Intercomparisons of CloudSat and Ground-Based Radar Retrievals of Rain Rate...

Matrosov, S. (2014), Intercomparisons of CloudSat and Ground-Based Radar Retrievals of Rain Rate over Land, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 53, 2360-2370, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0055.1.

Experimental retrievals of rain rates using the CloudSat spaceborne 94-GHz radar reflectivity gradient method over land were evaluated by comparing them with standard estimates from ground-based operational S-band radar measurements, which are widely used for quantitative precipitation estimations. The comparisons were performed for predominantly stratiform precipitation events that occurred in the vicinity of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) KGWX and KSHV radars during the CloudSat overpasses in the vicinity of these ground radar sites. The standard reflectivity-based WSR-88D rain-rate retrievals used in operational practice were utilized as a reference for the CloudSat retrieval evaluation. Spaceborne and ground-based radar rain-rate estimates that were closely collocated in space and time were generally well correlated. The correlation coefficients were approximately 0.65 on average, and the mean relative biases were usually within 635% for the whole dataset and for individual events with typical rain rates exceeding ;2 mm h21. For events with lighter rainfall, higher biases and lower correlations were often present. The normalized mean absolute differences between satellite- and ground-based radar retrievals were on average ;60%, with an increasing trend for lighter rainfall. Such mean differences are comparable to combined retrieval errors from both ground-based and satellite radar remote sensing approaches. Evaluation of potential effects of partial beam blockage on the ground-based radar measurements was performed, and the influence of the choice of relation between WSR-88D reflectivity and rain rate that was utilized in the ground-based rain-rate retrievals was assessed.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Dynamics and Precipitation Program (ADP)
Energy & Water Cycle Program (EWCP)