Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 433894
Title Rain cell-based identification of the vertical profile of reflectivity as observed by weather radar an its use for precipitation uncertainty estimation
Author(s) Hazenberg, P.; Torfs, P.J.J.F.; Leijnse, H.; Uijlenhoet, R.
Event 7th European Conference on Radar in Meteorology and Hydrology - ERAD 2012, Toulouse, France, 2012-06-24/2012-06-29
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
WIMEK
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2012
Abstract The wide scale implementation of weather radar systems over the last couple of decades has increased our understanding concerning spatio-temporal precipitation dynamics. However, the quantitative estimation of precipitation by these devices is affected by many sources of error. A very dominant source of error results from vertical variations in the hydrometeor size distribution known as the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR). Since the height of the measurement as well as the beam volume increases with distance from the radar, for stratiform precipitation this results in a serious underestimation (overestimation) of the surface reflectivity while sampling within the snow (bright band) region. This research presents a precipitation cell-based implementation to correct volumetric weather radar measurements for VPR effects. Using the properties of a flipping carpenter square, a contour-based identification technique was developed, which is able to identify and track precipitation cells in real time, distinguishing between convective, stratiform and undefined precipitation. For the latter two types of systems, for each individual cell, a physically plausible vertical profile of reflectivity is estimated using a Monte Carlo optimization method. Since it can be expected that the VPR will vary within a given precipitation cell, a method was developed to take the uncertainty of the VPR estimate into account. As a result, we are able to estimate the amount of precipitation uncertainty as observed by weather radar due to VPR for a given precipitation type and storm cell. We demonstrate the possibilities of this technique for a number of winter precipitation systems observed within the Belgian Ardennes. For these systems, in general, the precipitation uncertainty estimate due to vertical reflectivity profile variations varies between 10-40%.
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