Search Results

You are looking at 51 - 58 of 58 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Alexander V. Ryzhkov x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Terry J. Schuur
,
Donald W. Burgess
, and
Dusan S. Zrnic

Abstract

Polarimetric radars are shown to be capable of tornado detection through the recognition of tornadic debris signatures that are characterized by the anomalously low cross-correlation coefficient ρ hv and differential reflectivity Z DR. This capability is demonstrated for three significant tornadic storms that struck the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, metropolitan area. The first tornadic debris signature, based on the measurements with the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s Cimarron polarimetric radar, was reported for a storm on 3 May 1999. Similar signatures were identified for two significant tornadic events during the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE) in May 2003. The data from these storms were collected with a polarimetric prototype of the Next-Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD). In addition to a small-scale debris signature, larger-scale polarimetric signatures that might be relevant to tornadogenesis were persistently observed in tornadic supercells. The latter signatures are likely associated with lofted light debris (leaves, grass, dust, etc.) in the inflow region and intense size sorting of hydrometeors in the presence of strong wind shear and circulation.

Full access
Matthew L. Loney
,
Dušan S. Zrnić
,
Jerry M. Straka
, and
Alexander V. Ryzhkov

Abstract

Compelling in situ and polarimetric radar observations from a severe Oklahoma supercell storm are presented. The in situ observations are from an aircraft that entered the storm above the main inflow region, sampling the embryo curtain, main updraft, its western fringe (very close to the center of mesocyclonic circulation), and the hail cascade region. At the same time, the Cimarron polarimetric radar observed enhanced signatures in specific differential phase K dp and differential reflectivity Z dr straddling the main updraft and extending several kilometers above the melting layer. The distance of the storm from the radar balances the novelty of this dataset, however, which is on the order of 100 km. The authors therefore rely heavily on the in situ data, including calculation of polarimetric variables, on comparisons with other in situ datasets, and on accepted conceptual models of hail growth in supercell storms to clarify hydrometeor processes in light of the intriguing polarimetric signatures near the updraft. The relation of enhanced K dp to the main updraft, to the Z dr “column,” and to precipitation is discussed. Strong evidence points to melting ice particles (>3 mm) below the aircraft height as the origin of the K dp column in the region where an abundant number of small (<2 mm) drops are also observed. To support the notion that these drops are shed by melting and perhaps wet growth, results of calculations on aircraft data are discussed. Resolution issues are invoked, leading to possible reconciliation of radar measurements with in situ observations.

Full access
David J. Bodine
,
Matthew R. Kumjian
,
Robert D. Palmer
,
Pamela L. Heinselman
, and
Alexander V. Ryzhkov

Abstract

This study investigates the use of tornadic debris signature (TDS) parameters to estimate tornado damage severity using Norman, Oklahoma (KOUN), polarimetric radar data (polarimetric version of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler radar). Several TDS parameters are examined, including parameters based on the 10th or 90th percentiles of polarimetric variables (lowest tilt TDS parameters) and TDS parameters based on the TDS volumetric coverage (spatial TDS parameters). Two highly detailed National Weather Service (NWS) damage surveys are compared to TDS parameters. The TDS parameters tend to be correlated with the enhanced Fujita scale (EF) rating. The 90th percentile reflectivity, TDS height, and TDS volume increase during tornado intensification and decrease during tornado dissipation. For 14 tornado cases, the maximum or minimum TDS parameter values are compared to the tornado’s EF rating. For tornadoes with a higher EF rating, higher maximum values of the 90th percentile Z HH, TDS height, and volume, as well as lower minimum values of 10th percentile ρ HV and Z DR, are observed. Maxima in spatial TDS parameters are observed after periods of severe, widespread tornado damage for violent tornadoes. This paper discusses how forecasters could use TDS parameters to obtain near-real-time information about tornado damage severity and spatial extent.

