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Dahoui, M, Lavanant, L, Rabier, F, Auligne, T (2005). Use of the MODIS imager to help deal with AIRS cloudy radiances. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 131(610), 2559-2579.

The assimilation of the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) data is expected to improve the quality of NWP products. Currently, operational use of such data is limited to the cloud-free pixels or to the channels far above the clouds for cloudy pixels. This paper focuses on the validation of various cloud-detection schemes applied to AIRS data. The clouds are detected and characterized, in cloud-top and cover, by using the NESDIS, ECMWF, CO2-slicing and MLEV schemes. These four different AIRS cloud descriptions are evaluated by independent information retrieved with the Meteo-France cloud mask applied to MODIS data and taken as our reference. The validation for a ten-day period over the North-cast Atlantic is presented. The use of satellite cloudy radiances is a great challenge for numerical weather prediction. Work is in progress to assimilate such data by using enhanced observation operators dealing with clouds. In this work. we try to contribute to this effort by investigating the linearity assumption of an observation operator, with a simple diagnostic cloud scheme, for different cloud types.



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