P4.44 Microwave remote sensing of lake-induced snowfall: Observation, modeling, and cloud microphysical implications

Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Grand Terrace (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Mark S. Kulie, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and R. Bennartz

Combined passive and active microwave remote sensing instruments are utilized to study lake-induced snowfall at mid- to high-latitudes. Our research efforts will concentrate on the Baltic Sea region of northern Europe due to the availability of ground-based radar data that complement passive microwave data obtained from satellites. Observations using the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) indicate that banded, mesoscale lake effect snowfall structures can be resolved with current passive microwave platforms. When confined to over-water observations, emission from supercooled cloud liquid water in the lower atmosphere produces an elevated brightness temperature signature, as well as noticeable depolarization effects, in various AMSR-E frequencies. In addition to successfully identifying these snow events using satellite data, we will also study whether lake-induced snow produces a consistently measurable microwave scattering signature due to frozen hydrometeors within the snowbands. Using radiative transfer modeling that is built upon a physically-based framework, we will assess cloud microphysical features that affect the proper detection and modeling of lake effect snow, as well as discuss the correction of biases that arise using our modeling methodology.
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