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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090964

A Method for Retrieving Vertical Air Velocities in Convective Clouds over the Tibetan Plateau from TIPEX-III Cloud Radar Doppler Spectra

1
Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, China
2
State Key Lab of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
3
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

In the summertime, convective cells occur frequently over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) because of the large dynamic and thermal effects of the landmass. Measurements of vertical air velocity in convective cloud are useful for advancing our understanding of the dynamic and microphysical mechanisms of clouds and can be used to improve the parameterization of current numerical models. This paper presents a technique for retrieving high-resolution vertical air velocities in convective clouds over the TP through the use of Doppler spectra from vertically pointing Ka-band cloud radar. The method was based on the development of a “small-particle-traced” idea and its associated data processing, and it used three modes of radar. Spectral broadening corrections, uncertainty estimations, and results merging were used to ensure accurate results. Qualitative analysis of two typical convective cases showed that the retrievals were reliable and agreed with the expected results inferred from other radar measurements. A quantitative retrieval of vertical air motion from a ground-based optical disdrometer was used to compare with the radar-derived result. This comparison illustrated that, while the data trends from the two methods of retrieval were in agreement while identifying the updrafts and downdrafts, the cloud radar had a much higher resolution and was able to reveal the small-scale variations in vertical air motion. View Full-Text
Keywords: vertical air velocity; millimeter-wave cloud radar; convective cloud; Tibetan Plateau vertical air velocity; millimeter-wave cloud radar; convective cloud; Tibetan Plateau
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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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Zheng, J.; Liu, L.; Zhu, K.; Wu, J.; Wang, B. A Method for Retrieving Vertical Air Velocities in Convective Clouds over the Tibetan Plateau from TIPEX-III Cloud Radar Doppler Spectra. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 964.

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