Radar Reflectivity Factor Calculations in Numerical Cloud Models Using Bulk Parameterization of Precipitation

P. L. Smith Jr. Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City 57701

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C. G. Myers Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City 57701

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H. D. Orville Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City 57701

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Abstract

This paper describes and compares various methods for calculating radar reflectivity factors in numerical cloud models that use bulk methods to characterize the precipitation processes. Equations sensitive to changes in the parameters of the particle size distributions are favored because they allow simulation of phenomena causing such changes. Marshall-Palmer-type functions are established to represent hailstone size distributions because the previously available distributions lead to implausibly large reflectivity factors. Simplified equations are developed for calculating reflectivity factors for both dry and wet hail. Some examples are given of the use of the various equations in numerical cloud models.

Abstract

This paper describes and compares various methods for calculating radar reflectivity factors in numerical cloud models that use bulk methods to characterize the precipitation processes. Equations sensitive to changes in the parameters of the particle size distributions are favored because they allow simulation of phenomena causing such changes. Marshall-Palmer-type functions are established to represent hailstone size distributions because the previously available distributions lead to implausibly large reflectivity factors. Simplified equations are developed for calculating reflectivity factors for both dry and wet hail. Some examples are given of the use of the various equations in numerical cloud models.

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