Cloud liquid water path (LWP) is one of the target atmospheric parameters retrieved remotely from ground-based and space-borne platforms using different observation methods and processing algorithms. Validation of LWP retrievals is a complicated task since a cloud cover is characterised by strong temporal and spatial variability while remote sensing methods have different temporal and spatial resolutions. An attempt has been made to compare and analyse the collocated LWP data delivered by two satellite instruments SEVIRI and AVHRR together with the data derived from microwave observations by the ground-based radiometer RPG-HATPRO. The geographical region of interest is the vicinity of St. Petersburg, Russia, where the RPG-HATPRO radiometer is operating. The study is focused on two problems. The first one is the so-called scale difference problem, which originates from dissimilar spatial resolutions of measurements. The second problem refers to the land–sea LWP gradient. The radiometric site is located 2.5 km from the coastline where the effects of the LWP gradient are pronounced. A good agreement of data obtained at the microwave radiometer location by all three instruments (HATPRO, SEVIRI, and AVHRR) during warm and cold seasons is demonstrated (the largest correlation coefficient 0.93 was detected for HATPRO and AVHRR datasets). The analysis showed no bias of the SEVIRI results with respect to HATPRO data and a large positive bias (0.013–0.017 kg m−2) of the AVHRR results for both warm and cold seasons. The analysis of LWP maps plotted on the basis of the SEVIRI and AVHRR measurements over land and water surfaces in the vicinity of St. Petersburg revealed the unexpectedly high LWP values delivered by AVHRR during the cold season over the Neva River bay and over the Saimaa Lake and the abnormal land–sea LWP gradient in these areas. For the detailed evaluation of atmospheric state and ice cover in the considered geographical regions during the periods of ground-based and satellite measurements, reanalysis data were used. It is shown that the most probable reason for the observed artefacts in the AVHRR measurements over water and ice surfaces is the coarse resolution of the land–sea and snow–ice masks used by the AVHRR retrieval algorithm. The influence of a cloud field inhomogeneity on the agreement between the satellite and the ground-based data is studied. For this purpose, the simple estimate of the LWP temporal variability is used as a measure of the spatial inhomogeneity. It has been demonstrated that both instruments are equally sensitive to the inhomogeneity of a cloud field despite the fact that they have different spatial resolutions.
Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science
Kostsov, V. S., Kniffka, A., Stengel, M., & Ionov, D. V. (2019). Cross-comparison of cloud liquid water path derived from observations by two space-borne and one ground-based instrument in northern Europe. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 12(11), 5927-5946. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-12-5927-2019, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-12-5927-2019