Lindsey, DT, Grasso, L (2008). An effective radius retrieval for thick ice clouds using GOES. JOURNAL OF APPLIED METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY, 47(4), 1222-1231.
Satellite retrieval of cirrus cloud microphysical properties is an important but difficult problem because of uncertainties in ice-scattering characteristics. Most methods have been developed for instruments aboard polar-orbiting satellites, which have better spatial and spectral resolution than geostationary sensors. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite ( GOES) series has the advantage of excellent temporal resolution, so that the evolution of thunderstorm-cloud-top properties can be monitored. In this paper, the authors discuss the development of a simple ice cloud effective radius retrieval for thick ice clouds using three bands from the GOES imager: one each in the visible, shortwave infrared, and window infrared portion of the spectrum. It is shown that this retrieval compares favorably to the MODIS effective radius algorithm. In addition, a comparison of the retrieval for clouds viewed simultaneously from GOES-East and GOES-West reveals that the assumed ice-scattering properties perform very well. The algorithm is then used to produce maps of mean ice cloud effective radius over the continental United States. A real-time version of this retrieval is currently running and may be used to study the evolution of thunderstorm-top ice crystal size in rapidly evolving convection.