AbstractDual-polarization radar rainfall estimation relationships have been extensively tested in continental and subtropical coastal rain regimes, with little testing over tropical oceans where the majority of rain on Earth occurs. A 1.5-yr Indo-Pacific warm pool disdrometer dataset was used to quantify the impacts of tropical oceanic drop-size distribution (DSD) variability on dual-polarization radar variables and their resulting utility for rainfall estimation. Variables that were analyzed include differential reflectivity Zdr; specific differential phase Kdp; reflectivity Zh; and specific attenuation Ah. When compared with continental or coastal convection, tropical oceanic Zdr and Kdp values were more often of low magnitude (<0.5 dB, <0.3° km−1) and Zdr was lower for a given Kdp or Zh, consistent with observations of tropical oceanic DSDs being dominated by numerous, small, less-oblate drops. New X-, C-, and S-band R estimators were derived: R(Kdp), R(Ah), R(Kdp, ζdr), R(z, ζdr), and R(Ah, ζdr), which use linear versions of Zdr and Zh, namely ζdr and z. Except for R(Kdp), convective/stratiform partitioning was unnecessary for these estimators. All dual-polarization estimators outperformed updated R(z) estimators derived from the same dataset. The best-performing estimator was R(Kdp, ζdr), followed by R(Ah, ζdr) and R(z, ζdr). The R error was further reduced in an updated blended algorithm choosing between R(z), R(z, ζdr), R(Kdp), and R(Kdp, ζdr) depending on Zdr > 0.25 dB and Kdp > 0.3° km−1 thresholds. Because of these thresholds and the lack of hail, R(Kdp) was never used. At all wavelengths, R(z) was still needed 43% of the time during light rain (R < 5 mm h−1, Zdr < 0.25 dB), composing 7% of the total rain volume. As wavelength decreased, R(Kdp, ζdr) was used more often, R(z, ζdr) was used less often, and the blended algorithm became increasingly more accurate than R(z).
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 6, 2018
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