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Aart Overeem
,
Remko Uijlenhoet
, and
Hidde Leijnse

Abstract

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) operates two dual-polarization C-band weather radars in simultaneous transmission and reception (STAR; i.e., horizontally and vertically polarized pulses are transmitted simultaneously) mode, providing 2D radar rainfall products. Despite the application of Doppler and speckle filtering, remaining nonmeteorological echoes (especially sea clutter) mainly due to anomalous propagation still pose a problem. This calls for additional filtering algorithms, which can be realized by means of polarimetry. Here we explore the effectiveness of the open-source wradlib fuzzy echo classification and clutter identification based on polarimetric moments. Based on our study, this has recently been extended with the depolarization ratio and clutter phase alignment as new decision variables. Optimal values for weights of the different membership functions and threshold are determined employing a 4-h calibration dataset from one radar. The method is applied to a full year of volumetric data from the two radars in the Dutch temperate climate. The verification focuses on the presence of remaining nonmeteorological echoes by mapping the number of exceedances of radar reflectivity factors for given thresholds. Moreover, accumulated rainfall maps are obtained to detect unrealistically large rainfall depths. The results are compared to those for which no further filtering has been applied. Verification against rain gauge data reveals that only a little precipitation is removed. Because the fuzzy logic algorithm removes many nonmeteorological echoes, the practice to composite data from both radars in logarithmic space to hide these echoes is abandoned and replaced by linearly averaging reflectivities.

Free access
Aart Overeem
,
Hylke de Vries
,
Hassan Al Sakka
,
Remko Uijlenhoet
, and
Hidde Leijnse

Abstract

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) operates two operational dual-polarization C-band weather radars providing 2D radar rainfall products. Attenuation can result in severe underestimation of rainfall amounts, particularly in convective situations that are known to have high impact on society. To improve the radar-based precipitation estimates, two attenuation correction methods are evaluated and compared: 1) modified Kraemer (MK) method, i.e., Hitschfeld–Bordan where parameters of the power-law Z h k h relation are adjusted such that reflectivities in the entire dataset do not exceed 59 dBZ h and attenuation correction is limited to 10 dB; and 2) using two-way path-integrated attenuation computed from the dual-polarization moment specific differential phase K dp (Kdp method). In both cases the open-source Python library wradlib is employed for the actual attenuation correction. A radar voxel only contributes to the computed path-integrated attenuation if its height is below the forecasted freezing-level height from the numerical weather prediction model HARMONIE-AROME. The methods are effective in improving hourly and daily quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE), where the Kdp method performs best. The verification against rain gauge data shows that the underestimation diminishes from 55% to 37% for hourly rainfall for the Kdp method when the gauge indicates more than 10 mm of rain in that hour. The improvement for the MK method is less pronounced, with a resulting underestimation of 40%. The stability of the MK method holds a promise for application to data archives from single-polarization radars.

Open access