Full access
Matthew R. Kumjian
,
Alexander P. Khain
,
Nir Benmoshe
,
Eyal Ilotoviz
,
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
, and
Vaughan T. J. Phillips

Abstract

Polarimetric radar observations of deep convective storms frequently reveal columnar enhancements of differential reflectivity Z DR. Such “Z DR columns” can extend upward more than 3 km above the environmental 0°C level, indicative of supercooled liquid drops being lofted by the updraft. Previous observational and modeling studies of Z DR columns are reviewed. To address remaining questions, the Hebrew University Cloud Model, an advanced spectral bin microphysical model, is coupled with a polarimetric radar operator to simulate the formation and life cycle of Z DR columns in a deep convective continental storm. In doing so, the mechanisms by which Z DR columns are produced are clarified, including the formation of large raindrops in the updraft by recirculation of smaller raindrops formed aloft back into the updraft at low levels. The internal hydrometeor structure of Z DR columns is quantified, revealing the transition from supercooled liquid drops to freezing drops to hail with height in the Z DR column. The life cycle of Z DR columns from early formation, through growth to maturity, to demise is described, showing how hail falling out through the weakening or ascending updraft bubble dominates the reflectivity factor Z H , causing the death of the Z DR column and leaving behind its “ghost” of supercooled drops. In addition, the practical applications of Z DR columns and their evolution are explored. The height of the Z DR column is correlated with updraft strength, and the evolution of Z DR column height is correlated with increases in Z H and hail mass content at the ground after a lag of 10–15 min.

Full access
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Dusan S. Zrnic
,
John C. Hubbert
,
V. N. Bringi
,
J. Vivekanandan
, and
Edward A. Brandes

Abstract

Preliminary analysis of all components of the polarimetric radar covariance matrix for precipitation measured with the NCAR S-band dual-polarization Doppler radar (S-Pol) and the Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey (CSU–CHILL) radars is presented. Radar reflectivity at horizontal polarization Z h, differential reflectivity Z DR, linear depolarization ratio LDR, specific differential phase K DP, cross-correlation coefficient |ρ hv|, and two co-cross-polar correlation coefficients, ρ xh and ρ xv, have been measured and examined for two rain events: the 14 August 1998 case in Florida and the 8 August 1998 case in Colorado.

Examination of the coefficients ρ xh and ρ xv is the major focus of the study. It is shown that hydrometeors with different types of orientation can be better delineated if the coefficients ρ xh and ρ xv are used. Rough estimates of the raindrop mean canting angles and the rms width of the canting angle distribution are obtained from the co-cross-polar correlation coefficients in combination with other polarimetric variables.

Analysis of the two cases indicates that the raindrop net canting angles averaged over the propagation paths near the ground in typical convective cells do not exceed 2.5°. Nonetheless, the mean canting angles in individual radar resolution volumes in rain can be noticeably higher. Although the net canting angle for individual convective cells can deviate by a few degrees from zero, the average over a long propagation path along several cells is close to zero, likely because canting angles in different cells vary in sign.

The rms width of the canting angle distribution in rain is estimated to vary mainly between 5° and 15° with the median value slightly below 10°.

Full access
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Terry J. Schuur
,
Donald W. Burgess
,
Pamela L. Heinselman
,
Scott E. Giangrande
, and
Dusan S. Zrnic

As part of the evolution and future enhancement of the Next Generation Weather Radars (NEXRAD), the National Severe Storms Laboratory recently upgraded the KOUN Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) to include a polarimetric capability. The proof of concept was tested in central Oklahoma during a 1-yr demonstration project referred to as the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE). This paper presents an overview of polarimetric algorithms for rainfall estimation and hydrometeor classification and their performance during JPOLE. The quality of rainfall measurements is validated on a large dataset from the Oklahoma Mesonet and Agricultural Research Service Micronet rain gauge networks. The comparison demonstrates that polarimetric rainfall estimates are often dramatically superior to those provided by conventional rainfall algorithms. Using a synthetic R(Z, K DP, Z DR) polarimetric rainfall relation, rms errors are reduced by a factor of 1.7 for point measurements and 3.7 for areal estimates [when compared to results from a conventional R(Z) relation]. Radar data quality improvement, hail identification, rain/snow discrimination, and polarimetric tornado detection are also illustrated for selected events.

