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Gianfranco Vulpiani
,
Scott Giangrande
, and
Frank S. Marzano

Abstract

A procedure for the estimation of rainfall rate, capitalizing on a radar-based raindrop size distribution (RSD) parameter retrieval and neural network (NN) inversion techniques, is validated using an extensive and quality-controlled archive. The RSD retrieval algorithm utilizes polarimetric variables measured by the polarimetric prototype of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) in Norman, Oklahoma (KOUN), through an ad hoc regularized neural network method. Evaluation of rainfall estimation from the NN-based method is accomplished using a large radar data and surface gauge observation dataset collected in central Oklahoma during the multiyear Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE) field campaign. Point estimates of hourly rainfall accumulations and instantaneous rainfall rates from NN-based and parametric polarimetric rainfall relations are compared with dense surface gauge observations. Rainfall accumulations from RSD retrieval-based methods are shown to be sensitive to the choice of a raindrop fall speed model. To minimize the impact of this choice, a new “direct” neural network approach is tested. Proposed NN-based approaches exhibit bias and root-mean-square error characteristics comparable with those obtained from parametric relations, specifically optimized for the JPOLE dataset, indicating an appealing generalization capability with respect to the climatological context. All tested polarimetric relations are shown to be sensitive to hail contamination as inferred from the results of automatic polarimetric echo classification and available storm reports.

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Arunchandra S. Chandra
,
Pavlos Kollias
,
Scott E. Giangrande
, and
Stephen A. Klein

Abstract

A long-term study of the turbulent structure of the convective boundary layer (CBL) at the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Climate Research Facility is presented. Doppler velocity measurements from insects occupying the lowest 2 km of the boundary layer during summer months are used to map the vertical velocity component in the CBL. The observations cover four summer periods (2004–08) and are classified into cloudy and clear boundary layer conditions. Profiles of vertical velocity variance, skewness, and mass flux are estimated to study the daytime evolution of the convective boundary layer during these conditions. A conditional sampling method is applied to the original Doppler velocity dataset to extract coherent vertical velocity structures and to examine plume dimension and contribution to the turbulent transport. Overall, the derived turbulent statistics are consistent with previous aircraft and lidar observations. The observations provide unique insight into the daytime evolution of the convective boundary layer and the role of increased cloudiness in the turbulent budget of the subcloud layer. Coherent structures (plumes–thermals) are found to be responsible for more than 80% of the total turbulent transport resolved by the cloud radar system. The extended dataset is suitable for evaluating boundary layer parameterizations and testing large-eddy simulations (LESs) for a variety of surface and cloud conditions.

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Alexander V. Ryzhkov
,
Terry J. Schuur
,
Donald W. Burgess
,
Pamela L. Heinselman
,
Scott E. Giangrande
, and
Dusan S. Zrnic

As part of the evolution and future enhancement of the Next Generation Weather Radars (NEXRAD), the National Severe Storms Laboratory recently upgraded the KOUN Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) to include a polarimetric capability. The proof of concept was tested in central Oklahoma during a 1-yr demonstration project referred to as the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE). This paper presents an overview of polarimetric algorithms for rainfall estimation and hydrometeor classification and their performance during JPOLE. The quality of rainfall measurements is validated on a large dataset from the Oklahoma Mesonet and Agricultural Research Service Micronet rain gauge networks. The comparison demonstrates that polarimetric rainfall estimates are often dramatically superior to those provided by conventional rainfall algorithms. Using a synthetic R(Z, K DP, Z DR) polarimetric rainfall relation, rms errors are reduced by a factor of 1.7 for point measurements and 3.7 for areal estimates [when compared to results from a conventional R(Z) relation]. Radar data quality improvement, hail identification, rain/snow discrimination, and polarimetric tornado detection are also illustrated for selected events.

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M. Heistermann
,
S. Collis
,
M. J. Dixon
,
S. Giangrande
,
J. J. Helmus
,
B. Kelley
,
J. Koistinen
,
D. B. Michelson
,
M. Peura
,
T. Pfaff
, and
D. B. Wolff

Abstract

Weather radar analysis has become increasingly sophisticated over the past 50 years, and efforts to keep software up to date have generally lagged behind the needs of the users. We argue that progress has been impeded by the fact that software has not been developed and shared as a community.

Recently, the situation has been changing. In this paper, the developers of a number of open-source software (OSS) projects highlight the potential of OSS to advance radar-related research. We argue that the community-based development of OSS holds the potential to reduce duplication of efforts and to create transparency in implemented algorithms while improving the quality and scope of the software. We also conclude that there is sufficiently mature technology to support collaboration across different software projects. This could allow for consolidation toward a set of interoperable software platforms, each designed to accommodate very specific user requirements.

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P. Kollias
,
N. Bharadwaj
,
E. E. Clothiaux
,
K. Lamer
,
M. Oue
,
J. Hardin
,
B. Isom
,
I. Lindenmaier
,
A. Matthews
,
E. P. Luke
,
S. E. Giangrande
,
K. Johnson
,
S. Collis
,
J. Comstock
, and
J. H. Mather

Abstract

Improving our ability to predict future weather and climate conditions is strongly linked to achieving significant advancements in our understanding of cloud and precipitation processes. Observations are critical to making these advancements because they both improve our understanding of these processes and provide constraints on numerical models. Historically, instruments for observing cloud properties have limited cloud–aerosol investigations to a small subset of cloud-process interactions. To address these challenges, the last decade has seen the U.S. DOE ARM facility significantly upgrade and expand its surveillance radar capabilities toward providing holistic and multiscale observations of clouds and precipitation. These upgrades include radars that operate at four frequency bands covering a wide range of scattering regimes, improving upon the information contained in earlier ARM observations. The traditional ARM emphasis on the vertical column is maintained, providing more comprehensive, calibrated, and multiparametric measurements of clouds and precipitation. In addition, the ARM radar network now features multiple scanning dual-polarization Doppler radars to exploit polarimetric and multi-Doppler capabilities that provide a wealth of information on storm microphysics and dynamics under a wide range of conditions. Although the diversity in wavelengths and detection capabilities are unprecedented, there is still considerable work ahead before the full potential of these radar advancements is realized. This includes synergy with other observations, improved forward and inverse modeling methods, and well-designed data–model integration methods. The overarching goal is to provide a comprehensive characterization of a complete volume of the cloudy atmosphere and to act as a natural laboratory for the study of cloud processes.

