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Iwan Holleman
Asko Huuskonen
Rashpal Gill
, and
Pierre Tabary


A method for the daily monitoring of the differential reflectivity bias for polarimetric weather radars is presented. Sun signals detected in polar volume data produced during operational scanning of the radar are used. This method is an extension of that for monitoring the weather radar antenna pointing at low elevations and the radar receiving chain using the sun. This “online” method is ideally suited for routine application in networks of operational radars.

The online sun monitoring can be used to check the agreement between horizontal and vertical polarization lobes of the radar antenna, which is a prerequisite for high-quality polarimetric measurements. By performing both online sun monitoring and rain calibration at vertical incidence, the differential receiver bias and differential transmitter bias can be disentangled. Results from the polarimetric radars in Trappes (France) and Bornholm (Denmark), demonstrating the importance of regular monitoring of the differential reflectivity bias, are discussed.

It is recommended that the online sun-monitoring method, preferably in combination with rain calibration, is routinely performed on all polarimetric weather radars because accurate calibration is a prerequisite for most polarimetric algorithms.

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