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Atmosphere 2016, 7(6), 81; doi:10.3390/atmos7060081

Accurate Characterization of Winter Precipitation Using Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, Visual Hull, Advanced Scattering Methods and Polarimetric Radar

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
CSU-CHILL National Weather Radar Facility, Colorado State University, Greeley, CO 80523, USA
3
Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO 80305, USA
4
Department of Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Katja Friedrich
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 28 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Clouds and Precipitation)

Abstract

This article proposes and presents a novel approach to the characterization of winter precipitation and modeling of radar observables through a synergistic use of advanced optical disdrometers for microphysical and geometrical measurements of ice and snow particles (in particular, a multi-angle snowflake camera—MASC), image processing methodology, advanced method-of-moments scattering computations, and state-of-the-art polarimetric radars. The article also describes the newly built and established MASCRAD (MASC + Radar) in-situ measurement site, under the umbrella of CSU-CHILL Radar, as well as the MASCRAD project and 2014/2015 winter campaign. We apply a visual hull method to reconstruct 3D shapes of ice particles based on high-resolution MASC images, and perform “particle-by-particle” scattering computations to obtain polarimetric radar observables. The article also presents and discusses selected illustrative observation data, results, and analyses for three cases with widely-differing meteorological settings that involve contrasting hydrometeor forms. Illustrative results of scattering calculations based on MASC images captured during these events, in comparison with radar data, as well as selected comparative studies of snow habits from MASC, 2D video-disdrometer, and CHILL radar data, are presented, along with the analysis of microphysical characteristics of particles. In the longer term, this work has potential to significantly improve the radar-based quantitative winter-precipitation estimation. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter precipitation; polarimetric radar; in-situ measurements; multi-angle snowflake camera; 2D video-disdrometer; electromagnetic scattering; hydrometeor shapes; frozen phase microphysics winter precipitation; polarimetric radar; in-situ measurements; multi-angle snowflake camera; 2D video-disdrometer; electromagnetic scattering; hydrometeor shapes; frozen phase microphysics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Notaroš, B.M.; Bringi, V.N.; Kleinkort, C.; Kennedy, P.; Huang, G.-J.; Thurai, M.; Newman, A.J.; Bang, W.; Lee, G. Accurate Characterization of Winter Precipitation Using Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, Visual Hull, Advanced Scattering Methods and Polarimetric Radar. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 81.

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