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A Simple Method for Attenuation Correction in Local X-Band Radar Measurements Using C-Band Radar Data

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  • 1 Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, and Centre de Recerca Aplicada en Hidrometeorologia, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • | 2 Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • | 3 Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • | 4 Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, and Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
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Abstract

This paper presents a novel, simple method to correct reflectivity measurements of weather radars that operate in attenuation-influenced frequency bands using observations from less attenuated radar systems. In recent years radar systems operating in the X-band frequency range have been developed to provide precipitation fields for areas of special interest in high temporal (≤1 min) and spatial (≤250 m) resolution in complement to nationwide radar networks. However, X-band radars are highly influenced by attenuation. C- and S-band radars typically have coarser resolution (250 m–1 km and 5 min) but are less affected by attenuation.

Correcting for attenuation effects in simple (non-Doppler) single-polarized X-band radars remains challenging and is often dependent on restriction parameters, for example, those derived from mountain returns. Therefore, these algorithms are applicable only in limited areas. The method proposed here uses measurements from C-band radars and hence can be applied in all regions covered by nationwide C- (or S-) band radar networks. First, a single scan of X-band radar measurements is used exemplary to identify advantages and disadvantages of the novel algorithm compared to a standard single radar algorithm. The performance of the correction algorithms in different types of precipitation is examined in nine case studies. The proposed method provides very promising results for each type of precipitation. Additionally, it is evaluated in a 5-month comparison with Micro Rain Radar (MRR) observations. The bias between uncorrected X-band radar and MRR data is nearly eliminated by the attenuation correction algorithm, and the RMSE is reduced by 20% while the correlation of ~0.9 between both systems remains nearly constant.

Corresponding author address: Katharina Lengfeld, Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: katharina.lengfeld@uni-hamburg.de

Abstract

This paper presents a novel, simple method to correct reflectivity measurements of weather radars that operate in attenuation-influenced frequency bands using observations from less attenuated radar systems. In recent years radar systems operating in the X-band frequency range have been developed to provide precipitation fields for areas of special interest in high temporal (≤1 min) and spatial (≤250 m) resolution in complement to nationwide radar networks. However, X-band radars are highly influenced by attenuation. C- and S-band radars typically have coarser resolution (250 m–1 km and 5 min) but are less affected by attenuation.

Correcting for attenuation effects in simple (non-Doppler) single-polarized X-band radars remains challenging and is often dependent on restriction parameters, for example, those derived from mountain returns. Therefore, these algorithms are applicable only in limited areas. The method proposed here uses measurements from C-band radars and hence can be applied in all regions covered by nationwide C- (or S-) band radar networks. First, a single scan of X-band radar measurements is used exemplary to identify advantages and disadvantages of the novel algorithm compared to a standard single radar algorithm. The performance of the correction algorithms in different types of precipitation is examined in nine case studies. The proposed method provides very promising results for each type of precipitation. Additionally, it is evaluated in a 5-month comparison with Micro Rain Radar (MRR) observations. The bias between uncorrected X-band radar and MRR data is nearly eliminated by the attenuation correction algorithm, and the RMSE is reduced by 20% while the correlation of ~0.9 between both systems remains nearly constant.

Corresponding author address: Katharina Lengfeld, Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: katharina.lengfeld@uni-hamburg.de
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