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Matrosov S. Y. (January 2010): Evaluating Polarimetric X-Band Radar Rainfall Estimators during HMT. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 27 (1), 122-134. doi:10.1175/2009JTECHA1318.1

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Different relations between rainfall rate R and polarimetric X-band radar measurables were evaluated using the radar, disdrometer, and rain gauge measurements conducted during the 4-month-long field experiment. The specific differential phase shift KDP–based estimators generally show less scatter resulting from variability in raindrop size distributions than with the power-based relations. These estimators depend on model assumptions about the drop aspect ratios and are not applicable for lighter rainfalls. The polynomial approximation for the mean drop aspect ratio provides R–KDP relations that result overall in good agreement between the radar retrievals of rainfall accumulations and estimates from surface rain gauges. The accumulation data obtained from power estimators that use reflectivity Zeh and differential reflectivity ZDR measurements generally exhibit greater standard deviations with respect to the gauge measurements. Unlike the phase-based estimators, the power-based estimators have an advantage of being “point” measurements, thus providing continuous quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) for the whole area of radar coverage. The uncertainty in the drop shape model can result in errors in the attenuation and differential attenuation correction procedures. These errors might provide biases of radar-derived QPE for the estimators that use power measurements. Overall, for all considered estimators, the radar-based total rainfall accumulations showed biases less than 10% (relative to gauges). The standard deviations of radar retrievals were about 23% for the mean Zeh–R relation, 17%–22% for the KDP-based estimators (depending on the drop shape model), and about 20%–32% for different Zeh–ZDR-based estimators. Comparing ZDR-based retrievals of mean mass raindrop size Dm (for Dm > 1 mm) with disdrometer-derived values reveals an about 20%–25% relative standard deviation between these two types of estimates.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1175/2009JTECHA1318.1