Symposium on Recent Developments in Atmospheric Applications of Radar and Lidar


Application of the NASA A-Train to evaluate clouds simulated by the Weather Research and Forecast Model

Andrew L. Molthan, University of Alabama Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and G. J. Jedlovec and W. M. Lapenta

The CloudSat Mission, part of the NASA A-Train, is providing the first global survey of cloud profiles and cloud physical properties, observing seasonal and geographical variations that are pertinent to evaluating the way clouds are parameterized in weather and climate forecast models. CloudSat measures the vertical structure of clouds and precipitation from space through the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR), a 94 GHz nadir-looking radar measuring the power backscattered by clouds as a function of distance from the radar. One of the goals of the CloudSat mission is to evaluate the representation of clouds in forecast models, thereby contributing to improved predictions of weather, climate and the cloud-climate feedback problem.

This paper highlights potential limitations in cloud microphysical schemes currently employed in the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) modeling system. The horizontal and vertical structure of explicitly simulated cloud fields produced by the WRF model at 4-km resolution are being evaluated using CloudSat observations in concert with products derived from MODIS and AIRS. A radiative transfer model is used to produce simulated profiles of radar reflectivity given WRF input profiles of hydrometeor mixing ratios and ambient atmospheric conditions. The preliminary results presented in the paper will compare simulated and observed reflectivity fields corresponding to horizontal and vertical cloud structures associated with midlatitude cyclone events.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (708K)

Supplementary URL:

Poster Session 1, Recent Developments in Atmospheric Applications of Radar and lidar
Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM, Exhibit Hall B

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page