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Utilization of a C-band Polarimetric Radar for Severe Rainfall Event Analysis in Complex Terrain over Eastern China

1
Hangzhou Meteorological Bureau, Hangzhou 310051, China
2
Zhejiang Institute of Meteorological Sciences, Hangzhou 321000, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
4
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
5
NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
6
Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010022
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 23 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Polarimetry—Applications in Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
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Abstract

Polarimetric radar measurements and products perform as the cornerstones of modern severe weather warning and nowcast systems. Two radar quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) frameworks, one based on a radar-gauge feedback mechanism and the other based on standard rain drop size distribution (DSD)-derived rainfall retrieval relationships, are both evaluated and investigated through an extreme severe convective rainfall event that occurred on 23 June 2015 in the mountainous region over eastern China, using the first routinely operational C-band polarimetric radar in China. Complex rainstorm characteristics, as indicated by polarimetric radar observables, are also presented to account for the severe rainfall field center located in the gap between gauge stations. Our results show that (i) the improvements of the gauge-feedback-derived radar QPE estimator can be attributed to the attenuation correction technique and dynamically adjusted Z–R relationships, but it greatly relies on the gauge measurement accuracy. (ii) A DSD-derived radar QPE estimator based on the specific differential phase (KDP) performs best among all rainfall estimators, and the interaction between the mesocyclone and the windward slope of the mountainous terrain can account for its apparent overestimation. (iii) The rainstorm is mainly dominated by small-sized and moderate-sized raindrops, with the mean volume diameter being less than 2 mm, but its KDP column (KDP > 3°·km−1) has a liquid water content that is higher than 2.4815 g·m−3, and a high raindrop concentration (Nw) with log10(Nw) exceeding 5.1 mm−1m−3. In addition, small hailstones falling and melting are also found in this event, which further aggregates Nw upon the severe rainfall center in the gap between gauge stations. View Full-Text
Keywords: polarimetric radar; complex terrain; eastern China; flash flood; quantitative precipitation estimation polarimetric radar; complex terrain; eastern China; flash flood; quantitative precipitation estimation
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Gou, Y.; Ma, Y.; Chen, H.; Yin, J. Utilization of a C-band Polarimetric Radar for Severe Rainfall Event Analysis in Complex Terrain over Eastern China. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 22.

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