170 Using CloudSat Radar Data to Improve our Understanding of Global Precipitation Processes

Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Regency A/B/C (Hyatt Regency Vancouver)
Carl G. Schmitt, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and A. Heymsfield, A. Bansemer, and N. B. Wood

Precipitation is a critical component of the global hydrological cycle. Obvious societal impacts include the availability of drinking water, and the supply of water for agricultural activities and hydroelectric power generation. Understanding precipitation formation, evolution, and phase under different conditions is also of critical importance for being able to predict future regional and global climates especially given the latent energy of phase change. Satellite remote sensing of clouds has become a powerful tool for understanding atmospheric processes as well as validating atmospheric models. We investigate the evolution of clouds and precipitation globally using remote sensing data from NASA CloudSat cloud radar which is in its second decade of measurements. In this work we look at the global distribution of cloud properties to investigate the frequency of occurrence as well as the quantity of precipitation that originates under different conditions in different regions. Cloud and precipitation properties are investigated regionally, by latitude, and season in order to produce PDFs of cloud properties for comparison with model results.
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