Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for

  • Author or Editor: Frédéric Tridon x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Daniel Watters, Alessandro Battaglia, Kamil Mroz, and Frédéric Tridon

Abstract

Instantaneous surface rain rate estimates from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) and combined DPR and multifrequency microwave imager (CMB) version-5 products are compared to those from the Met Office Radarnet 4 system’s Great Britain and Ireland (GBI) radar composite product. The spaceborne and ground-based rainfall products are collocated spatially and temporally and compared at 5- and 25-km resolutions over GBI during a 3-yr period (from May 2014 to April 2017). The comparison results are evaluated as a function of both the intensity and variability of precipitation within the DPR field of view and are stratified spatially and seasonally. CMB and DPR products underestimate rain rates with respect to the Radarnet product by 21% and 31%, respectively, when considering 25-km resolution data taken within 75 km of a ground-based radar. Large variability in the discrepancies between spaceborne and ground-based rain rate estimates is the result of limitations of both systems and random errors in the collocation of their measurements. The Radarnet retrieval is affected by issues with measuring the vertical extent of precipitation at far ranges, while the GPM system struggles in properly quantifying orographic precipitation. Part of the underestimation by the GPM products appears to be a consequence of an erroneous DPR clutter identification in the presence of low freezing levels. Both products are susceptible to seasonal variations in performance and decreases in precision with increased levels of heterogeneity within the instruments’ field of view.

Open access
Frédéric Tridon, Alessandro Battaglia, Pavlos Kollias, Edward Luke, and Christopher R. Williams

Abstract

The Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program has recently initiated a new research avenue toward a better characterization of the transition from cloud to precipitation. Dual-wavelength techniques applied to millimeter-wavelength radars and a Rayleigh reference have a great potential for rain-rate retrievals directly from dual-wavelength ratio measurements. In this context, the recent reconfiguration of the ARM 915-MHz wind profilers in a vertically pointing mode makes these instruments the ideal candidate for providing the Rayleigh reflectivity/Doppler velocity reference. Prior to any scientific study, the wind profiler data must be carefully quality checked. This work describes the signal postprocessing steps that are essential for the delivery of high-quality reflectivity and mean Doppler velocity products—that is, the estimation of the noise floor from clear-air echoes, the absolute calibration with a collocated disdrometer, the dealiasing of Doppler velocities, and the merging of the different modes of the wind profiler. The improvement added by the proposed postprocessing is confirmed by comparison with a high-quality S-band profiler deployed at the ARM Southern Great Plains site during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment. With the addition of a vertically pointing mode and with the postprocessing described in this work in place, besides being a key asset for wind research wind profilers observations may therefore become a centerpiece for rain studies in the years to come.

Full access
Frédéric Tridon, Céline Planche, Kamil Mroz, Sandra Banson, Alessandro Battaglia, Joel Van Baelen, and Wolfram Wobrock

Abstract

This study investigates how multifrequency cloud radar observations can be used to evaluate the representation of rain microphysics in the WRF Model using two bulk microphysics schemes. A squall line observed over Oklahoma on 12 June 2011 is used as a case study. A recently developed retrieval technique combining observations of two vertically pointing cloud radars provides quantitative description of the drop size distribution (DSD) properties of the transition and stratiform regions of the squall-line system. For the first time, the results of this multifrequency cloud radar retrieval are compared to more conventional retrievals from a nearby polarimetric radar, and a supplementary result of this work is that this new methodology provides a much more detailed description of the DSD vertical and temporal variations. While the extent and evolution of the squall line is well reproduced by the model, the 1-h low-reflectivity transition region is not. In the stratiform region, simulations with both schemes are able to reproduce the observed downdraft and the associated significative subsaturation below the melting level, but with a slight overestimation of the relative humidity. Under this subsaturated air, the simulated rain mixing ratio continuously decreases toward the ground, in agreement with the observations. Conversely, the profiles of the mean volume diameter and the concentration parameter of the DSDs are not well reproduced. These discrepancies pinpoint at an issue in the representation of rain microphysics. The companion paper, investigates the sources of the biases in the microphysics processes in the rain layer by performing numerical sensitivity studies.

Full access
Céline Planche, Frédéric Tridon, Sandra Banson, Gregory Thompson, Marie Monier, Alessandro Battaglia, and Wolfram Wobrock

Abstract

A comparison between retrieved properties of the rain drop size distributions (DSDs) from multifrequency cloud radar observations and WRF Model results using either the Morrison or the Thompson bulk microphysics scheme is performed in order to evaluate the model’s ability to predict the rain microphysics. This comparison reveals discrepancies in the vertical profile of the rain DSDs for the stratiform region of the squall-line system observed on 12 June 2011 over Oklahoma. Based on numerical sensitivity analyses, this study addresses the bias at the top of the rain layer and the vertical evolution of the DSD properties (i.e., of D m and N0*). In this way, the Thompson scheme is used to explore the sensitivity to the melting process. Moreover, using the Thompson and Morrison schemes, the sensitivity of the DSD vertical evolution to different breakup and self-collection parameterizations is studied. Results show that the DSDs are strongly dependent on the representation of the melting process in the Thompson scheme. In the Morrison scheme, the simulations with more efficient breakup reproduce the DSD properties with better fidelity. This study highlights how the inaccuracies in simulated D m and N0* for both microphysics schemes can impact the evaporation rate, which is systematically underestimated in the model.

