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Profiler Contributions to Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Ground Validation Field Campaigns

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  • 1 NOAA/Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 2 CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 3 NOAA/Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 4 CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 5 NOAA/Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

Doppler radar profilers are widely used for routine measurement of wind, especially in the lower troposphere. The same profilers with minor modifications are useful tools for precipitation research. Specifically, the profilers are now increasingly being used to explore the structure of precipitating cloud systems and to provide calibration and validation of other instruments used in precipitation research, including scanning radars and active and passive satellite-borne sensors. A vertically directed profiler is capable of resolving the vertical structure of precipitating cloud systems that pass overhead. Standard profiler measurements include reflectivity, reflectivity-weighted Doppler velocity, and spectral width. This paper presents profiler observations of precipitating cloud systems observed during Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Ground Validation field campaigns. The observations show similarities and differences between convective systems observed in Florida; Brazil; and Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands. In addition, it is shown how a profiler can be calibrated using a collocated Joss–Waldvogel disdrometer, how the profiler can then be used to calibrate a scanning radar, and how the profiler may be used to retrieve drop size distributions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Kenneth S. Gage, NOAA/Aeronomy Laboratory, Mail Stop R/E/AL3, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3328. Email: kgage@al.noaa.gov

Abstract

Doppler radar profilers are widely used for routine measurement of wind, especially in the lower troposphere. The same profilers with minor modifications are useful tools for precipitation research. Specifically, the profilers are now increasingly being used to explore the structure of precipitating cloud systems and to provide calibration and validation of other instruments used in precipitation research, including scanning radars and active and passive satellite-borne sensors. A vertically directed profiler is capable of resolving the vertical structure of precipitating cloud systems that pass overhead. Standard profiler measurements include reflectivity, reflectivity-weighted Doppler velocity, and spectral width. This paper presents profiler observations of precipitating cloud systems observed during Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Ground Validation field campaigns. The observations show similarities and differences between convective systems observed in Florida; Brazil; and Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands. In addition, it is shown how a profiler can be calibrated using a collocated Joss–Waldvogel disdrometer, how the profiler can then be used to calibrate a scanning radar, and how the profiler may be used to retrieve drop size distributions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Kenneth S. Gage, NOAA/Aeronomy Laboratory, Mail Stop R/E/AL3, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3328. Email: kgage@al.noaa.gov

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