A moment-based polarimetric radar forward operator for rain microphysics

Matthew Robert Kumjian, Charlotte P. Martinkus, Olivier P. Prat, Scott Collis, Marcus Van Lier-Walqui, Hugh C. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is growing interest in combining microphysical models and polarimetric radar observations to improve our understanding of storms and precipitation. Mapping model-predicted variables into the radar observational space necessitates a forward operator, which requires assumptions that introduce uncertainties into model-observation comparisons. These include uncertainties arising from the microphysics scheme a priori assumptions of a fixed drop size distribution (DSD) functional form, whereas natural DSDs display far greater variability. To address this concern, this study presents a moment-based polarimetric radar forward operator with no fundamental restrictions on the DSD form by linking radar observables to integrated DSD moments. The forward operator is built upon a dataset of >200 million realistic DSDs from one-dimensional bin microphysical rain-shaft simulations, and surface disdrometer measurements from around the world. This allows for a robust statistical assessment of forward operator uncertainty and quantification of the relationship between polarimetric radar observables and DSD moments. Comparison of ''truth'' and forward-simulated vertical profiles of the polarimetric radar variables are shown for bin simulations using a variety of moment combinations. Higher-order moments (especially those optimized for use with the polarimetric radar variables: the sixth and ninth) perform better than the lower-order moments (zeroth and third) typically predicted by many bulk microphysics schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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radar
rain
shaft
vertical profile
simulation
comparison

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Kumjian, Matthew Robert ; Martinkus, Charlotte P. ; Prat, Olivier P. ; Collis, Scott ; Van Lier-Walqui, Marcus ; Morrison, Hugh C. / A moment-based polarimetric radar forward operator for rain microphysics. In: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 2019 ; Vol. 58, No. 1. pp. 113-130.
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Kumjian, MR, Martinkus, CP, Prat, OP, Collis, S, Van Lier-Walqui, M & Morrison, HC 2019, 'A moment-based polarimetric radar forward operator for rain microphysics', Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 113-130. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0121.1

A moment-based polarimetric radar forward operator for rain microphysics. / Kumjian, Matthew Robert; Martinkus, Charlotte P.; Prat, Olivier P.; Collis, Scott; Van Lier-Walqui, Marcus; Morrison, Hugh C.

In: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 58, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 113-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Martinkus, Charlotte P.

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AU - Morrison, Hugh C.

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