Session 12R.7 Observations of the Small-scale Variability of Precipitation Using an Imaging Radar

Friday, 28 October 2005: 5:15 PM
Alvarado ABCD (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Robert D. Palmer, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and B. L. Cheong, M. W. Hoffman, S. J. Frasier, and F. J. Lopez-Dekker

Presentation PDF (2.0 MB)

For many years, spatial and temporal inhomogeneities in precipitation fields have been studied using scanning radars, cloud radars, and disdrometers, for example. Each measurement technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. Conventional profiling radars point vertically and collect data while the atmosphere advects across the field of view. Invoking Taylor's frozen turbulence hypothesis, it is possible to construct time-history data which are used to study the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere. In the present work, coherent radar imaging is used to estimate the true three-dimensional structure of the atmosphere within the field of view of the radar. The 915~MHz Turbulent Eddy Profiler radar is well suited for imaging studies and was used in June 2003 to investigate the effects of turbulence on the formation of rain. The Capon adaptive algorithm was implemented for imaging and clutter rejection purposes. In the past several years, work by the authors and others has proven the Capon method to be effective in this regard and to possess minimal computational burden. A simple but robust filtering procedure will be presented whereby echoes from precipitation and clear-air turbulence can be separated, facilitating the study of their interaction. By exploiting the three-dimensional views provided by this imaging radar, it will be shown that boundary layer turbulence can have either a constructive or destructive effect on the formation of precipitation. Evidence will also be provided which shows that this effect can be enhanced by updrafts in the wind field.
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