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  • Author or Editor: Susan K. Avery x
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Susan K. Avery
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Deepak K. Rajopadhyaya
,
Susan K. Avery
,
Peter T. May
, and
Robert C. Cifelli

Abstract

The advantages and disadvantages of single-frequency (50 MHz) and dual-frequency (50 and 915 MHz) wind profiler drop size distribution retrievals are discussed by comparing retrievals of median volume drop diameter and rain rates. Simulated data, as well as observational data, show that the median volume diameter estimated from the single-frequency technique is biased higher than what is retrieved using the dual-frequency technique. This result is due to the strong 50-MHz Bragg scatter signal that masks the small drop (low fall velocity) part of the precipitation spectrum. The error in the estimation of the median volume diameter increases markedly with increasing vertical air motion spectral width. The error in the estimation of the median volume diameter is minimum for median volume diameters ranging from 0.5 to about 2.5 mm for the dual-frequency technique and 1.2 to about 2.5 mm for the single-frequency technique. The comparison of retrieved rain rates with rain gauge data shows a very good agreement for both techniques, but it was not always possible to retrieve precipitation information using the single-frequency technique.

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Robert Schafer
,
Susan K. Avery
,
Kenneth S. Gage
, and
George N. Kiladis

Abstract

UHF (boundary layer) and VHF (troposphere–stratosphere) wind profilers have operated at Christmas Island (2°N, 157°W) in the central equatorial Pacific from 1986 to 2002. Observed profiles of winds are sparse over the tropical oceans, but these are critical for understanding convective organization and the interaction of convection and waves. While the zonal winds below about 10 km have previously shown good agreement with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis (RI), significant differences were found above a height of 10 km that were attributed to the low detectability of the wind signal in the profiler observations. Meridional winds at all levels show less agreement, with differences attributed to errors of representativeness and the sparseness of observations in the region. This paper builds on previous work using the Christmas Island wind profilers and presents the results of reprocessing the 17-yr profiler record with techniques that enhance the detectability of the signal at upper heights. The results are compared with nearby rawinsonde soundings obtained during a special campaign at Christmas Island and the RI, NCEP–Department of Energy (DOE) reanalysis (RII), and the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40). The newly processed profiler zonal and meridional wind observations show good agreement with rawinsonde observations from 0.5 to 19 km above sea level, with difference statistics similar to other studies. There is also significant improvement in the agreement of RI and RII reanalysis and profiler upper-level zonal and meridional winds from previous studies. A comparison of RII and ERA-40 reanalysis shows that difference statistics between the reanalyses are similar in magnitude to differences between the profiler and the individual reanalyses.

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Robert Schafer
,
Susan K. Avery
,
Kenneth S. Gage
,
Paul E. Johnston
, and
D. A. Carter

Abstract

A method is presented that increases the detectability of weak clear-air signals by averaging Doppler spectra from coplanar wind profiler beams. The method, called coplanar spectral averaging (CSA), is applied to both simulated wind profiler spectra and to 1 yr of archived spectra from a UHF profiler at Christmas Island (1 October 1999–30 September 2000). A collocated 50-MHz wind profiler provides a truth for evaluating the CSA technique.

In the absence of precipitation, it was found that CSA, when combined with a fuzzy logic quality control, increases the height coverage of the 1-hourly averaged UHF profiler winds by over 600 m (two range gates). CSA also increased the number of good wind estimates at each observation range by about 10%–25% over the standard consensus method.

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Deepak K. Rajopadhyaya
,
Peter T. May
,
Robert C. Cifelli
,
Susan K. Avery
,
Christopher R. Willams
,
Warner L. Ecklund
, and
Kenneth S. Gage

Abstract

Two different frequency radar wind profilers (920 and 50 MHz) were used to retrieve rain rates from a long-lasting rainfall event observed near Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, during the 1993–94 wet season. In this technique, 50-MHz data are used to derive the vertical air motion parameters (vertical velocity and spectral width); the 920-MHz data are then used to obtain the precipitation characteristics with the vertical air motion corrections. A comparison of the retrieved rain rates with rain gauge measurements shows excellent agreement. A detailed examination of the mean vertical velocity and spectral width corrections in the rain retrieval shows that the error due to an uncorrected mean vertical velocity can be as large as 100%, and the error for an uncorrected spectral width was about 10% for the range of mean vertical velocity and spectral width considered. There was a strong functional dependence between the retrieved mean vertical velocity and percentage difference between observed and retrieved rain rates with and without vertical air motion corrections. The corresponding functional dependence with and without the spectral width corrections was small but significant. An uncorrected upward mean vertical velocity overestimates rain rates, whereas an uncorrected downward mean vertical velocity underestimates rain rates. Uncorrected spectral width estimates have a tendency to overestimate rain rates. There are additional errors in the width correction because of antenna beam mismatching. A method is discussed to quantitatively evaluate this effect, and it is shown to be relatively small compared to the first-order mean vertical velocity correction.

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