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Andrew Heymsfield
Aaron Bansemer
Norman B. Wood
Guosheng Liu
Simone Tanelli
Ousmane O. Sy
Michael Poellot
, and
Chuntao Liu


Two methods for deriving relationships between the equivalent radar reflectivity factor Z e and the snowfall rate S at three radar wavelengths are described. The first method uses collocations of in situ aircraft (microphysical observations) and overflying aircraft (radar observations) from two field programs to develop Z e S relationships. In the second method, measurements of Z e at the top of the melting layer (ML), from radars on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), and CloudSat satellites, are related to the retrieved rainfall rate R at the base of the ML, assuming that the mass flux through the ML is constant. Retrievals of R are likely to be more reliable than S because far fewer assumptions are involved in the retrieval and because supporting ground-based validation data are available. The Z e S relationships developed here for the collocations and the mass-flux technique are compared with those derived from level 2 retrievals from the standard satellite products and with a number of relationships developed and reported by others. It is shown that there are substantial differences among them. The relationships developed here promise improvements in snowfall-rate retrievals from satellite-based radar measurements.

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