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  • Author or Editor: Sergey Y. Matrosov x
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Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

Dual-frequency millimeter-wavelength radar observations in snowfall are analyzed in order to evaluate differences in conventional polarimetric radar variables such as differential reflectivity (Z DR) specific differential phase shift (K DP) and linear depolarization ratio (LDR) at traditional cloud radar frequencies at Ka and W bands (~35 and ~94 GHz, correspondingly). Low radar beam elevation (~5°) measurements were performed at Oliktok Point, Alaska, with a scanning fully polarimetric radar operating in the horizontal–vertical polarization basis. This radar has the same gate spacing and very close beam widths at both frequencies, which largely alleviates uncertainties associated with spatial and temporal data matching. It is shown that observed Ka- and W-band Z DR differences are, on average, less than about 0.5 dB and do not have a pronounced trend as a function of snowfall reflectivity. The observed Z DR differences agree well with modeling results obtained using integration over nonspherical ice particle size distributions. For higher signal-to-noise ratios, K DP data derived from differential phase measurements are approximately scaled as reciprocals of corresponding radar frequencies indicating that the influence of non-Rayleigh scattering effects on this variable is rather limited. This result is also in satisfactory agreement with data obtained by modeling using realistic particle size distributions. Observed Ka- and W-band LDR differences are strongly affected by the radar hardware system polarization “leak” and are generally less than 4 dB. Smaller differences are observed for higher depolarizations, where the polarization “leak” is less pronounced. Realistic assumptions about particle canting and the system polarization isolation lead to modeling results that satisfactorily agree with observational dual-frequency LDR data.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

Circular depolarization ratio (CDR) is a polarimetric parameter, which, unlike linear depolarization ratio (LDR), does not exhibit significant dependence on hydrometeor orientation and can be used for particle type identification and shape estimation if propagation effects are small. The measurement scheme with simultaneous transmission and simultaneous reception (STSR) of horizontally and vertically polarized signals is widely used with research and operational radars. The STSR scheme does not provide direct measurements of depolarization. This study presents an estimator to obtain depolarization ratios from STSR complex voltages in radar receivers. This estimator provides true CDR if the phase shift on transmission, β, is equal to ±90° and the phase shift on reception, γ, equals −β. Even if these conditions are not satisfied, depolarization estimates are still possible if β + γ = 0° (though such estimates deviate slightly from true CDR varying between CDR and slant-45°LDR). The sum β + γ represents the initial differential phase shift offset and can be accounted for. The use of this depolarization estimator is illustrated with the data from the NOAA X-band radar. The measurements in ice clouds demonstrate the utility of near-CDR estimates to identify dendritic crystals and their gradual aggregation within the cloud. Illustrations are also given for near-CDR estimates in rain. An important advantage of depolarization estimates in the STSR mode is that these estimates are obtained from two “strong” channel returns. This greatly relaxes the radar sensitivity requirements compared to radar systems that utilize direct depolarization measurements as the power ratio of radar echoes measured in “strong” and “weak” receiving channels that represent two orthogonal polarizations.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

Instantaneous liquid-equivalent snowfall rates S retrieved from CloudSat W-band cloud radar reflectivity Z e measurements are compared to estimates of S from operational Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) systems when the CloudSat satellite overflew the ground-based radar sites during spatially extensive nimbostratus snowfall events. For these comparisons, the ground-based radar measurements are interpolated to closely match in space and time spaceborne radar resolution volumes above ground clutter, thus avoiding uncertainties in deriving near-surface snowfall rates from measurements aloft by both radar types. Although typical uncertainties of both ground-based and spaceborne snowfall-rate retrieval approaches are quite high, the results from the standard optimal estimation CloudSat 2C-SNOW-PROFILE algorithm are on average in good agreement with the WSR-88D default snowfall algorithm results with correlation coefficients being around 0.8–0.85. The CloudSat standard optimal estimation snowfall-rate products are also shown to be in satisfactory agreement with retrievals from several simple W-band Z e –S relations suggested earlier. The snowfall rate and snow/ice water content (IWC) parameters from the CloudSat 2C-SNOW-PROFILE algorithm are highly interdependent. A tight relation between S and IWC is apparently introduced through the ice particle fall velocity assumption that is made in the reflectivity-based snowfall retrieval algorithm. This suggests that ice sedimentation rate estimates can also be deduced from applications of numerous empirical IWC–reflectivity relations derived previously for different cloud conditions when appropriate assumptions about fall velocities are made. Intercomparisons between different CloudSat snow/ice water content products indicated significant discrepancies in IWC values from different standard CloudSat retrieval algorithms.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

