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Application of a Bayesian Classifier of Anomalous Propagation to Single-Polarization Radar Reflectivity Data

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  • 1 Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research,* Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

A naïve Bayes classifier (NBC) was developed to distinguish precipitation echoes from anomalous propagation (anaprop). The NBC is an application of Bayes's theorem, which makes its classification decision based on the class with the maximum a posteriori probability. Several feature fields were input to the Bayes classifier: texture of reflectivity (TDBZ), a measure of the reflectivity fluctuations (SPIN), and vertical profile of reflectivity (VPDBZ). Prior conditional probability distribution functions (PDFs) of the feature fields were constructed from training sets for several meteorological scenarios and for anaprop. A Box–Cox transform was applied to transform these PDFs to approximate Gaussian distributions, which enabled efficient numerical computation as they could be specified completely by their mean and standard deviation. Combinations of the feature fields were tested on the training datasets to evaluate the best combination for discriminating anaprop and precipitation, which was found to be TDBZ and VPDBZ. The NBC was applied to a case of convective rain embedded in anaprop and found to be effective at distinguishing the echoes. Furthermore, despite having been trained with data from a single radar, the NBC was successful at distinguishing precipitation and anaprop from two nearby radars with differing wavelength and beamwidth characteristics. The NBC was extended to implement a strength of classification index that provides a metric to quantify the confidence with which data have been classified as precipitation and, consequently, a method to censor data for assimilation or quantitative precipitation estimation.

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research is a partnership between the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Corresponding author address: Justin R. Peter, Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, GPO Box 1289K, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia. E-mail: j.peter@bom.gov.au

Abstract

A naïve Bayes classifier (NBC) was developed to distinguish precipitation echoes from anomalous propagation (anaprop). The NBC is an application of Bayes's theorem, which makes its classification decision based on the class with the maximum a posteriori probability. Several feature fields were input to the Bayes classifier: texture of reflectivity (TDBZ), a measure of the reflectivity fluctuations (SPIN), and vertical profile of reflectivity (VPDBZ). Prior conditional probability distribution functions (PDFs) of the feature fields were constructed from training sets for several meteorological scenarios and for anaprop. A Box–Cox transform was applied to transform these PDFs to approximate Gaussian distributions, which enabled efficient numerical computation as they could be specified completely by their mean and standard deviation. Combinations of the feature fields were tested on the training datasets to evaluate the best combination for discriminating anaprop and precipitation, which was found to be TDBZ and VPDBZ. The NBC was applied to a case of convective rain embedded in anaprop and found to be effective at distinguishing the echoes. Furthermore, despite having been trained with data from a single radar, the NBC was successful at distinguishing precipitation and anaprop from two nearby radars with differing wavelength and beamwidth characteristics. The NBC was extended to implement a strength of classification index that provides a metric to quantify the confidence with which data have been classified as precipitation and, consequently, a method to censor data for assimilation or quantitative precipitation estimation.

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research is a partnership between the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Corresponding author address: Justin R. Peter, Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, GPO Box 1289K, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia. E-mail: j.peter@bom.gov.au
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