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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-236
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-236
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Nov 2018

Research article | 29 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Evaluation of CloudSat snowfall rate profiles by a comparison with in-situ micro rain radars observations in East Antarctica

Florentin Lemonnier1, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine1, Chantal Claud1, Christophe Genthon1, Claudio Durán-Alarcón2, Cyril Palerme3, Alexis Berne4, Niels Souverijns5, Nicole van Lipzig5, Irina V. Gorodetskaya6, Tristan L'Ecuyer7, and Norman Wood7 Florentin Lemonnier et al.
  • 1Sorbonne Université, École normale supérieure, PSL Research University, École polytechnique, CNRS, Laboratoire de Météorologie dynamique, LMD/IPSL, F-75005 Paris, France
  • 2Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, Grenoble, France
  • 3Development Centre for Weather Forecasting, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 4Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory, Environmental Engineering Institute, School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium
  • 6Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • 7Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Abstract. The Antarctic continent is a vast desert, the coldest and the most unknown area on Earth. It contains the Antarctic ice sheet, the largest continental water reservoir on Earth that could be affected by the current global warming, leading to sea level rise. The only significant supply of ice is through precipitation, which can be observed from the surface and from space. Remote sensing observations of the coastal regions and the inner continent using CloudSat radar give an estimated rate of snowfall but with uncertainties twice as large as each single measured value, whereas climate models give a range from half to twice the time and spatial average observations. The aim of this study is the evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with two surface-based Micro-Rain Radars (MRR), located at the coastal French Dumont d'Urville station and at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth station, located in the Dronning Maud Land escarpment zone, respectively. This in turn leads to a better understanding and reassessment of CloudSat uncertainties. We compared a total of four precipitation events, two per station, when CloudSat overpassed within 10km of the stations and we compared these two different data sets at each vertical level. The correlation between both datasets is near-perfect, even though climatic and geographic conditions are different for the stations. Using different CloudSat and MRR vertical levels, we obtain 10km-space and seconds-short-time CloudSat uncertainties from −24% up to +21%. This confirms the robustness of the CloudSat retrievals of snowfall over Antarctica above the blind zone and justifies further analyses of this dataset.

Florentin Lemonnier et al.
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Dumont d'Urville's station Micro Rain Radar dataset J. Grazioli, C. Genthon, B. Boudevillain, C. Duran-Alarcon, M. Del Guasta, J.-B. Madeleine, and A. Berne https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.882565

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The evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with two surface-based Micro-Rain Radars (MRR) located at two antarctic stations gives a near-perfect correlation between both datasets, even though climatic and geographic conditions are different for the stations. A better understanding and reassessment of CloudSat uncertainties ranging from −24 % up to +21 % confirms the robustness of the CloudSat retrievals of snowfall over Antarctica.
The evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with...
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