Improved Micro Rain Radar snow measurements using Doppler spectra post-processing
- 1Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
- 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Abstract. The Micro Rain Radar 2 (MRR) is a compact Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) system that operates at 24 GHz. The MRR is a low-cost, portable radar system that requires minimum supervision in the field. As such, the MRR is a frequently used radar system for conducting precipitation research. Current MRR drawbacks are the lack of a sophisticated post-processing algorithm to improve its sensitivity (currently at +3 dBz), spurious artefacts concerning radar receiver noise and the lack of high quality Doppler radar moments. Here we propose an improved processing method which is especially suited for snow observations and provides reliable values of effective reflectivity, Doppler velocity and spectral width. The proposed method is freely available on the web and features a noise removal based on recognition of the most significant peak. A dynamic dealiasing routine allows observations even if the Nyquist velocity range is exceeded. Collocated observations over 115 days of a MRR and a pulsed 35.2 GHz MIRA35 cloud radar show a very high agreement for the proposed method for snow, if reflectivities are larger than −5 dBz. The overall sensitivity is increased to −14 and −8 dBz, depending on range. The proposed method exploits the full potential of MRR's hardware and substantially enhances the use of Micro Rain Radar for studies of solid precipitation.