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Measurement of Low Amounts of Precipitable Water Vapor Using Ground-Based Millimeterwave RadiometryExtremely dry conditions characterized by amounts of precipitable water vapor (PWV) as as 1-2 mm commonly occur in high-latitude regions during the winter months. While such atmospheres carry only a few percent of the latent heat energy compared to tropical atmospheres, the effects of low vapor amounts on the polar radiation budget - both directly through modulation of longwave radiation and indirectly through the formation of clouds - are considerable. Accurate measurements of precipitable water vapor (PWV) during such dry conditions are needed to improve polar radiation models for use in understanding and predicting change in the climatically sensitive polar regions. To this end, the strong water vapor absorption at 183.310 GHz provides a unique means of measuring low amounts of PWV. Weighting function analysis, forward model calculations based upon a 7-year radiosonde dataset, and retrieval simulations consistently predict that radiometric measurements made using several millimeter-wavelength (MMW) channels near the 183 GHz line, together with established microwave (MW) measurements at the 22.235 GHz water vapor line and -3 1 GHz atmospheric absorption window can be used to determine within 5% uncertainty the full range of PWV expected in the Arctic. This unique collective capability stands in spite of accuracy limitations stemming from uncertainties due to the sensitivity of the vertical distribution of temperature and water vapor at MMW channels. In this study the potential of MMW radiometry using the 183 GHz line for measuring low amounts of PWV is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally. The study uses data obtained during March 1999 as part of an experiment conducted at the Department of Energy s Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) near Barrow, Alaska. Several radiometers from both NOAA and NASA were deployed during the experiment to provide the first combined MMW and MW ground-based data set during dry arctic conditions. Single-channel retrievals of PWV were performed using the MW and MMW data. Discrepancies in the retrieved values were found to be consistent with differences observed between measured brightness temperatures (TBs) and forward-modeled TBs based on concurrent radiosonde profiles. These discrepancies are greater than can be explained by measurement error alone and are attributed to absorption model uncertainty. We discuss here the measurements, retrieval technique, and line model discrepancies along with difficulties and potential of MMW/MW PWV measurement.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Racette, Paul E.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Westwater, Ed R.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Han, Yong
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, CO, United States)
Gasiewski, Albin J.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, CO, United States)
Klein, Marian
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Cimini, Domenico
(Aquila Univ. Italy)
Jones, David C.
(Met Office Exeter, United Kingdom)
Manning, WIll
(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Catonsville, MD, United States)
Kim, Edward J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Wang, James R.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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