235 A comparison of satellite-based overshooting top observations from geostationary infrared sensors and low earth orbit lidar

Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Simon Proud, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Deep convective systems often produce overshooting tops: Cloud features that protrude above the anvil into the lower stratosphere. These overshooting tops are an important indicator of deep convection and can be associated with a number of severe weather events. This work compares estimates of overshooting top altitude derived from geostationary satellite data to those derived from lidar instruments aboard polar orbiting satellites.

Results show that overall there is good agreement between the altitude of overshooting tops from these two datasets. However the geostationary altitude estimates rely heavily on numerical weather prediction data and hence can be unreliable in some circumstances. Furthermore the simple relationships used to derive altitude as a function of overshoot temperature difference (relative to the forecast tropopause) require improvement in order to reduce uncertainty, particularly in tropical regions.

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