Full access
Cameron R. Homeyer
,
Alexandre O. Fierro
,
Benjamin A. Schenkel
,
Anthony C. Didlake Jr.
,
Greg M. McFarquhar
,
Jiaxi Hu
,
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Jeffrey B. Basara
,
Amanda M. Murphy
, and
Jonathan Zawislak

Abstract

Polarimetric radar observations from the NEXRAD WSR-88D operational radar network in the contiguous United States, routinely available since 2013, are used to reveal three prominent microphysical signatures in landfalling tropical cyclones: 1) hydrometeor size sorting within the eyewall convection, 2) vertical displacement of the melting layer within the inner core, and 3) dendritic growth layers within stratiform regions of the inner core. Size sorting signatures within eyewall convection are observed with greater frequency and prominence in more intense hurricanes, and are observed predominantly within the deep-layer environmental wind shear vector-relative quadrants that harbor the greatest frequency of deep convection (i.e., downshear and left-of-shear). Melting-layer displacements are shown that exceed 1 km in altitude compared to melting-layer altitudes in outer rainbands and are complemented by analyses of archived dropsonde data. Dendritic growth and attendant snow aggregation signatures in the inner core are found to occur more often when echo-top altitudes are low (≤10 km MSL), nearer the −15°C isotherm commonly associated with dendritic growth. These signatures, uniquely observed by polarimetric radar, provide greater insight into the physical structure and thermodynamic characteristics of tropical cyclones, which are important for improving rainfall estimation and the representation of tropical cyclones in numerical models.

Full access
Edwin L. Dunnavan
,
Jacob T. Carlin
,
Jiaxi Hu
,
Petar Bukovčić
,
Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Greg M. McFarquhar
,
Joseph A. Finlon
,
Sergey Y. Matrosov
, and
David J. Delene

Abstract

This study evaluates ice particle size distribution and aspect ratio φ Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) dual-polarization radar retrievals through a direct comparison with two legs of observational aircraft data obtained during a winter storm case from the Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) campaign. In situ cloud probes, satellite, and MRMS observations illustrate that the often-observed K dp and Z DR enhancement regions in the dendritic growth layer can either indicate a local number concentration increase of dry ice particles or the presence of ice particles mixed with a significant number of supercooled liquid droplets. Relative to in situ measurements, MRMS retrievals on average underestimated mean volume diameters by 50% and overestimated number concentrations by over 100%. IWC retrievals using Z DR and K dp within the dendritic growth layer were minimally biased relative to in situ calculations where retrievals yielded −2% median relative error for the entire aircraft leg. Incorporating φ retrievals decreased both the magnitude and spread of polarimetric retrievals below the dendritic growth layer. While φ radar retrievals suggest that observed dendritic growth layer particles were nonspherical (0.1 ≤ φ ≤ 0.2), in situ projected aspect ratios, idealized numerical simulations, and habit classifications from cloud probe images suggest that the population mean φ was generally much higher. Coordinated aircraft radar reflectivity with in situ observations suggests that the MRMS systematically underestimated reflectivity and could not resolve local peaks in mean volume diameter sizes. These results highlight the need to consider particle assumptions and radar limitations when performing retrievals.

significance statement

Developing snow is often detectable using weather radars. Meteorologists combine these radar measurements with mathematical equations to study how snow forms in order to determine how much snow will fall. This study evaluates current methods for estimating the total number and mass, sizes, and shapes of snowflakes from radar using images of individual snowflakes taken during two aircraft legs. Radar estimates of snowflake properties were most consistent with aircraft data inside regions with prominent radar signatures. However, radar estimates of snowflake shapes were not consistent with observed shapes estimated from the snowflake images. Although additional research is needed, these results bolster understanding of snow-growth physics and uncertainties between radar measurements and snow production that can improve future snowfall forecasting.

Free access