A Synergetic Approach to Extend Fixed-Local-Time CloudSat Strength to the Entire Cloud-Convection-Precipitation (CCP) Lifecycle

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Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)


A Synergetic Approach to Extend Fixed-Local-Time CloudSat Strength to the Entire Cloud-Convection-Precipitation (CCP) Lifecycle

Dr. Jie Gong


Monday December 17, 2018, 12:00-1:00 PM

ESSIC Conference Room 4102, 5825 University Research Ct, College Park, MD 20740


Thick ice clouds and floating snow clouds play a major role in the global hydrological cycle. More than 90% of precipitation originate from such clouds. Without deep understanding and correct representation of these clouds in the Global Climate Models (GCMs), the problematic diurnal cycle of surface precipitation in models cannot never be solved completely.

Passive infrared/visible (IR/VIS) and microwave (MW) measurements exhibit completely different ice cloud diurnal cycles, because of their unique sensitivities to anvil/cirrus and deep convection/floating snow, respectively. While the diurnal cycle of IR/VIS clouds can be easily acquired from geostationary (GEO) observations nowadays, the local time variation of MW clouds needs to rely on collective samplings from low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. Due to the difficulties to assemble cloud measurements from different MW sensors onboard LEO satellites, the diurnal cycle of floating snow is by far missing in the big picture of the cloud-convection-precipitation (CCP) coupling process.

In this first part of this seminar, I will present the first tropical diurnal cycle of MW floating snow ice water path (SIWP) derived from more than 3 years of Global Precipitation Measurement Microwave Imager (GPM-GMI) measurements. The retrieval is enabled by an empirical forward model built upon collocated CloudSat and GMI 166/183 GHz observations. As such, the retrieved SIWP is inherently consistent with CloudSat measurements while it extends the fixed-local-time CloudSat strength to different local times owning to the advantage of GPM satellite’s procession orbit design. In the rest of my talk, I will discuss the ice microphysics properties, especially the orientation of ice crystals, that can be inferred from passive polarimetric MW measurements. Our previous and ongoing works showing ice microphysics is playing an interesting role in the CCP lifecycle will be introduced.


Dr. Gong is currently a scientist of Universities Space Research Association (USRA), working at NASA Goddard. Her research interests and expertise lie in ice cloud property retrievals using MW, sub-mm and IR techniques, as well as cross-tropopause water vapor transport. She joined USRA and Goddard in 2012 after she finished 2-year of postdoctoral scholarship at Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she mainly worked on studying the cloud 3D structures using Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and CloudSat. Dr. Gong received her Ph.D. degree from State University of Stony Brook in 2009, and her B.S. degree from Peking University in 2005.

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Dec 17 2018


ESSIC Conference Room
5825 University Research Ct, College Park, MD 20740


John Xun Yang