DOI: 10.3390/rs16060966 ISSN: 2072-4292

A Review of Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Profiles and Cloud Properties by Ground-Based Microwave Radiometers in Central China

Guirong Xu
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

Thermodynamic and liquid water profiles can be retrieved by a ground-based microwave radiometer (MWR) in nearly all weather conditions, which is useful for detecting mesoscale phenomena. This paper reviews the advances in remote sensing of atmospheric profiles and cloud properties by MWR in central China. Comparative studies indicate that MWR retrieval accuracy is different under various skies, especially those that decay under precipitation. The off-zenith method is proven to be capable of reducing the impact of precipitation and snow on MWR retrieval accuracy. Application studies demonstrate that MWR retrievals are helpful for early warning of rainstorms, hailstorms, and thunderstorms. Moreover, MWR retrievals provide a way to study cloud properties. The temporal variations of cloud occurrence frequency (COF) and liquid water path (LWP) are different for low, middle, and high clouds, and the vertical distribution of COF is also different in autumn and other seasons. Note that MWR can infer valid retrievals over the eastern Tibetan Plateau due to the weak precipitation over there. Also, cloud properties over the eastern Tibetan Plateau present differences from those over central China, and this is related to the different characteristics of atmospheric water vapor between these two regions. To bring more benefits for mechanism study and early warning of severe weather and numerical weather prediction, the decayed accuracy of MWR zenith retrievals under precipitation should be resolved. And combining MWR with other instruments is necessary for MWR application in detecting multi-layer clouds and ice clouds.

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