Correcting Propagation Effects in C-Band Polarimetric Radar Observations of Tropical Convection Using Differential Propagation Phase

Lawrence D. Carey, Steven A. Rutledge, David A. Ahijevych, Tom D. Keenan
2000 Journal of applied meteorology (1988)  
A propagation correction algorithm utilizing the differential propagation phase ( dp ) was developed and tested on C-band polarimetric radar observations of tropical convection obtained during the Maritime Continent Thunderstorm Experiment. An empirical procedure was refined to estimate the mean coefficient of proportionality a (b) in the linear relationship between dp and the horizontal (differential) attenuation throughout each radar volume. The empirical estimates of these coefficients were
more » ... coefficients were a factor of 1.5-2 times larger than predicted by prior scattering simulations. This discrepancy was attributed to the routine presence of large drops [e.g., differential reflectivity Z dr Ն 3 dB] within the tropical convection that were not included in prior theoretical studies. Scattering simulations demonstrated that the coefficients a and b are nearly constant for small to moderate sized drops (e.g., 0.5 Յ Z dr Յ 2 dB; 1 Յ diameter D 0 Ͻ 2.5 mm) but actually increase with the differential reflectivity for drop size distributions characterized by Z dr Ͼ 2 dB. As a result, large drops 1) bias the mean coefficients upward and 2) increase the standard error associated with the mean empirical coefficients down range of convective cores that contain large drops. To reduce this error, the authors implemented a "large drop correction" that utilizes enhanced coefficients a* and b* in large drop cores. Validation of the propagation correction algorithm was accomplished with cumulative rain gauge data and internal consistency among the polarimetric variables. The bias and standard error of the cumulative radar rainfall estimator R(Z h ) [R(K dp , Z dr )], where Z h is horizontal reflectivity and K dp is specific differential phase, were substantially reduced after the application of the attenuation (differential attenuation) correction procedure utilizing dp . Similarly, scatterplots of uncorrected Z h (Z dr ) versus K dp substantially underestimated theoretical expectations. After application of the propagation correction algorithm, the bias present in observations of both Z h (K dp ) and Z dr (K dp ) was removed and the standard errors relative to scattering simulation results were significantly reduced.
doi:10.1175/1520-0450(2000)039<1405:cpeicb>;2 fatcat:zfjhjwnecveotcrvmkc4dwff6u