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A Quality Control Concept for Radar Reflectivity, Polarimetric Parameters, and Doppler Velocity

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  • 1 Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft -und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling, Germany
  • | 2 einfalt&hydrotec GbR, Lübeck, Germany
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Abstract

Over the last few years the use of weather radar data has become a fundamental part of various applications like rain-rate estimation, nowcasting of severe weather events, and assimilation into numerical weather prediction models. The increasing demand for radar data necessitates an automated, flexible, and modular quality control. In this paper a quality control procedure is developed for radar reflectivity factors, polarimetric parameters, and Doppler velocity. It consists of several modules that can be extended, modified, and omitted depending on the user requirement, weather situation, and radar characteristics. Data quality is quantified on a pixel-by-pixel basis and encoded into a quality-index field that can be easily interpreted by a nontrained end user or an automated scheme that generates radar products. The quality-index algorithms detect and quantify the influence of beam broadening, the height of the first radar echo, ground clutter contamination, return from non-weather-related objects, and attenuation of electromagnetic energy by hydrometeors on the quality of the radar measurement. The quality-index field is transferred together with the radar data to the end user who chooses the amount of data and the level of quality used for further processing. The calculation of quality-index fields is based on data measured by the polarimetric C-band Doppler radar (POLDIRAD) located in the Alpine foreland in southern Germany.

* Current affiliation: MeteoSwiss, Locarno, Switzerland

Corresponding author address: Katja Friedrich, MeteoSwiss, Via ai Monti 146, CH-6605 Locarno Monti, Switzerland. Email: Katja.Friedrich@meteoswiss.ch

Abstract

Over the last few years the use of weather radar data has become a fundamental part of various applications like rain-rate estimation, nowcasting of severe weather events, and assimilation into numerical weather prediction models. The increasing demand for radar data necessitates an automated, flexible, and modular quality control. In this paper a quality control procedure is developed for radar reflectivity factors, polarimetric parameters, and Doppler velocity. It consists of several modules that can be extended, modified, and omitted depending on the user requirement, weather situation, and radar characteristics. Data quality is quantified on a pixel-by-pixel basis and encoded into a quality-index field that can be easily interpreted by a nontrained end user or an automated scheme that generates radar products. The quality-index algorithms detect and quantify the influence of beam broadening, the height of the first radar echo, ground clutter contamination, return from non-weather-related objects, and attenuation of electromagnetic energy by hydrometeors on the quality of the radar measurement. The quality-index field is transferred together with the radar data to the end user who chooses the amount of data and the level of quality used for further processing. The calculation of quality-index fields is based on data measured by the polarimetric C-band Doppler radar (POLDIRAD) located in the Alpine foreland in southern Germany.

* Current affiliation: MeteoSwiss, Locarno, Switzerland

Corresponding author address: Katja Friedrich, MeteoSwiss, Via ai Monti 146, CH-6605 Locarno Monti, Switzerland. Email: Katja.Friedrich@meteoswiss.ch

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