Hong, G; Minnis, P; Doelling, D; Ayers, JK; Sun-Mack, S (2012). Estimating effective particle size of tropical deep convective clouds with a look-up table method using satellite measurements of brightness temperature differences. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 117, D06207.
A method for estimating effective ice particle radius R-e at the tops of tropical deep convective clouds (DCC) is developed on the basis of precomputed look-up tables (LUTs) of brightness temperature differences (BTDs) between the 3.7 and 11.0 mu m bands. A combination of discrete ordinates radiative transfer and correlated k distribution programs, which account for the multiple scattering and monochromatic molecular absorption in the atmosphere, is utilized to compute the LUTs as functions of solar zenith angle, satellite zenith angle, relative azimuth angle, R-e, cloud top temperature (CTT), and cloud visible optical thickness tau. The LUT-estimated DCC R-e agrees well with the cloud retrievals of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for the NASA Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System with a correlation coefficient of 0.988 and differences of less than 10%. The LUTs are applied to 1 year of measurements taken from MODIS aboard Aqua in 2007 to estimate DCC R-e and are compared to a similar quantity from CloudSat over the region bounded by 140 degrees E, 180 degrees E, 0 degrees N, and 20 degrees N in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. The estimated DCC R-e values are mainly concentrated in the range of 25-45 mu m and decrease with CTT. Matching the LUT-estimated R-e with ice cloud R-e retrieved by CloudSat, it is found that the ice cloud tau values from DCC top to the vertical location where LUT-estimated R-e is located at the CloudSat-retrieved R-e profile are mostly less than 2.5 with a mean value of about 1.3. Changes in the DCC tau can result in differences of less than 10% for R-e estimated from LUTs. The LUTs of 0.65 mu m bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) are built as functions of viewing geometry and column amount of ozone above upper troposphere. The 0.65 mu m BRDF can eliminate some noncore portions of the DCCs detected using only 11 mu m brightness temperature thresholds, which result in a mean difference of only 0.6 mu m for DCC R-e estimated from BTD LUTs.