8.2 Classification and Vertical Structure of Radar Precipitation Echoes at Naqu in the Central Tibetan Plateau during the TIPEX-III Field Campaign

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 16AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Yali Luo, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China; and H. Wang, R. Ma, E. Zipser, and C. Liu

This study examines the vertical structure of precipitation echoes in central Tibetan Plateau using observations collected at Naqu during the Third Tibetan Plateau Atmospheric Scientific Experiment in July-August 2014. Precipitation reaching the surface is classified into stratiform, convective, and other by analyzing the vertical profiles of reflectivity (Ze) at 30-m spacing and 3-s temporal resolution made with the vertical pointing C-band frequency-modulated continuous-wave (C-FMCW) radar. Radar echoes with non-zero surface rainfall rate are observed during 17.96% of the entire observing period. About 52.03% of the precipitation reaching the surface includes a bright band and lacks a thick layer (≥1 km) of large Ze (> 35 dBZ); these are classified as stratiform; non-stratiform echoes with Ze > 35 dBZ are classified as convective (4.99%); the remainder (42.98%) as other. Based on concurrent measurements made with a collocated disdrometer, the classified stratiform, convective, and other precipitation echoes contribute 53.84%, 23.08%, and 23.08%, respectively, to the surface rainfall amount.

Distinct internal structural features of each echo type are revealed by collectively analyzing the vertical profiles of Ze, radial velocity (Vr), and spectral width (SW) observed by the C-FMCW radar. The stratiform precipitation contains a melting-layer centered at 0.97 km above ground with an average depth of 415 m. The median Ze at 0°C ~ -15°C levels in convective regions at Naqu is weaker than those in some midlatitude continental convection and stronger than those in some tropical continents, suggesting that convective intensity measured by mixed-phase microphysical processes at Naqu is intermediate.

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