within the spectral bands of METEOSAT Second Generation’s (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI). Computations refer to five visible, near infrared and infrared MSG SEVIRI channels centered at 0.8, 1.6, 3.9, 10.8, and 12.0 µm. Reflectances and brightness temperatures are computed using the 1-D radiative transfer model STREAMER adopting simple parameterizations of the cloud layers and associated microphysical properties for the determination of the necessary optical properties. A sensitivity study is carried out by varying the cirrus ice crystal size and optical depth. The 1.6 and 3.9 µm channels reveal instrumental for the simultaneous detection of optical depth and crystal size of the cirrus layer. In particular, the results of the 3.9 µm channel show that the smaller the crystal size the higher the reflectance values. The computations provide interpretation clues on the phenomenon of ice crystal plumes on top of deep convective clouds, which are known to produce enhanced reflectivity signatures in the 3.7 µm channel of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). The sensitivity of the IR channels to cirrus cloud optical depth and ice crystal size is examined and the brightness temperature differences evaluated. Satellite observations and radiative transfer computations are at present the only way of studying such cloud features due to the unavailability of in situ aircraft measurements.

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Also Visiting Scientist at EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany.

Received March 13, 2002

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Melani, S., Cattani, E., Levizzani, V. et al. Radiative effects of simulated cirrus clouds on top of a deep convective storm in METEOSAT second generation SEVIRI channels. Meteorol Atmos Phys 83, 109–122 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00703-002-0554-x

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  • Optical Depth
  • Brightness Temperature
  • Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
  • Convective Cloud