Maximum likelihood; Microwave Imager; SeaWinds; TMI; TRMM; Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission; scatterometer; simultaneous wind/rain retrieval; water
While SeaWinds was designed to measure ocean winds, it can also measure rain over the ocean. SeaWinds on QuikSCAT active measurements of integrated columnar rain rate obtained via simultaneous wind/rain retrieval are evaluated via Monte Carlo simulation and the Cramer-Rao lower bound on estimate accuracy. Although sufficiently accurate in many conditions, the simultaneous wind/rain retrieval method used with SeaWinds on QuikSCAT data is ill-conditioned for certain wind directions and measurement geometries, sometimes yielding spurious rain rates in zero-rain conditions. To assess the validity of SeaWinds-derived rain rates, a simple empirically based rain thresholding scheme is presented, derived from simulated data. Thresholded QuikSCAT rain rates are compared to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager monthly-averaged data, demonstrating good correlation for monthly-averaged data.
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