How often does it rain over the global oceans? The perspective from cloudsat

Todd Ellis, Tristan L'Ecuyer, John Matthew Haynes, Graeme Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The frequency of precipitation occurrence over the global oceans from 2006a??2007 as calculated from CloudSat radar data is compared to ship-based (ICOADS) and island-based (GSOD) data. It is shown that the spatial pattern of the precipitation frequency from CloudSat is consistent with previous climatological studies. The comparison to ship-based data reveal that CloudSat results are consistent with ship observations well into the high latitudes and appear to capture the seasonal cycle of precipitation well. A comparison to island data also shows good qualitative agreement, although the spatial scale mismatch complicates the efficacy of such comparisons. Nevertheless, CloudSat is shown to be a viable platform for obtaining quality satellite-based precipitation frequency measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L03815-1 - L03815-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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