A Ka-band (~35 GHz) and W-band (~94 GHz) radar approach to retrieve profiles of characteristic raindrop sizes, such as mean mass-weighted drop diameters D m , from measurements of the difference in the mean vertical Doppler velocities (DDV) is analyzed. This retrieval approach is insensitive to radar calibration errors, vertical air motions, and attenuation effects. The D m –DDV relations are derived using long-term measurements of drop size distributions (DSDs) from different observational sites and do not assume a functional DSD shape. Unambiguous retrievals using this approach are shown to be available in the D m range of approximately 0.5–2 mm, with average uncertainties of around 21%. Potential retrieval ambiguities occurring when larger drop populations exist can be avoided by using a Ka-band vertical Doppler velocity threshold. The performance of the retrievals is illustrated using a long predominantly stratiform rain event observed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains site. An intercomparison of DDV-based estimates of characteristic raindrop sizes with independent estimates available from ground-based disdrometer measurements reveal good agreement, with a correlation coefficient of 0.88, and mean differences between radar and disdrometer-based D m of approximately 14% for the entire range of unambiguous retrievals. The Ka–W-band DDV method to retrieve mean mass-weighted drop sizes is applicable to measurements from new dual-wavelength ARM cloud radars that are being deployed at a variety of observational facilities. An illustration for the retrievals at the Oliktok Point ARM facility is also given.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

Information on ice cloud particle nonsphericity is important for many practical applications ranging from modeling the cloud radiation impact to remote sensing of hydrometeor microphysical properties. Scanning cloud radars, which often measure depolarization ratio as a sole polarization variable, can provide a means for retrieving this information. The applicability of a spheroidal particle model (i.e., a regular ellipsoid that has two principal axes of the same length) is evaluated for describing depolarization properties of ice particles. It is shown that this simple model, which uses an aspect ratio as a single parameter characterizing particle nonsphericity, explains reasonably well the scatter of slant 45° linear depolarization ratio (SLDR) measurements versus direct estimates of the zenith direction backscatter enhancement observed during the Storm Peak Laboratory Cloud Property Validation Experiment (StormVEx) with the scanning W-band cloud radar (SWACR). Observed SLDR elevation angle patterns are also approximated reasonably well by this shape model. It is suggested that an SLDR difference between slant and zenith radar pointing can be used for prospective remote sensing methods of inferring particle aspect ratio from cloud radar depolarization measurements. Depending on mass–size relations, the value of this difference corresponding to median zenith reflectivity enhancement observed during StormVEx relates to aspect ratios of about 0.5 ± 0.2, which generally agrees with typical aspect ratios of ice particles. Expected aspect ratio retrieval uncertainties within the spheroidal shape model and the use of different types of radar depolarization ratio measurements are discussed. A correction for estimated zenith direction reflectivity enhancements due to particle nonsphericity is suggested.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
and
David D. Turner

Abstract

A remote sensing method to retrieve the mean temperature of cloud liquid using ground-based microwave radiometer measurements is evaluated and tested by comparisons with direct cloud temperature information inferred from ceilometer cloud-base measurements and temperature profiles from radiosonde soundings. The method is based on the dependence of the ratio of cloud optical thicknesses at W-band (~90 GHz) and Ka-band (~30 GHz) frequencies on cloud liquid temperature. This ratio is obtained from total optical thicknesses inferred from radiometer measurements of brightness temperatures after accounting for the contributions from oxygen and water vapor. This accounting is done based on the radiometer-based retrievals of integrated water vapor amount and temperature and pressure measurements at the surface. The W–Ka-band ratio method is applied to the measurements from a three-channel (90, 31.4, and 23.8 GHz) microwave radiometer at the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Mobile Facility at Oliktok Point, Alaska. The analyzed events span conditions from warm stratus clouds with temperatures above freezing to mixed-phase clouds with supercooled liquid water layers. Intercomparisons of radiometer-based cloud liquid temperature retrievals with estimates from collocated ceilometer and radiosonde measurements indicated on average a standard deviation of about 3.5°C between the two retrieval types in a wide range of cloud temperatures, from warm liquid clouds to mixed-phase clouds with supercooled liquid and liquid water paths greater than 50 g m−2. The three-channel microwave radiometer–based method has a broad applicability, since it requires neither the use of active sensors to locate the boundaries of liquid cloud layers nor information on the vertical profile of temperature.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Alexei V. Korolev
, and
Andrew J. Heymsfield

Abstract

A remote sensing method is proposed for the retrievals of vertical profiles of ice cloud microphysical parameters from ground-based measurements of radar reflectivity and Doppler velocity with a vertically pointed cloud radar. This method relates time-averaged Doppler velocities (which are used as a proxy for the reflectivity-weighted particle fall velocities) to particle characteristic sizes such as median or mean. With estimated profiles of particle characteristic size, profiles of cloud ice water content (IWC) are then calculated using reflectivity measurements. The method accounts for the intrinsic correlation between particle sizes and parameters of the fall velocity–size relations. It also accounts for changes of particle bulk density with size. The range of applicability of this method encompasses ice-phase clouds and also mixed-phase clouds that contain liquid drops, which are small compared to ice particles, so the radar signals are dominated by these larger particles. It is, however, limited to the observational situations without strong up- and downdrafts, so the residual of mean vertical air motions is small enough compared to the reflectivity-weighted cloud particle fall velocities. The Doppler-velocity reflectivity method was applied to the data obtained with an 8.6-mm wavelength radar when observing Arctic clouds. Typical retrieval uncertainties are about 35%–40% for particle characteristic size and 60%–70% for IWC, though in some cases IWC uncertainties can be as high as factor of 2 (i.e., −50%, +100%). Comparisons with in situ data for one observational case yielded 25% and 55% differences in retrieved and in situ estimates of characteristic size and IWC, respectively. The results of the microphysical retrievals obtained from the remote sensing method developed here were compared with data obtained from the multisensor technique that utilizes combined radar–IR radiometer measurements. For pure ice-phase layers unobstructed by liquid clouds (i.e., conditions where the multisensor approach is applicable), the relative standard deviations between the results of both remote sensing approaches were about 27% for mean particle size and 38% for IWC, with relative biases of only 5% and 20%, respectively.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Carl G. Schmitt
,
Maximilian Maahn
, and
Gijs de Boer

