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Frequency of occurrence of rain from liquid-, mixed- and ice-phase clouds derived from A-Train satellite retrievals

Johannes Mülmenstädt 1 Odran Sourdeval 1 Julien Delanoë 2 Johannes Quaas 1 
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : A climatology of thermodynamic phase of precipitating cloud is presented derived from global, land and ocean, retrievals from Cloudsat, CALIPSO, and MODIS. Like precipitation rate, precipitation frequency is dominated by warm rain, defined as rain produced via the liquid phase only, over the tropical oceans outside the ITCZ and by cold rain, produced via the ice phase, over the midlatitude oceans and continents. Warm rain is very infrequent over the continents, with significant warm rain found only in onshore flow in the tropics, and over India, China, and Indochina. Comparison of the properties of precipitating and non-precipitating warm clouds shows that the scarcity of warm rain over land can be explained by smaller effective radii in continental clouds that delay the onset of precipitation. The results highlight the importance of ice-phase processes for the global hydrological cycle and may lead to an improved parameterization of precipitation in general circulation models.
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Johannes Mülmenstädt, Odran Sourdeval, Julien Delanoë, Johannes Quaas. Frequency of occurrence of rain from liquid-, mixed- and ice-phase clouds derived from A-Train satellite retrievals. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2015, 42 (15), pp.6502-6509. ⟨10.1002/2015GL064604⟩. ⟨insu-01175753⟩



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