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Title: Oceanic rain rate estimates from the QuikSCAT radiometer: a global precipitation mission pathfinder
Authors: Ahmad, Khalil A.
Jones, Wilma L.
Kasparis, Takis 
Keywords: Brightness temperature;Radiometry;Remote sensing
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 2005, Volume 110, Issue 11, Pages 1-26
Abstract: The SeaWinds scatterometer, launched onboard the QuikSCAT satellite in 1999, measures global ocean vector winds. In addition to measuring radar backscatter, SeaWinds simultaneously measures the microwave brightness temperature of the atmosphere/surface, and this passive microwave measurement capability is known as the QuikSCAT Radiometer (QRad). This paper presents a QRad retrieval algorithm used to infer instantaneous oceanic rain rates. This statistical algorithm is trained using near-simultaneous observations of major rain events by QRad and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI). Rain rate retrieval algorithm validation is presented through comparisons with independent rain measurements from the TMI 2A12 surface rain rates and the TRMM 3B42RT composite microwave and visible and infrared near-real time data product. Results demonstrate that QRad rain rate measurements are in good agreement with these independent microwave rain observations and superior to the visible/infrared rain estimates. Thus the QRad rain measurement time series is a valuable addition to the oceanic precipitation climatology that can be used to improve the diurnal estimation of the global rainfall, which is a goal for the future Global Precipitation Mission program. Moreover, the availability of QRad data will provide GPM users early access to learn to use less-precise rain measurements that will occur in the GPM era with the use of less-capable constellation satellites. Finally, these QRad rain estimates will be available in the planned data reprocessing (FY 2006) of QuikSCAT winds to improve the rain flagging of rain-contaminated oceanic wind vector retrievals.
ISSN: 01480227
DOI: 10.1029/2004JD005560
Rights: © 2005 by the American Geophysical Union
Type: Article
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