Cloudy sounding and cloud-top height retrieval from AIRS alone single field-of-view radiance measurements



[1] High-spectral resolution measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) onboard the EOS (Earth Observing System) Aqua satellite provide unique information about atmospheric state, surface and cloud properties. This paper presents an AIRS alone single field-of-view (SFOV) retrieval algorithm to simultaneously retrieve temperature, humidity and ozone profiles under all weather conditions, as well as cloud-top pressure (CTP) under cloudy skies. For optically thick cloud conditions the above-cloud soundings are derived, whereas for clear skies and optically thin cloud conditions the profiles are retrieved from 0.005 hPa down to the earth's surface. Initial validation has been conducted by using the operational MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) product, ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) analysis fields and radiosonde observations (RAOBs). These inter-comparisons clearly demonstrate the potential of this algorithm to process data from high-spectral infrared (IR) sounder instruments.