Task 241

Interactive processes between cloud-precipitation, land-surface, radiation, and aerosol processes

Principal Investigator(s):

T. Matsui


W-K. Tao

Last Updated:

October 26, 2012 15:26:08

Description of Problem

Aerosols, cloud, and precipitation processes play major roles in describing earth’s energy and water budget and cycle. Thus, understanding of these processes and interactions via in-situ observations, satellite remote sensing, and state-of-art numerical modeling is essential for atmospheric scientists. However, links between satellite observations and modeling have been always untied, because assumptions in geophysical parameters are usually different between them. Thus, a new tool must be developed to overcome such issue, and facilitate modeling development using satellite observations.

Scientific Objectives and Approach

Goddard Satellite Data Simulator Unit (G-SDSU) is the comprehensive satellite simulator that can reproduce L1 signals of different instruments of NASA’s satellites from high-resolution aerosol-cloud-precipitation model simulations, including Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) model, NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) model, and Goddard Multi-Scale Modeling Framework (G-MMF). In this way, the performance of these modeling systems can be evaluated against the satellite L1 signals. This new evaluation is superior to the traditional evaluation using satellite L2 data, because satellite data and model has identical physical assumptions. The detailed and comprehensive evaluation guides us to a better direction in model improvements. Eventually, the realistic model simulations and simulated satellite signals can also support satellite missions by serving as satellite algorithm testbed.


Dr. Matsui accomplished several tasks in this year, 1) established observational patterns of precipitation diurnal cycles over U.S., 2) analyzed Ground-Validation data from the Canadian CALIPSO/CLOUDSAT Validation Project (C3VP), and 3) expanded the capability of G-SDSU.

First, diurnal cycles of summertime rainfall rates are examined over the conterminous United States, using radar-gauge assimilated hourly rainfall data. As in earlier studies, rainfall diurnal composites show a well-defined region of rainfall propagation over the Great Plains and an afternoon maximum area over the south and eastern portion of the United States. Using Hovmöller diagrams, zonal phase speeds of diurnal composite rainfall are estimated in three different small domains, and are evaluated with background meteorological conditions. These rainfall propagation speeds are better linked to the convective available potential energy than to the boundary-layer dryness. Results are published in Geophysical Research Letters and highlighted in a couple of websites.

Second, GV data, including operational C-band radar, aircraft cloud microphysics measurements, and ground-based snow microphysics measurements, are compiled and established the GV model evaluation framework. Several experiments of numerical simulations were conducted using the WRF model with spectra-bin microphysics (WRF-SBM). The WRF-SBM simulations were evaluated against various statistical composites from the C3VP GV data, and WRF-SBM simulations were constrained in terms of macro- and micro-structure of snow storms. The GV-constrained WRF-SBM simulations will be eventually released to GPM algorithm scientists.

Third, a couple of new features has been developed upon the G-SDSU. The first feature is to create a parallel input routine for the WRF simulation files using domain decomposition in order to speed up IO process. The second feature is to create new GV-simulator module that can translate model microphysics parameters into measurable parameters from either GV aircraft- or ground-based in-situ instrument. In this way, we can conduct apple-to-apple comparison between cloud-resolving model simulations and GV measurements. Third feature is development of GPM-satellite scanning module. This module predicts scanning geolocations from GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) or Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) sensor for a given epoch-time satellite location, instrument types, and satellite orbit parameters.

Refereed Journal Publications

Li, X., W.-K. Tao, T. Matsui, C. Liu, and H. Masunaga (2010), Improving a spectral bin microphysical scheme using long-term TRMM satellite observations. Quarterly Journal of Royal Metrological Society, 136(647), 382-399.

Matsui, T., D. Mocko, M.-I. Lee, W.-K. Tao, M. J. Suarez, and R.A. Pielke Sr. (2010), Ten-year climatology of summertime diurnal rainfall rate over the conterminous U.S., Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L13807, doi:10.1029/2010GL044139.

Shi, J. J., W.-K. Tao, T. Matsui, A. Hou, S. Lang, C. Peters-Lidard, G. Jackson, R. Cifelli, S. Rutledge, and W. Petersen (2010), Microphysical Properties of the January 20-22 2007 Snow Events over Canada: Comparison with in-situ and Satellite Observations. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 49(11), 2246–2266.

Masunaga, H., Matsui, T., W.-K. Tao, A. Y. Hou, C. Kummerow, T. Nakajima, P. Bauer, W. Olson, M. Sekiguchi, and T. Y. Nakajima (2011), Satellite Data Simulation Unit: Multi-Sensor and Multi–Frequency Satellite Simulator package, Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, 91, 1625–1632. doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS2809.1.

Zeng, X., W.-K. Tao, T. Matsui, S. Xie, S. Lang, M. Zhang, D. Starr, and X. Li, 2011: Estimating the Ice Crystal Enhancement Factor in the Tropics. J. Atmos. Sci. (In revision)

Ma, P.-L., A. Arking, J. J. Shi, and T. Matsui, 2011: Dust radiative effect on 60 African easterly wave disturbances in August and September, 2003-2007, Geophysical Research Letters, (submitted).

Ma, P.-L., A. Arking, T. Matsui, and J. J. Shi, 2011: A sensitivity test of the radiative properties of mineral dust on the development of the pre-Isabel (2003) disturbance, Geophysical Research Letters, (submitted).

Other Publications and Conferences

Seminars and Presentations:

Matsui, T. (2010), Satellite Data Simulation Unit: multi-sensor and multi–frequency satellite simulators for aerosol-cloud-precipitation satellite missions, UMD ESSIC Seminar, ESSIC UMD, College Park, MD, May 24 2010.

Matsui, T. (2010), Satellite Data Simulation Unit: multi-sensor and multi–frequency satellite simulators for aerosol-cloud-precipitation satellite missions, AORI Seminar, AORI University of Tokyo, Tsukuba, Japan, Aug 2 2010.

Matsui, T., T. Iguchi, X. Li, and W.-K. Tao (2010), Development of the GPM simulator using GV observations, The 4th GPM International GV Workshop, 21-23, June, 2010, Helsinki, Finalnd.

Matsui, T., T. Iguchi, X. Li, and W.-K. Tao (2010), Development of the synthetic GPM simulator, PMM meeting, 1-5, Nov, 2010, Seattle, USA.

Matsui, T., T. Iguchi, X. Li, and W.-K. Tao (2010), Development of the synthetic GPM simulator, AGU Fall Meeting, 13-17, Dec, 2010, San Francisco, USA.

Web highlights:

Christian Science Monitor, “Scientists study time of day for US summer rains”, (http:www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0615/Scientists-study-time-of-day-for-US-summer-rains)

Matsui, T., et al. (2010), GES DISC web news: Research using data assimilation models investigates summer rainfall timi
ng. (http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/hydrology/gesNews/diurnal_precipitation_patterns)

Matsui, T. (2010): Systematic Eastward Propagation of Summertime Diurnal Rainfall over the Conterminous U.S., Laboratory for Atmosphere, Science Highlight, Jan, 2011. (http://atmospheres.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/slides.php?sciid=2)