Retrievals of vertical profiles of stratus cloud properties from combined oxygen A-band and radar observations



[1] A synergetic algorithm of retrieving vertical distribution of cloud drop effective radius (Re), liquid water content (LWC), and optical depth has been developed by combining oxygen A-band spectral measurements with radar reflectivity. The underlying physics is to utilize the photon path length information from oxygen A-band measurements to constrain the retrievals of cloud microphysical properties from radar reflectivity. Through a radiation closure of the rotating shadowband spectrometer (RSS) diffuse-horizontal irradiances in the oxygen A-band (which is sensitive to vertical distribution of the 2nd moment of particle size distribution), vertical distributions of cloud microphysical property (the 3rd moment of particle size distribution) are optimized and retrieved from Millimeter Wave Cloud Radar (MMCR) reflectivity (the 6th moment of particle size distribution). The critical issues in the synergetic cloud retrievals of combining passive and active instruments are discussed and carefully taken into account. Evaluation and validation through case studies show that the retrieved column mean values of cloud optical depth, effective radius, and liquid water path agree well with independent measurements from the microwave radiometer (MWR) and independent retrievals from a combined algorithm of multifilter rotating shadowband radiometer (MFRSR) and MWR and the column physical characterization (CPC) of MMCR. These studies demonstrate that this active-passive synergetic retrieval algorithm is feasible and accurate for retrievals of vertical distribution of cloud Re and LWC for stratus clouds.