Polarimetric Radar Variables in the Layers of Melting and Dendritic Growth at X Band—Implications for a Nowcasting Strategy in Stratiform Rain
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Polarimetric Radar Variables in the Layers of Melting and Dendritic Growth at X Band—Implications for a Nowcasting Strategy in Stratiform Rain
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol. (2019) 58 (11): 2497–2522.
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  • Description:
    Time series of quasi–vertical profiles (QVPs) from 52 stratiform precipitation events observed with the polarimetric X-band radar in Bonn, Germany (BoXPol), between 2013 and 2016 have been statistically analyzed to infer microphysical processes shaping the dendritic-growth-layer (DGL) and melting-layer (ML) signatures including surface rainfall. Specific differential phase KDP in the ML shows an average correlation of 0.65 with surface rainfall for these cases. Radar reflectivity decreases below the ML by about 2 dB on average while differential reflectivity ZDR is hardly affected, which suggests rain evaporation as the dominating effect. Estimated ice water content or snow water equivalent precipitation rate S in the DGL is correlated with surface rain rates with lead times of 30 min and longer, which opens a pathway for radar-based nowcasting of stratiform precipitation tendencies. Trajectories of snow generated aloft down to the surface are constructed from wind profiles derived both from the nearest radiosounding and radar-based velocity azimuth displays (VAD) to narrow down the location at which the DGL-generated snow reaches the surface as rain. The lagged correlation analysis between KDP in the DGL and reflectivity ZH at that location demonstrates the superiority of the VAD information. Correlation coefficients up to 0.80 with lead times up to 120 min provide a proof of concept for future nowcasting applications that are based on DGL monitoring. Statistical relations found in our QVP dataset provide a database for estimating intrinsic polarimetric variables from the usual azimuth and elevation scans within and in the vicinity of the ML.
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