Abstract

A well-designed deployment of well-maintained surface instruments as well as abundant rainfall provided an excellent dataset with which to evaluate the Micro Rain Radar (MRR) performance for estimating raindrop size distribution (DSD) and its integral rainfall parameters with respect to the consolidated devices during the Iowa Flood Studies (IFloodS) field campaign. The MRR was collocated with two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) and Autonomous Parsivel2 Unit (APU) at three different sites located at 5–70-km distances from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s S-band dual-polarization Doppler radar (NPOL). A comparative study between MRR, 2DVD, APU, and NPOL was conducted including all rainy minutes as well as minutes of stratiform rain and convective rain. Considering 2DVD as a primary reference, a good agreement was evident for reflectivity between MRR’s lowest reliable height and 2DVD with an absolute bias of less than 2 dB even in convective rain except for one site. For rainfall rate, the percent absolute bias between MRR and 2DVD ranged between 25% and 35% in stratiform rain and about 10% higher in convective rain. Agreement for mean mass-weighted raindrop diameter was good (bias less than 0.1 mm), whereas MRR overestimated the normalized intercept parameter of the gamma DSD [mean bias among the three sites was −0.13 log(mm−1 m−3)]. The agreement between MRR and APU was slightly worse than the one between MRR and 2DVD. When the horizontal and differential reflectivities of NPOL were compared with the ones derived from the MRR DSD resampled within the radar volume, we found an absolute bias of approximately 3 and 0.4 dB, respectively.

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