The Dual Wavelength Ratio Knee: A Signature of Multiple Scattering in Airborne Ku–Ka Observations
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Deep convective systems observed by the High Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP) radar during the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) field campaign in Oklahoma provide the first evidence of multiple-scattering effects simultaneously at Ku and Ka band. One feature is novel and noteworthy: often, in correspondence to shafts with strong convection and when moving from the top of the cloud downward, the dual wavelength ratio (DWR) first increases
... s usual in Ku-Ka-band observations, but then it reaches a maximum and after that point it steadily decreases all the way to the surface, forming what will be hereinafter referred to as a knee. This DWR knee cannot be reproduced by single-scattering theory under almost any plausible cloud microphysical profile. On the other hand, it is explained straightforwardly with the help of multiple-scattering theory when simulations involving hail-bearing convective cores with large horizontal extents are performed. The DWR reduction in the lower troposphere (i.e., DWR increasing with altitude) is interpreted as the result of multiple-scattering pulse stretching caused by the highly diffusive hail layer positioned high up in the atmosphere, with Ka multiple scattering typically exceeding that occurring in the Ku channel. Since the effects of multiple scattering increase with increasing footprint size, if multiple-scattering effects are present in the aircraft measurements, they are likely to be more pronounced in the spaceborne dual-frequency Ku-Ka radar observations, envisaged for the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission, launched in February 2014. This notional study supports the idea that DWR knees will be observed by the GPM radar when overflying high-density ice shafts embedded in large convective systems and suggests that their explanation must not be sought in differential attenuation or differential Mie effects but via multiple-scattering effects.