Abstract

We develop a retrieval scheme by using advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) 3.7- and 10.9-μm data to compute simultaneously the temperature, optical depth, and mean effective ice-crystal size for cirrus clouds. The methodology involves the numerical solution of a set of nonlinear algebraic equations derived from the theory of radiative transfer. The solution requires the correlation of emissivities of two channels in terms of the effective extinction ratio. The dependence of this ratio on ice-crystal size distribution is examined by using an adding-doubling radiative transfer program. Investigation of the effects of cirrus parameters on upwelling radiances reveals that the brightness-temperature difference between the two channels becomes larger for colder cirrus and smaller ice-crystal sizes. We apply the current retrieval scheme to satellite data collected at 0930 UTC, 28 October 1986, over the region of the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment Cirrus Intensive Field Observation. We select the data over an area (~44° N, 92° W) near Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, for analysis. The retrieved cirrus heights compare reasonably well with lidar measurements taken at Fort McCoy 2 h after a satellite overpass at the target region. The retrieved mean effective crystal size is close to that derived from in situ aircraft measurements over Madison, Wisconsin, six hours after a satellite overpass.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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