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A method for estimating rain rate and drop size distribution from polarimetric radar measurements

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3 Author(s)
Guifu Zhang ; Nat. Center for Atmos. Res., Boulder, CO, USA ; Vivekanandan, J. ; Brandes, E.

Polarimetric radar measurements are sensitive to the size, shape and orientation of raindrops and provide information about drop size distribution (DSD), canting angle distribution and rain rate. The authors propose and demonstrate a method for retrieving DSD parameters for calculating rain rate and the characteristic particle size. The DSD is assumed to be a gamma distribution and the governing parameters are retrieved from radar measurements: reflectivity (ZHH), differential reflectivity (ZDR), and a constrained relation between the shape (CL) and slope (Λ) parameters derived from video disdrometer observations. The estimated rain rate is compared with that obtained from more traditional methods and the calculated characteristic size is compared with the measured values. The calculated KDP based on the retrieved Gamma DSD is also compared with measurements. The proposed method shows improvement over the existing models and techniques because it can retrieve all three parameters of the gamma distribution. For maintaining the continuity of earlier published results, raindrop shape is assumed to be equilibrium

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 4 )