Meteorological interpretation of S- and X-band warm season echoes, using the CSU-CHILL dual-frequency radar

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Jacqueline Costello, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and E. M. Dougherty

This project aimed at demonstrating the meteorological applications of this new, dual-frequency radar configuration, using several case studies. Thus, the motivation behind conducting this research was the fairly recent installation of the X-band hardware in 2012 to the existing S-band radar at the CSU-CHILL radar facility. It was hypothesized that the X-band's smaller wavelength of 3 cm as compared to the S-band's 11 cm wavelength would provide benefits to the detection of certain meteorological features. Scattering regimes and microphysical properties of hydrometeors were just some of the potential targets to be better detected by this new dual-frequency configuration. In order to explore the use of the dual-frequency radar, several weather events were selected for analysis using previously and newly collected data. The analysis included both observational analysis of various radar variables at both wavelengths and a more quantitative analysis to draw conclusions about hydrometeors characteristics and the presence of Mie scattering. Results suggest that the X-band detected Mie scattering and larger hydrometeors more effectively than S-band, partially due to the finer resolution at the 3 cm wavelength. Additionally, X-band Φdp patterns provided clearer electrification signals and lighter rain rates. Combined together, the S- and X-band do an adequate job of providing a general overview of meteorological events, but also finer details where needed. Overall, this new dual-frequency configuration has the potential to further improve meteorological interpretations of a variety of warm-season radar echoes.