Legacy of Precipitation Feature Database from Satellite Passive Microwave radiometer and precipitation radar Observations

Thursday, 21 April 2016: 1:30 PM
Miramar 1 & 2 (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Chuntao Liu, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, TX; and D. J. Cecil and S. W. Nesbitt

About mid 1990s, inspired by Dr. Edward Zipser, a group of researchers and graduate students at Texas A&M started a project of counting storms from SSM/I passive microwave brightness temperature images. Computer programs were designed to automatically group adjacent cold brightness temperature pixels into precipitation features. For the first time, global precipitation was quantitatively described from the perspective of individual precipitation systems and their properties. Since then, this methodology has been improved and adapted to the TRMM, SSMIS, CloudSat, and GPM satellites by several generations of students and researchers. This presentation will review the development of precipitation feature databases during the past two decades. The chronicle is a list of major scientific questions that have been previously tackled using these databases, including the topics of tropical cyclones, global precipitation, extreme intensive convection, thunderstorms, warm rain, latent heating, diurnal cycle, troposphere-stratosphere exchange, etc. As more and more observations from various satellites become available, it is anticipated that this methodology will help to address a large variety of scientific questions in the future. All the current precipitation feature databases are freely open to public at: http://atmos.tamucc.edu/trmm/.
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