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Open AccessArticle

A New Method for Hail Detection from the GPM Constellation: A Prospect for a Global Hailstorm Climatology

CNR-ISAC, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
NOAA-NESDIS, University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740, USA
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), Univsrsity of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(21), 3553;
Received: 29 July 2020 / Revised: 10 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of the Water Cycle)
A new method for detecting hailstorms by using all the MHS-like (MHS, Microwave Humidity Sounder) satellite radiometers currently in orbit is presented. A probability-based model originally designed for AMSU-B/MHS-based (AMSU-B, Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B) radiometers has been fitted to the observations of all microwave radiometers onboard the satellites of the Global Precipitation Measurements (GPM) constellation. All MHS-like frequency channels in the 150–170 GHz frequency range were adjusted on the MHS channel 2 (157 GHz) in order to account for the instrumental differences and tune the original model on the MHS-like technical characteristics. The novelty of this approach offers the potential of retrieving a uniform and homogeneous hail dataset on the global scale. The application of the hail detection model to the entire GPM constellation demonstrates the high potential of this generalized model to map the evolution of hail-bearing systems at very high temporal rate. The results on the global scale also demonstrate the high performances of the hail model in detecting the differences of hailstorm structure across the two hemispheres by means of a thorough reconstruction of the seasonality of the events particularly in South America where the largest hailstones are typically observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hail detection; GPM constellation; hail climatology; passive microwave hail detection; GPM constellation; hail climatology; passive microwave
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MDPI and ACS Style

Laviola, S.; Monte, G.; Levizzani, V.; Ferraro, R.R.; Beauchamp, J. A New Method for Hail Detection from the GPM Constellation: A Prospect for a Global Hailstorm Climatology. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3553.

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