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Xinxin Xie, Raquel Evaristo, Silke Troemel, Pablo Saavedra, Clemens Simmer, and Alexander Ryzhkov

Abstract

This study analyzes radar observations of evaporation in rain and investigates its impact on surface rainfall and atmospheric cooling rates. A 1D model is used to examine the impact of raindrop evaporation on the evolution of the initial raindrop size distribution (DSD), the resulting reflectivity (Z), and differential reflectivity (Z DR) and surface rain rates. Raindrop evaporation leads to a decrease of Z and an increase of Z DR toward the surface because of the depletion of small raindrops that evaporate first and thus enhance the mean raindrop size. The latter effect, however, can be reduced because of the increasing temperature toward the surface and may even lead to a decrease of Z DR toward the surface. Two events with significant rain evaporation, observed simultaneously by a polarimetric X-band radar and a K-band Micro Rain Radar (MRR), offer quite detailed insight into the evaporation process. During the first event, which exhibits an initial Z DR > 1.5 dB in the upper rain column, raindrops undergo relatively weak evaporation as deduced from the decrease of the small raindrop fraction observed by the MRR. The second event is characterized by a lower initial Z DR < 0.5 dB with all raindrops evaporating before reaching the ground. A retrieval scheme for estimating the evaporation-related cooling rate and surface precipitation from polarimetric radar observations below the bright band is derived based on MRR observations. The algorithm is then used to simulate polarimetric X-band radar observations, which might mitigate uncertainties in the surface rainfall retrievals due to evaporation at far distances from the radars and in the case of beam blocking.

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Alexander Ryzhkov, Sergey Y. Matrosov, Valery Melnikov, Dusan Zrnic, Pengfei Zhang, Qing Cao, Michael Knight, Clemens Simmer, and Silke Troemel

Abstract

A new methodology for estimating the depolarization ratio (DR) by dual-polarization radars with simultaneous transmission/reception of orthogonally polarized waves together with traditionally measured differential reflectivity Z DR, correlation coefficient ρ , and differential phase ΦDP in a single mode of operation is suggested. This depolarization ratio can serve as a proxy for circular depolarization ratio measured by radars with circular polarization. The suggested methodology implies the use of a high-power phase shifter to control the system differential phase on transmission and a special signal processing to eliminate the detrimental impact of differential phase on the estimate of DR. The feasibility of the suggested approach has been demonstrated by retrieving DR from the standard polarimetric variables and the raw in-phase I and quadrature Q components of radar signals and by implementing the scheme on a C-band radar with simultaneous transmission/reception of horizontally and vertically polarized waves. Possible practical implications of using DR include the detection of hail and the determination of its size above the melting layer, the discrimination between various habits of ice aloft, and the possible identification and quantification of riming, which is associated with the presence of supercooled cloud water. Some examples of these applications are presented.

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