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Towards an along-track validation of HOAPS precipitation using OceanRAIN optical disdrometer data over the Atlantic Ocean

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Burdanowitz,  Jörg
Terrestrial Remote Sensing / HOAPS, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Meteorological Institute;

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Bakan,  Stephan
Terrestrial Remote Sensing / HOAPS, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Burdanowitz, J., Klepp, C., Bakan, S., & Bühler, S. (2018). Towards an along-track validation of HOAPS precipitation using OceanRAIN optical disdrometer data over the Atlantic Ocean. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 144(Suppl. 1), 235-254. doi:10.1002/qj.3248.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-81C2-2
Abstract
The Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and fluxes from Satellite data (HOAPS) passive-microwave precipitation scan product is compared to the Ocean Rainfall And Ice-phase precipitation measurement Network (OceanRAIN) surface-based precipitation reference dataset over the global ocean. For the first time, we apply statistical point-to-area adjustments and along-track averaging to ship-based OceanRAIN precipitation data over the Atlantic Ocean to better represent collocated precipitation rates within a HOAPS satellite pixel. The statistical adjustments strongly reduce the HOAPS–OceanRAIN root-mean-square error from 2.65 mm h−1 to 1.01 mm h−1. Overall, the point-to-area effect stronger impacts HOAPS–OceanRAIN differences than the precipitation regime. Higher-resolved satellite data indicates that these adjustments work best for most convective-like precipitation cases while some rather stratiform-like precipitation cases would need no adjustment. Excluding precipitation rates below the HOAPS sensitivity threshold of 0.3 mm h−1 reduces the difference in average precipitation rates between HOAPS hits and false detections combined and OceanRAIN hits and misses combined to 2 %. This precipitation-rate difference lies below the uncertainty obtained from resampling of about 10 %. Without false detections, the HOAPS precipitation rate of hits-only exceeds that of OceanRAIN by 50 %. Most of the HOAPS false detections follow from cases when precipitation occurs within the HOAPS pixel but off the ship track. Consequently, these apparent false detections lead to an overestimation of HOAPS precipitation rates compared to OceanRAIN, particularly in the inner tropics and partly mid-latitudes where clustered convective precipitation occurs most frequently. Misses cause underestimated HOAPS precipitation rates mainly in the mid- and high-latitudes. However, for a HOAPS validation, apparent false detections need to be considered in addition to hits of OceanRAIN precipitation rates to which we successfully applied statistical point-to-area adjustments.