Abstract

A remote sensing approach to retrieve the degree of nonsphericity of ice hydrometeors using scanning polarimetric Ka-band radar measurements from a U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program cloud radar operated in an alternate transmission–simultaneous reception mode is introduced. Nonsphericity is characterized by aspect ratios representing the ratios of particle minor-to-major dimensions. The approach is based on the use of a circular depolarization ratio (CDR) proxy reconstructed from differential reflectivity Z DR and copolar correlation coefficient ρ linear polarization measurements. Essentially combining information contained in Z DR and ρ , CDR-based retrievals of aspect ratios are fairly insensitive to hydrometeor orientation if measurements are performed at elevation angles of around 40°–50°. The suggested approach is applied to data collected using the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF3), deployed to Oliktok Point, Alaska. Aspect ratio retrievals were also performed using Z DR measurements that are more strongly (compared to CDR) influenced by hydrometeor orientation. The results of radar-based retrievals are compared with in situ measurements from the tethered balloon system (TBS)-based video ice particle sampler and the ground-based multiangle snowflake camera. The observed ice hydrometeors were predominantly irregular-shaped ice crystals and aggregates, with aspect ratios varying between approximately 0.3 and 0.8. The retrievals assume that particle bulk density influencing (besides the particle shape) observed polarimetric variables can be deduced from the estimates of particle characteristic size. Uncertainties of CDR-based aspect ratio retrievals are estimated at about 0.1–0.15. Given these uncertainties, radar-based retrievals generally agreed with in situ measurements. The advantages of using the CDR proxy compared to the linear depolarization ratio are discussed.

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Sergey Y. Matrosov
,
Patrick C. Kennedy
, and
Robert Cifelli

Abstract

Correcting observed polarimetric radar variables for attenuation and differential attenuation effects in rain is important for meteorological applications involving measurements at attenuating frequencies such as those at X band. The results of estimating the coefficients in the correction-scheme relations from dual-wavelength polarimetric radar measurements of rainfall involving attenuating and nonattenuating frequencies are described. Such coefficients found directly from measurements are essentially free from different assumptions about drop shapes, drop size distributions, and/or relations between different radar variables that are typically used in many attenuation and differential attenuation correction schemes. Experimentally based estimates derived using dual-wavelength radar measurements conducted during a project in northern Colorado indicate values of the coefficients in the attenuation–differential phase quasi-linear relations at X band in the approximate range of 0.20–0.31 dB deg−1. The corresponding coefficients in the differential attenuation–differential phase relations are in the range of 0.052–0.065 dB deg−1.

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Alexander Myagkov
,
Patric Seifert
,
Ulla Wandinger
,
Matthias Bauer-Pfundstein
, and
Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental analysis of the antenna system effects on polarimetric measurements conducted with cloud radars operating in the linear depolarization ratio (LDR) mode. Amplitude and phase of the copolar and cross-polar antenna patterns are presented and utilized. The patterns of two antennas of different quality were measured at the Hungriger Wolf airport near Hohenlockstedt, Germany, during the period from 28 January to 1 February 2014. For the measurements a test transmitter mounted on a tower and the scanning 35-GHz (Ka band) cloud radar MIRA-35, manufactured by METEK GmbH and operated in the receiving mode, were used. The integrated cross-polarization ratios (ICPR) are calculated for both antennas and compared with those measured in light rain. Correction algorithms for observed LDR and the co-cross-channel correlation coefficient ρ are presented. These algorithms are aimed at removing/mitigating polarization cross-coupling effects that depend on the quality of radar hardware. Thus, corrected LDR and ρ are primarily influenced by scatterer properties. The corrections are based on the decomposition of the coherency matrix of the received signals into fully polarized and nonpolarized components. The correction brings LDR values and the co-cross-channel correlation coefficients from two radars with different antenna systems to a close agreement, thus effectively removing hardware-dependent biases. Uncertainties of the correction are estimated as 3 dB for LDR in the range from −30 to −10 dB. In clouds, the correction of the co-cross-channel correlation coefficient ρ results in near-zero values for both vertically pointed radars.

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