Aviation Weather Hazard Detection with Polarimetric Radar
Demonstrated capabilities with polarimetric radar include improved rain-snow discrimination, hail detection, estimation of heavy rainfall rates, and freezing-level designation. Other benefits, likely to be developed long term, are improved quantification of winter (frozen) precipitation, detection of some mixed-phase icing conditions (especially situations involving embedded convection), the estimation of precipitation-impacted visibility, detection of lightning precursors, and improved microphysical parameterization in numerical forecast models. Importantly, polarimetric measurements should also be useful for eliminating regions of the atmosphere where particular hazards are not likely. The net result should be better detection and quantification of weather hazards in the terminal area and increased airport capacity.
The paper will describe the polarimetric measurements and illustrate their potential for detecting various weather hazards. Emphasis will be placed on prospects for rain-snow discrimination, visibility estimation, snowfall quantification, and designation of icing hazards.