Full access
Alessandro Battaglia, Kamil Mroz, Simone Tanelli, Frederic Tridon, and Pierre-Emmanuel Kirstetter

Abstract

Evidence of multiple-scattering-induced pulse stretching for the signal of both frequencies of the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory satellite is presented on the basis of collocated ground-based WSR-88D S-band observations of an extreme case: a tornadic supercell. The ground-based observations clearly show a tilted convective core with a so-called bounded weak-echo region—that is, locations where precipitation is absent or extremely light at the ground while large amounts of liquid or frozen precipitation are present aloft. The satellite observations in this region show reflectivity profiles that extend all the way to the surface despite the absence of near-surface precipitation: these are here referred to as “ghost echoes.” Furthermore, the Ku- and Ka-band profiles exhibit similar slopes, which is a typical sign that the observed power is almost entirely due to multiple scattering. A novel microphysical retrieval that is based on triple-frequency (S–Ku–Ka) observations shows that a dense ice core located between 4 and 14 km with particle sizes exceeding 2.5 cm and integrated ice contents exceeding 7.0 kg m−2 is the source of the ghost echoes of the signal in the lower layers. The level of confidence of this assessment is strengthened by the availability of the S-band data, which provide the necessary additional constraints to the radar retrieval that is based on DPR data. This study shows not only that multiple-scattering contributions may become predominant at Ka already very high up in the atmosphere but also that they play a key role at Ku band within the layers close to the surface. As a result, extreme caution must be paid even in the interpretation of Ku-based retrievals (e.g., the TRMM PR dataset or any DPR retrievals that are based on the assumption that Ku band is not affected by multiple scattering) when examining extreme surface rain rates that occur in the presence of deep dense ice layers.

Full access
Kamil Mroz, Alessandro Battaglia, Timothy J. Lang, Daniel J. Cecil, Simone Tanelli, and Frederic Tridon

Abstract

By exploiting an abundant number of extreme storms observed simultaneously by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory satellite’s suite of sensors and by the ground-based S-band Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) network over the continental United States, proxies for the identification of hail are developed from the GPM Core Observatory satellite observables. The full capabilities of the GPM Core Observatory are tested by analyzing more than 20 observables and adopting the hydrometeor classification on the basis of ground-based polarimetric measurements being truth. The proxies have been tested using the critical success index (CSI) as a verification measure. The hail-detection algorithm that is based on the mean Ku-band reflectivity in the mixed-phase layer performs the best of all considered proxies (CSI of 45%). Outside the dual-frequency precipitation radar swath, the polarization-corrected temperature at 18.7 GHz shows the greatest potential for hail detection among all GPM Microwave Imager channels (CSI of 26% at a threshold value of 261 K). When dual-variable proxies are considered, the combination involving the mixed-phase reflectivity values at both Ku and Ka bands outperforms all of the other proxies, with a CSI of 49%. The best-performing radar–radiometer algorithm is based on the mixed-phase reflectivity at Ku band and on the brightness temperature (TB) at 10.7 GHz (CSI of 46%). When only radiometric data are available, the algorithm that is based on the TBs at 36.6 and 166 GHz is the most efficient, with a CSI of 27.5%.

Full access
Jean-Luc Baray, Yves Pointin, Joël Van Baelen, Marie Lothon, Bernard Campistron, Jean-Pierre Cammas, Olivier Masson, Aurélie Colomb, Claude Hervier, Yannick Bezombes, Sandra Banson, Christophe Duroure, Dany Hadad, and Frédéric Tridon

Abstract

The authors present a climatological analysis of tropospheric horizontal wind profiles and jet stream events using long series of wind profiles from two VHF profilers located in France: Lannemezan (2001–14) and Opme (1999–2014). A case study of jet stream and stratospheric intrusion of air into the troposphere that occurred in January 2013 is first described and demonstrates the capability of the VHF profilers to detect jet stream events. The climatology study over the two sites reveals the strongest values of seasonal wind during winter (21.4 m s−1 at 8.7-km height at Opme; 25.1 m s−1 at 9.6-km height at Lannemezan). A methodology based on the automatic detection of maximum winds on a decadal series of hourly wind profiles allows the detection of jet stream events and establishes its climatology for each site. A frequency analysis of jet stream events of westerly winds over 50 m s−1 presents a clear seasonality at the two sites, with a maximum in winter (3.5%–9.7% of hourly profiles) and a minimum in summer (near 1%). Cosmogenic radionuclides sampled at Opme also exhibit a clear seasonal variation with maximum in spring and minimum in the cold seasons; the 7Be/22Na activity ratio confirms stratosphere-to-troposphere exchanges for the studied cases. The mean interannual variability of the frequency of jet stream events is 1.5% in Opme and 2.9% in Lannemezan. Positive decadal trends are observed for the two sites: +1.6 ± 1.2% decade−1 for Opme and +2.4 ± 2.2% decade−1 for Lannemezan.

Full access