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Cifelli R., V. Chandrasekar, S. Lim, P. C. Kennedy, Y. Wang and S. A. Rutledge (March 2011): A New Dual-Polarization Radar Rainfall Algorithm: Application in Colorado Precipitation Events. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 28 (3), 352-364. doi:10.1175/2010JTECHA1488.1

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The efficacy of dual-polarization radar for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) has been demonstrated in a number of previous studies. Specifically, rainfall retrievals using combinations of reflectivity (Zh), differential reflectivity (Zdr), and specific differential phase (Kdp) have advantages over traditional Z–R methods because more information about the drop size distribution (DSD) and hydrometeor type are available. In addition, dual-polarization-based rain-rate estimators can better account for the presence of ice in the sampling volume. An important issue in dual-polarization rainfall estimation is determining which method to employ for a given set of polarimetric observables. For example, under what circumstances does differential phase information provide superior rain estimates relative to methods using reflectivity and differential reflectivity? At Colorado State University (CSU), an optimization algorithm has been developed and used for a number of years to estimate rainfall based on thresholds of Zh, Zdr, and Kdp. Although the algorithm has demonstrated robust performance in both tropical and midlatitude environments, results have shown that the retrieval is sensitive to the selection of the fixed thresholds. In this study, a new rainfall algorithm is developed using hydrometeor identification (HID) to guide the choice of the particular rainfall estimation algorithm. A separate HID algorithm has been developed primarily to guide the rainfall application with the hydrometeor classes, namely, all rain, mixed precipitation, and all ice. Both the data collected from the S-band Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey (CSU–CHILL) radar and a network of rain gauges are used to evaluate the performance of the new algorithm in mixed rain and hail in Colorado. The evaluation is also performed using an algorithm similar to the one developed for the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE). Results show that the new CSU HID-based algorithm provides good performance for the Colorado case studies presented here.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1175/2010JTECHA1488.1