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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1770;

Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Estimates from FY-3B MWRI Brightness Temperatures Using the WS Algorithm

Key Laboratory of Microwave Remote Sensing, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation)
PDF [10340 KB, uploaded 8 November 2018]


A rainfall retrieval algorithm for tropical cyclones (TCs) using 18.7 and 36.5 GHz of vertically and horizontally polarized brightness temperatures (Tbs) from the Microwave Radiation Imager (MWRI) is presented. The beamfilling effect is corrected based on ratios of the retrieved liquid water absorption and theoretical Mie absorption coefficients at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz. To assess the performance of this algorithm, MWRI measurements are matched with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) precipitation for six TCs. The comparison between MWRI and NSIDC rain rates is relatively encouraging, with a mean bias of −0.14 mm/h and an overall root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 1.99 mm/h. A comparison of pixel-to-pixel retrievals shows that MWRI retrievals are constrained to reasonable levels for most rain categories, with a minimum error of −1.1% in the 10–15 mm/h category; however, with maximum errors around −22% at the lowest (0–0.5 mm/h) and highest rain rates (25–30 mm/h). Additionally, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) Tbs are applied to retrieve rain rates to assess the sensitivity of this algorithm, with a mean bias and RMSE of 0.90 mm/h and 3.11 mm/h, respectively. For the case study of TC Maon (2011), MWRI retrievals underestimate rain rates over 6 mm/h and overestimate rain rates below 6 mm/h compared with Precipitation Radar (PR) observations on storm scales. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) rainfall data provided by the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) are applied to assess the representation of mesoscale structures in intense TCs, and they show good consistency with MWRI retrievals. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical cyclone; rain rate; precipitation; remote sensing; radiometer; retrieval algorithm tropical cyclone; rain rate; precipitation; remote sensing; radiometer; retrieval algorithm

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, R.; Wang, Z.; Hilburn, K.A. Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Estimates from FY-3B MWRI Brightness Temperatures Using the WS Algorithm. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1770.

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