CALIFORNIA STORMS AS VIEWED BY SACRAMENTO RADAR

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  • 1 Office of Hydrology, Weather Bureau, ESSA, Washington, D.C.
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Abstract

The WSR-57 radar at Sacramento provides an opportunity to observe mountain effects on precipitation and on radar echo patterns. Radar patterns representing a wide range of weather situations are described and interpreted in light of concurrent gage precipitation measurements.

Comparisons are made between gage precipitation depth and that indicated by the radar. The frequent under-estimation by radar of rainfall on windward slopes is attributed to the small drop size and low formation level of the orographic precipitation. Overestimation on lee slopes is in part, due to evaporation before the precipitation reaches the ground.

Abstract

The WSR-57 radar at Sacramento provides an opportunity to observe mountain effects on precipitation and on radar echo patterns. Radar patterns representing a wide range of weather situations are described and interpreted in light of concurrent gage precipitation measurements.

Comparisons are made between gage precipitation depth and that indicated by the radar. The frequent under-estimation by radar of rainfall on windward slopes is attributed to the small drop size and low formation level of the orographic precipitation. Overestimation on lee slopes is in part, due to evaporation before the precipitation reaches the ground.

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