Browsing by Subject "POLARIMETRIC RADAR"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-9 of 9
  • Leinonen, Jussi; Moisseev, Dmitri; Leskinen, Matti; Petersen, Walter A. (2012)
    To improve the understanding of high-latitude rain microphysics and its implications for the remote sensing of rainfall by ground-based and spaceborne radars, raindrop size measurements have been analyzed that were collected over five years with a Joss–Waldvogel disdrometer located in Järvenpää, Finland. The analysis shows that the regional climate is characterized by light rain and small drop size with narrow size distributions and that the mutual relations of drop size distribution parameters differ from those reported at lower latitudes. Radar parameters computed from the distributions demonstrate that the high latitudes are a challenging target for weather radar observations, particularly those employing polarimetric and dual-frequency techniques. Nevertheless, the findings imply that polarimetric ground radars can produce reliable “ground truth” estimates for space observations and identify dual-frequency radars utilizing a W-band channel as promising tools for observing rainfall in the high-latitude climate.
  • Li, Haoran; Moisseev, Dmitri; von Lerber, Annakaisa (2018)
    As an ice particle grows by riming its shape is expected to change, resulting in a more spherical particle at the later stages of riming. This conceptual model is at the core of the current ice microphysical schemes and used for dual-polarization radar observation based classification of hydrometeors. A quantitative relation between riming and shapes of snowflake aggregates, however, has not been established yet. This study aims to derive this relation by using surface-based precipitation and coinciding dual-polarization radar observations. The observations were collected during four winter seasons, 49 snowstorms, at University of Helsinki measurement station in Hyytiala, Finland. Results show that relation between the differential reflectivity and reflectivity-weighted rime mass fraction is not monotonic and depends on reflectivity-weighted mean diameter. This behavior can be explained by the opposing effects of riming on dual-polarization radar observations. Riming increases particle bulk density, which leads to more pronounced dual-polarization radar signatures. As riming progresses the aspect ratio of snowflake increases slowly until the rime mass fraction value reaches a certainty value after which the aspect ratio increases more rapidly. Finally, coutilization of Z(e), Z(dr), and K-dp for inferring riming fraction is analyzed.
  • Sinclair, Victoria A.; Moisseev, Dmitri; von Lerber, Annakaisa (2016)
    In this paper it is discussed how dual-polarization radar observations can be used to verify model representations of secondary ice production. An event where enhanced specific differential phase, K-dp, signatures in snow occur at the altitudes where temperatures lie in the range between -8 and -3 degrees C is investigated. By combining radar and surface-based precipitation observations it is shown that these dual-polarization radar signatures are most likely caused by ice with concentrations exceeding those expected from primary ice parameterizations. It is also shown that the newly formed ice particles readily aggregate, which may explain why K-dp values seem to be capped at 0.2-0.3 degrees/km for a Cband radar. For the event of interest, multiple high-resolution (1km) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations are conducted. When the default versions of the Morrison microphysics schemes were used, the simulated number concentration of frozen hydrometeors is much lower than observed and the simulated ice particle concentrations are comparable with values expected from primary ice parameterizations. Higher ice concentrations, which exceed values expected from primary ice parameterizations, were simulated when adhoc thresholds for rain and cloud water mixing ratio in the Hallett-Mossop part of the Morrison scheme were removed. These results suggest that the parameterization of secondary ice production in operational weather prediction models needs to be revisited and that dual-polarization radar observations, in conjunction with ancillary observations, can be used to verify them.
  • Moiseev, Dmitry; Lautaportti, Susanna; Alku, Laura; Tabakova, Ksenia; O'Connor, Ewan; Leskinen, Matti; Kulmala, Markku (2019)
    Abstract: Eleven years of dual-polarization weather radar data, complemented by satellite and lidar observations, were used to investigate the origin of areas of localized intensification of precipitation spotted in the vicinity of Helsinki-Vantaa airport. It was observed that existing precipitation is enhanced locally on spatial scales from a few kilometers to several tens of kilometers. The precipitation intensity in these localized areas was 6-14 times higher than the background large-scale precipitation rate. Surface observations and dual-polarization radar data indicate that snowflakes within the ice portion of the falling precipitation in the intensification regions are larger and more isotropic than in the surrounding precipitation. There appears to be an increase in the ice particle number concentration within the intensification region. The observed events were linked to arriving or departing air traffic. We advocate that the mechanism responsible for intensification is aircraft-produced ice particles boosting the aggregation growth of snowflakes. Plain Language Summary: By analyzing 11 years of dual-polarization weather radar observations in the Helsinki region, we have discovered that airplanes landing in or departing from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport could locally increase precipitation rate by as much as 14 times. The observed phenomenon is related to the hole-punch clouds, which are also forming with the help of airplanes. The reported observations allow us to have a better understanding of precipitation formation processes that take place in ice and mixed phase clouds. They show that falling ice crystals from upper clouds could seed lower clouds and therefore increase rain or snowfall intensity through the process called snowflake aggregation. During snowflake aggregation bigger faster falling particles are formed by ice particles colliding and sticking together.
