Microwave signatures of ice hydrometeors from ground-based observations above Summit, Greenland
Abstract. Multi-instrument, ground-based measurements provide unique and comprehensive data sets of the atmosphere for a specific location over long periods of time and resulting data compliment past and existing global satellite observations. This paper explores the effect of ice hydrometeors on ground-based, high-frequency passive microwave measurements and attempts to isolate an ice signature for summer seasons at Summit, Greenland, from 2010 to 2013. Data from a combination of passive microwave, cloud radar, radiosonde, and ceilometer were examined to isolate the ice signature at microwave wavelengths. By limiting the study to a cloud liquid water path of 40 g m−2 or less, the cloud radar can identify cases where the precipitation was dominated by ice. These cases were examined using liquid water and gas microwave absorption models, and brightness temperatures were calculated for the high-frequency microwave channels: 90, 150, and 225 GHz. By comparing the measured brightness temperatures from the microwave radiometers and the calculated brightness temperature using only gas and liquid contributions, any residual brightness temperature difference is due to emission and scattering of microwave radiation from the ice hydrometeors in the column. The ice signature in the 90, 150, and 225 GHz channels for the Summit Station summer months was isolated. This measured ice signature was then compared to an equivalent brightness temperature difference calculated with a radiative transfer model including microwave single-scattering properties for several ice habits. Initial model results compare well against the 4 years of summer season isolated ice signature in the high-frequency microwave channels.