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Empirical Test of Theoretically Based Correction for Path Integrated Attenuation in Simulated Spaceborne Precipitation Radar Observations

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3 Author(s)
Short, D.A. ; Nat. Inst. of Inf. & Commun. Technol., Koganei, Japan ; Nakagawa, K. ; Iguchi, T.

Data from the TRMM precipitation radar is providing unprecedented information on the 3D structure of precipitation systems and estimates of precipitation rates over the oceans and land of the global tropics and subtropics. Algorithms for estimating precipitation rates from observations of apparent radar reflectivity depend on procedures for correcting for attenuation, especially in regions where intense deep convection occurs. The well-known problem of non-uniform beam filling is a source of error in the estimates, caused by unresolved horizontal variability in highly correlated characteristics of precipitation, such as specific attenuation, rain rate, and the effective radar reflectivity factor, that are fundamentally related to the size distribution of hydrometeors. This paper presents an empirical test of a theoretically based procedure for correcting for attenuation by means of a simulation study. Data for simulating spaceborne radar observations were obtained from a ground based scanning radar in Okinawa during a field experiment in June 2004. The correction procedure, reviewed briefly here, has been developed by formulating and analytically solving a statistically based model of non-uniform beam filling. The empirical test shows that the correction has the potential to improve retrievals of rain rate in intense convection, provided that reasonable estimates of a governing parameter can be obtained from the satellite data.

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Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 3 )