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Satellite Meteorology

Estimation of ice water path from satellites

Rainfall and Ice clouds play an important role in the Indian monsoon. The concentration of ice in the atmosphere cannot be measured easily by ground based sensors. Hence the estimation of ice from satellites is useful since they provide a global perspective of the variations in the ice concentration and rainfall in the tropics. We have demonstrated that the microwave humidity sensor (known as SAPHIR) in the Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques can be used to estimate rainfall and the total ice in a column of the atmosphere. The unique orbital configuration of the Megha-Tropiques satellite provides a better sampling over the tropics and hence provides new understanding of the relationship between total ice content in column and rainfall.