Improved analysis of solar signals for differential reflectivity monitoring
Abstract. The method for the daily monitoring of the differential reflectivity bias for polarimetric weather radars is developed further. Improved quality control is applied to the solar signals detected during the operational scanning of the radar, which efficiently removes rain and clutter-contaminated gates occurring in the solar hits. The simultaneous reflectivity data are used as a proxy to determine which data points are to be removed. A number of analysis methods to determine the differential reflectivity bias are compared, and methods based on surface fitting are found superior to simple averaging. A separate fit to the reflectivity of the horizontal and vertical polarization channels is recommended because of stability. Separate fitting also provides, in addition to the differential reflectivity bias, the pointing difference of the polarization channels. Data from the Finnish weather radar network show that the pointing difference is less than 0.02° and that the differential reflectivity bias is stable and determined to better than 0.04 dB. The results are compared to those from measurements at vertical incidence, which allows us to determine the total differential reflectivity bias including the differential receiver bias and the transmitter bias.