Identification and uncertainty estimation of vertical reflectivity profiles using a Lagrangian approach to support quantitative precipitation measurements by weather radar

P. Hazenberg, P. J.J.F. Torfs, H. Leijnse, G. Delrieu, R. Uijlenhoet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a novel approach to estimate the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) from volumetric weather radar data using both a traditional Eulerian as well as a newly proposed Lagrangian implementation. For this latter implementation, the recently developed Rotational Carpenter Square Cluster Algorithm (RoCaSCA) is used to delineate precipitation regions at different reflectivity levels. A piecewise linear VPR is estimated for either stratiform or neither stratiform/convective precipitation. As a second aspect of this paper, a novel approach is presented which is able to account for the impact of VPR uncertainty on the estimated radar rainfall variability. Results show that implementation of the VPR identification and correction procedure has a positive impact on quantitative precipitation estimates from radar. Unfortunately, visibility problems severely limit the impact of the Lagrangian implementation beyond distances of 100 km. However, by combining this procedure with the global Eulerian VPR estimation procedure for a given rainfall type (stratiform and neither stratiform/convective), the quality of the quantitative precipitation estimates increases up to a distance of 150 km. Analyses of the impact of VPR uncertainty shows that this aspect accounts for a large fraction of the differences between weather radar rainfall estimates and rain gauge measurements. Key Points A new Lagrangian based VPR identification methodRadar rainfall uncertainty estimation from spatial precipitation variabilityImproved weather radar based surface rainfall estimation

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10,243-10,261
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume118
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2013

Keywords

  • precipitation
  • radar hydrology
  • radar rainfall estimation
  • vertical profile of reflectivity
  • weather radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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