Study of Microphysical Signatures Based on Spectral Polarimetry during the RELAMPAGO Field Experiment in Argentina

Aiswarya Lakshmi K. K. aDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, Kerala, India

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Swaroop Sahoo aDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, Kerala, India

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Sounak Kumar Biswas bDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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V. Chandrasekar bDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Abstract

Weather radars with dual-polarization capabilities enable the study of various characteristics of hydrometeors, including their size, shape, and orientation. Radar polarimetric measurements, coupled with Doppler information, allow for analysis in the spectral domain. This analysis can be leveraged to reveal valuable insight into the microphysics and kinematics of hydrometeors in precipitation systems. This paper uses spectral polarimetry to investigate precipitation microphysics and kinematics in storm environments observed during the Remote Sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/Microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field experiment in Argentina. This study uses range–height indicator scan measurements from a C-band polarimetric Doppler weather radar deployed during the field campaign. In this work, the impact of storm dynamics on hydrometeors is studied, including the size sorting of hydrometeors due to vertical wind shear. In addition, particle microphysical processes because of aggregation and growth of ice crystals in anvil clouds, as well as graupel formation resulting from the riming of ice crystals and dendrites, are also analyzed here. The presence of different particle size distributions because of the mixing of hydrometeors in a sheared environment and resulting size sorting has been reported using spectral differential reflectivity (sZdr) slope. Spectral reflectivity sZh and sZdr have also been used to understand the signature of ice crystal aggregation in an anvil cloud. The regions of pristine ice crystals are identified from vertical profiles of spectral polarimetric variables in anvil cloud because of sZh < 0 dB and sZdr values around 2 dB. It is also found that the growth process of these ice crystals causes a skewed bimodal sZh spectrum due to the presence of both pristine ice crystals and dry snow. Next, graupel formation due to riming has been studied, and it is found that the riming process produces sZh values of about 10 dB and corresponding sZdr values of 1 dB. This positive sZdr indicates the presence of needle/columnar secondary ice particles formed by ice multiplication processes in the riming zones. Last, the temporal evolution of a storm is investigated by analyzing changes in hydrometeor types with time and their influence on the spectral polarimetric variables.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the RELAMPAGO-CACTI Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Swaroop Sahoo, swaroop@iitpkd.ac.in

Abstract

Weather radars with dual-polarization capabilities enable the study of various characteristics of hydrometeors, including their size, shape, and orientation. Radar polarimetric measurements, coupled with Doppler information, allow for analysis in the spectral domain. This analysis can be leveraged to reveal valuable insight into the microphysics and kinematics of hydrometeors in precipitation systems. This paper uses spectral polarimetry to investigate precipitation microphysics and kinematics in storm environments observed during the Remote Sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/Microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field experiment in Argentina. This study uses range–height indicator scan measurements from a C-band polarimetric Doppler weather radar deployed during the field campaign. In this work, the impact of storm dynamics on hydrometeors is studied, including the size sorting of hydrometeors due to vertical wind shear. In addition, particle microphysical processes because of aggregation and growth of ice crystals in anvil clouds, as well as graupel formation resulting from the riming of ice crystals and dendrites, are also analyzed here. The presence of different particle size distributions because of the mixing of hydrometeors in a sheared environment and resulting size sorting has been reported using spectral differential reflectivity (sZdr) slope. Spectral reflectivity sZh and sZdr have also been used to understand the signature of ice crystal aggregation in an anvil cloud. The regions of pristine ice crystals are identified from vertical profiles of spectral polarimetric variables in anvil cloud because of sZh < 0 dB and sZdr values around 2 dB. It is also found that the growth process of these ice crystals causes a skewed bimodal sZh spectrum due to the presence of both pristine ice crystals and dry snow. Next, graupel formation due to riming has been studied, and it is found that the riming process produces sZh values of about 10 dB and corresponding sZdr values of 1 dB. This positive sZdr indicates the presence of needle/columnar secondary ice particles formed by ice multiplication processes in the riming zones. Last, the temporal evolution of a storm is investigated by analyzing changes in hydrometeor types with time and their influence on the spectral polarimetric variables.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the RELAMPAGO-CACTI Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Swaroop Sahoo, swaroop@iitpkd.ac.in
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