This paper is an overview of weather radar polarimetry emphasizing surveillance applications. The following potential benefits to operations are identified: improvement of quantitative precipitation measurements, discrimination of hail from rain with possible determination of sizes, identification of precipitation in winter storms, identification of electrically active storms, and distinction of biological scatterers (birds vs insects). Success in rainfall measurements is attributed to unique properties of differential phase. Referrals to fields of various polarimetric variables illustrate the signatures associated with different phenomena. It is argued that classifying hydrometeors is a necessary step prior to proper quantification of the water substance. The promise of polarimetry to accomplish classification is illustrated with an application to a hailstorm.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 9, 1999
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