The development of rainfall retrievals from radar at Darwin
Thompson, Scott GiangrandevElizabeth J.
Powell, Scott W.
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The U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program Tropical Western Pacific site hosted a C-band polarization (CPOL) radar in Darwin, Australia. It provides 2 decades of tropical rainfall characteristics useful for validating global circulation models. Rainfall retrievals from radar assume characteristics about the droplet size distribution (DSD) that vary significantly. To minimize the uncertainty associated with DSD variability, new radar rainfall techniques use dual polarization and specific attenuation estimates. This study challenges the applicability of several specific attenuation and dual-polarization-based rainfall estimators in tropical settings using a 4-year archive of Darwin disdrometer datasets in conjunction with CPOL observations. This assessment is based on three metrics: statistical uncertainty estimates, principal component analysis (PCA), and comparisons of various retrievals from CPOL data. The PCA shows that the variability in R can be consistently attributed to reflectivity, but dependence on dualpolarization quantities was wavelength dependent for 1 < R < 10 mm h−1 . These rates primarily originate from stratiform clouds and weak convection (median drop diameters less than 1.5mm). The dual-polarization specific differential phase and differential reflectivity increase in usefulness for rainfall estimators in times with R > 10 mm h−1 . Rainfall estimates during these conditions primarily originate from deep convective clouds with median drop diameters greater than 1.5 mm. An uncertainty analysis and intercomparison with CPOL show that a Colorado State University blended technique for tropical oceans, with modified estimators developed from video disdrometer observations, is most appropriate for use in all cases, such as when 1 < R < 10mmh−1 (stratiform rain) and when R > 10 mm h−1 (deeper convective rain).
17 USC 105 interim-entered record; under review.The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-53-2021
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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