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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 9 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2183-2199, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-5-2183-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 10 Sep 2012

Research article | 10 Sep 2012

Polarimetric X-band weather radar measurements in the tropics: radome and rain attenuation correction

M. Schneebeli1,2,*, J. Sakuragi1, T. Biscaro1, C. F. Angelis1, I. Carvalho da Costa1, C. Morales3, L. Baldini4, and L. A. T. Machado1 M. Schneebeli et al.
  • 1Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC), Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
  • 2École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Instituto de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciéncias Atmosféricas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 4Instituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima (CNR), Rome, Italy
  • *now at: MeteoSwiss, Radar and Satellites, Locarno, Switzerland

Abstract. A polarimetric X-band radar has been deployed during one month (April 2011) for a field campaign in Fortaleza, Brazil, together with three additional laser disdrometers. The disdrometers are capable of measuring the raindrop size distributions (DSDs), hence making it possible to forward-model theoretical polarimetric X-band radar observables at the point where the instruments are located. This set-up allows to thoroughly test the accuracy of the X-band radar measurements as well as the algorithms that are used to correct the radar data for radome and rain attenuation. For the campaign in Fortaleza it was found that radome attenuation dominantly affects the measurements. With an algorithm that is based on the self-consistency of the polarimetric observables, the radome induced reflectivity offset was estimated. Offset corrected measurements were then further corrected for rain attenuation with two different schemes. The performance of the post-processing steps was analyzed by comparing the data with disdrometer-inferred polarimetric variables that were measured at a distance of 20 km from the radar. Radome attenuation reached values up to 14 dB which was found to be consistent with an empirical radome attenuation vs. rain intensity relation that was previously developed for the same radar type. In contrast to previous work, our results suggest that radome attenuation should be estimated individually for every view direction of the radar in order to obtain homogenous reflectivity fields.

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