Passive microwave observations of snow, ice, and rain from satellites

DH Staelin, SR Rotman

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Observations of precipitation performed with the five-channel passive Scanning Microwave Spectrometer of Nimbus 6 are discussed. It is shown that, at centimeter wavelengths, the rain emission is generally dominated by absorption processes except in the cores of intense precipitation cells where the wavelength dependence can shift markedly. The observations of rainfall over the ocean exhibit considerable long-range order in both instantaneous and two-week average maps. The observations of snow and ice also reveal interesting systematic behavior associated with the inhomogeneities and loss tangent of the bulk subsurface material. In general, ice is more isotropically organized internally than the accumulated layers of snow in Antarctica and Greenland.
Original languageEnglish GB
StatePublished - 1980


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