Dual-frequency radar Doppler spectral retrieval of rain drop size distributions and entangled dynamics variables
journal contributionposted on 08.10.2015, 10:47 by F. Tridon, Alessandro Battaglia
A novel technique based on K[subscript: a]-W band dual-wavelength Doppler spectra has been developed for the simultaneous retrieval of binned rain drop size distributions (DSD) and air state parameters like vertical wind and air broadening caused by turbulence and wind shear. The rationale underpinning the method consists in exploiting the peculiar features observed in Doppler spectra caused by the wavelength dependence of scattering and absorption properties. A notional study based on a large data set of DSDs measured by a two-dimensional video disdrometer demonstrates that the retrieval performs best for small/moderate air broadening spectral width and when mean volume diameters exceed at least 1 mm. The retrieval is also limited to ranges below cloud base and where the signal-to-noise ratio of both radars exceed 10 dB, which rules out regions affected by strong attenuation. Broadly speaking, it is applicable to rain rates comprised between roughly 1 and 30 mm h[superscript: −1]. Preliminary retrieval for observations at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site shows very good agreement with independent reflectivity measurements from a 0.915 GHz wind profiler. The proposed methodology shows great potential in linking microphysics to dynamics in rainfall studies.