Free access
P. Kollias
,
N. Bharadwaj
,
E. E. Clothiaux
,
K. Lamer
,
M. Oue
,
J. Hardin
,
B. Isom
,
I. Lindenmaier
,
A. Matthews
,
E. P. Luke
,
S. E. Giangrande
,
K. Johnson
,
S. Collis
,
J. Comstock
, and
J. H. Mather
Full access
M. P. Jensen
,
W. A. Petersen
,
A. Bansemer
,
N. Bharadwaj
,
L. D. Carey
,
D. J. Cecil
,
S. M. Collis
,
A. D. Del Genio
,
B. Dolan
,
J. Gerlach
,
S. E. Giangrande
,
A. Heymsfield
,
G. Heymsfield
,
P. Kollias
,
T. J. Lang
,
S. W. Nesbitt
,
A. Neumann
,
M. Poellot
,
S. A. Rutledge
,
M. Schwaller
,
A. Tokay
,
C. R. Williams
,
D. B. Wolff
,
S. Xie
, and
E. J. Zipser

Abstract

The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E), a field program jointly led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, was conducted in south-central Oklahoma during April–May 2011. MC3E science objectives were motivated by the need to improve our understanding of midlatitude continental convective cloud system life cycles, microphysics, and GPM precipitation retrieval algorithms. To achieve these objectives, a multiscale surface- and aircraft-based in situ and remote sensing observing strategy was employed. A variety of cloud and precipitation events were sampled during MC3E, of which results from three deep convective events are highlighted. Vertical structure, air motions, precipitation drop size distributions, and ice properties were retrieved from multiwavelength radar, profiler, and aircraft observations for a mesoscale convective system (MCS) on 11 May. Aircraft observations for another MCS observed on 20 May were used to test agreement between observed radar reflectivities and those calculated with forward-modeled reflectivity and microwave brightness temperatures using in situ particle size distributions and ice water content. Multiplatform observations of a supercell that occurred on 23 May allowed for an integrated analysis of kinematic and microphysical interactions. A core updraft of 25 m s−1 supported growth of hail and large raindrops. Data collected during the MC3E campaign are being used in a number of current and ongoing research projects and are available through the ARM and NASA data archives.

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S. T. Martin
,
P. Artaxo
,
L. Machado
,
A. O. Manzi
,
R. A. F. Souza
,
C. Schumacher
,
J. Wang
,
T. Biscaro
,
J. Brito
,
A. Calheiros
,
K. Jardine
,
A. Medeiros
,
B. Portela
,
S. S. de Sá
,
K. Adachi
,
A. C. Aiken
,
R. Albrecht
,
L. Alexander
,
M. O. Andreae
,
H. M. J. Barbosa
,
P. Buseck
,
D. Chand
,
J. M. Comstock
,
D. A. Day
,
M. Dubey
,
J. Fan
,
J. Fast
,
G. Fisch
,
E. Fortner
,
S. Giangrande
,
M. Gilles
,
A. H. Goldstein
,
A. Guenther
,
J. Hubbe
,
M. Jensen
,
J. L. Jimenez
,
F. N. Keutsch
,
S. Kim
,
C. Kuang
,
A. Laskin
,
K. McKinney
,
F. Mei
,
M. Miller
,
R. Nascimento
,
T. Pauliquevis
,
M. Pekour
,
J. Peres
,
T. Petäjä
,
C. Pöhlker
,
U. Pöschl
,
L. Rizzo
,
B. Schmid
,
J. E. Shilling
,
M. A. Silva Dias
,
J. N. Smith
,
J. M. Tomlinson
,
J. Tóta
, and
M. Wendisch

Abstract

The Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon 2014–2015 (GoAmazon2014/5) experiment took place around the urban region of Manaus in central Amazonia across 2 years. The urban pollution plume was used to study the susceptibility of gases, aerosols, clouds, and rainfall to human activities in a tropical environment. Many aspects of air quality, weather, terrestrial ecosystems, and climate work differently in the tropics than in the more thoroughly studied temperate regions of Earth. GoAmazon2014/5, a cooperative project of Brazil, Germany, and the United States, employed an unparalleled suite of measurements at nine ground sites and on board two aircraft to investigate the flow of background air into Manaus, the emissions into the air over the city, and the advection of the pollution downwind of the city. Herein, to visualize this train of processes and its effects, observations aboard a low-flying aircraft are presented. Comparative measurements within and adjacent to the plume followed the emissions of biogenic volatile organic carbon compounds (BVOCs) from the tropical forest, their transformations by the atmospheric oxidant cycle, alterations of this cycle by the influence of the pollutants, transformations of the chemical products into aerosol particles, the relationship of these particles to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity, and the differences in cloud properties and rainfall for background compared to polluted conditions. The observations of the GoAmazon2014/5 experiment illustrate how the hydrologic cycle, radiation balance, and carbon recycling may be affected by present-day as well as future economic development and pollution over the Amazonian tropical forest.

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