  • Kneifel, Stefan; Moisseev, Dmitri (2020)
    Riming is an efficient process of converting liquid cloud water into ice and plays an important role in the formation of precipitation in cold clouds. Due to the rapid increase in ice particle mass, riming enhances the particle's terminal velocity, which can be detected by ground-based vertically pointing cloud radars if the effect of vertical air motions can be sufficiently mitigated. In our study, we first revisit a previously published approach to relate the radar mean Doppler velocity (MDV) to rime mass fraction (FR) using a large ground-based in situ dataset. This relation is then applied to multiyear datasets of cloud radar observations collected at four European sites covering polluted central European, clean maritime, and Arctic climatic conditions. We find that riming occurs in 1%-8% of the nonconvective ice containing clouds with median FR between 0.5 and 0.6. Both the frequency of riming and FR reveal relatively small variations for different seasons. In contrast to previous studies, which suggested enhanced riming for clean environments, our statistics indicate the opposite; however, the differences between the locations are overall small. We find a very strong relation between the frequency of riming and temperature. While riming is rare at temperatures lower than -12 degrees C, it strongly increases toward 0 degrees C. Previous studies found a very similar temperature dependence for the amount and droplet size of supercooled liquid water, which might be closely connected to the riming signature found in this study. In contrast to riming frequency, we find almost no temperature dependence for FR.
  • Moisseev, Dmitri; von Lerber, Annakaisa; Tiira, Jussi (2017)
    Ground-based observations of ice particle size distribution and ensemble mean density are used to quantify the effect of riming on snowfall. The rime mass fraction is derived from these measurements by following the approach that is used in a single ice-phase category microphysical scheme proposed for the use in numerical weather prediction models. One of the characteristics of the proposed scheme is that the prefactor of a power law relation that links mass and size of ice particles is determined by the rime mass fraction, while the exponent does not change. To derive the rime mass fraction, a mass-dimensional relation representative of unrimed snow is also determined. To check the validity of the proposed retrieval method, the derived rime mass fraction is converted to the effective liquid water path that is compared to microwave radiometer observations. Since dual-polarization radar observations are often used to detect riming, the impact of riming on dual-polarization radar variables is studied for differential reflectivity measurements. It is shown that the relation between rime mass fraction and differential reflectivity is ambiguous, other factors such as change in median volume diameter need also be considered. Given the current interest on sensitivity of precipitation to aerosol pollution, which could inhibit riming, the importance of riming for surface snow accumulation is investigated. It is found that riming is responsible for 5% to 40% of snowfall mass. The study is based on data collected at the University of Helsinki field station in Hyytiala during U.S. Department of Energy Biogenic Aerosols Effects on Clouds and Climate (BAECC) field campaign and the winter 2014/2015. In total 22 winter storms were analyzed, and detailed analysis of two events is presented to illustrate the study.
  • Li, Haoran; Tiira, Jussi; von Lerber, Annakaisa; Moisseev, Dmitri (2020)
    In stratiform rainfall, the melting layer (ML) is often visible in radar observations as an enhanced reflectivity band, the so-called bright band. Despite the ongoing debate on the exact microphysical processes taking place in the ML and on how they translate into radar measurements, both model simulations and observations indicate that the radar-measured ML properties are influenced by snow microphysical processes that take place above it. There is still, however, a lack of comprehensive observations to link the two. To advance our knowledge of precipitation formation in ice clouds and provide new insights into radar signatures of snow growth processes, we have investigated this link This study is divided into two parts. Firstly, surface-based snowfall measurements are used to develop a new method for identifying rimed and unrimed snow from X- and Ka-band Doppler radar observations. Secondly, this classification is used in combination with multifrequency and dual-polarization radar observations collected during the Biogenic Aerosols - Effects on Clouds and Climate (BAECC) experiment in 2014 to investigate the impact of precipitation intensity, aggregation, riming and dendritic growth on the ML properties. The results show that the radar-observed ML properties are highly related to the precipitation intensity. The previously reported bright band "sagging" is mainly connected to the increase in precipitation intensity. Ice particle riming plays a secondary role. In moderate to heavy rainfall, riming may cause additional bright band sagging, while in light precipitation the sagging is associated with unrimed snow. The correlation between ML properties and dual-polarization radar signatures in the snow region above appears to be arising through the connection of the radar signatures and ML properties to the precipitation intensity. In addition to advancing our knowledge of the link between ML properties and snow processes, the presented analysis demonstrates how multifrequency Doppler radar observations can be used to get a more detailed view of cloud processes and establish a link to precipitation formation.
  • Li, Haoran; Moisseev, Dmitri (2020)
    Dual-frequency dual-polarization radar observations of the melting of two ice populations in a stratiform rainfall event are presented. The observed phenomenon occurs as a two-layer linear depolarization ratio (LDR) signature in a single radar bright band. Doppler spectra observations show that the upper LDR layer is caused by the melting of ice needles, potentially generated by the rime-splintering process, while the lower one is mainly due to the melting of background ice particles formed at the cloud top. The melting signal of small needles acts as a unique benchmark for detecting the onset of melting and is used to verify the current methods for the identification of melting layer boundaries. The radar-derived characteristics of the melting layer are found to be dependent on the radar variable and frequency used. The implications of the presented findings for radar-based studies of precipitation properties in and above the melting layer are also discussed.
  • Tiira, Jussi; Moisseev, Dmitri (2020)
    Vertical profiles of polarimetric radar variables can be used to identify fingerprints of snow growth processes. In order to systematically study such manifestations of precipitation processes, we have developed an unsupervised classification method. The method is based on k-means clustering of vertical profiles of polarimetric radar variables, namely reflectivity, differential reflectivity and specific differential phase. For rain events, the classification is applied to radar profiles truncated at the melting layer top. For the snowfall cases, the surface air temperature is used as an additional input parameter. The proposed unsupervised classification was applied to 3.5 years of data collected by the Finnish Meteorological Institute Ikaalinen radar. The vertical profiles of radar variables were computed above the University of Helsinki Hyytiala station, located 64 km east of the radar. Using these data, we show that the profiles of radar variables can be grouped into 10 and 16 classes for rainfall and snowfall events, respectively. These classes seem to capture most important snow growth and ice cloud processes. Using this classification, the main features of the precipitation formation processes, as observed in Finland, are presented.