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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1278;

SLALOM: An All-Surface Snow Water Path Retrieval Algorithm for the GPM Microwave Imager

Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC)—National Research Council (CNR), 00133 Rome, Italy
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 12 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation)
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This paper describes a new algorithm that is able to detect snowfall and retrieve the associated snow water path (SWP), for any surface type, using the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI). The algorithm is tuned and evaluated against coincident observations of the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) onboard CloudSat. It is composed of three modules for (i) snowfall detection, (ii) supercooled droplet detection and (iii) SWP retrieval. This algorithm takes into account environmental conditions to retrieve SWP and does not rely on any surface classification scheme. The snowfall detection module is able to detect 83% of snowfall events including light SWP (down to 1 × 10−3 kg·m−2) with a false alarm ratio of 0.12. The supercooled detection module detects 97% of events, with a false alarm ratio of 0.05. The SWP estimates show a relative bias of −11%, a correlation of 0.84 and a root mean square error of 0.04 kg·m−2. Several applications of the algorithm are highlighted: Three case studies of snowfall events are investigated, and a 2-year high resolution 70°S–70°N snowfall occurrence distribution is presented. These results illustrate the high potential of this algorithm for snowfall detection and SWP retrieval using GMI. View Full-Text
Keywords: snowfall detection; snow water path retrieval; supercooled droplets detection; GPM Microwave Imager snowfall detection; snow water path retrieval; supercooled droplets detection; GPM Microwave Imager

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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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Rysman, J.-F.; Panegrossi, G.; Sanò, P.; Marra, A.C.; Dietrich, S.; Milani, L.; Kulie, M.S. SLALOM: An All-Surface Snow Water Path Retrieval Algorithm for the GPM Microwave Imager. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1278.

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