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Weather radars are essential sensors for observation of precipitation in the troposphere and play a major part in weather forecasting and hydrological modelling. Clutter caused by non-standard wave propagation is a common problem in weather radar applications, and in this paper a method for prediction of this type of weather radar clutter is presented. The method uses a wave propagator to identify areas of potential non-standard propagation. The wave propagator uses a three dimensional refractivity field derived from the geophysical parameters: temperature, humidity, and pressure obtained from a high-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. The wave propagator is based on the parabolic equation approximation to the electromagnetic wave equation. The parabolic equation is solved using the well-known Fourier split-step method. Finally, the radar clutter prediction technique is used in two cases of superrefraction propagation and the feasibility for detection and removal of clutter echoes while preserving precipitation echoes is illustrated.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2008