Articles | Volume 9, issue 8
Research article
22 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 22 Aug 2016

Dual-polarization radar rainfall estimation in Korea according to raindrop shapes obtained by using a 2-D video disdrometer

Hae-Lim Kim, Mi-Kyung Suk, Hye-Sook Park, Gyu-Won Lee, and Jeong-Seok Ko

Abstract. Polarimetric measurements are sensitive to the sizes, concentrations, orientations, and shapes of raindrops. Thus, rainfall rates calculated from polarimetric radar are influenced by the raindrop shapes and canting. The mean raindrop shape can be obtained from long-term raindrop size distribution (DSD) observations, and the shapes of raindrops can play an important role in polarimetric rainfall algorithms based on differential reflectivity (ZDR) and specific differential phase (KDP). However, the mean raindrop shape is associated with the variation of the DSD, which can change depending on precipitation types and climatic regimes. Furthermore, these relationships have not been studied extensively on the Korean Peninsula. In this study, we present a method to find optimal polarimetric rainfall algorithms for the Korean Peninsula by using data provided by both a two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) and the Bislsan S-band dual-polarization radar. First, a new axis-ratio relation was developed to improve radar rainfall estimations. Second, polarimetric rainfall algorithms were derived by using different axis-ratio relations. The rain gauge data were used to represent the ground truth situation, and the estimated radar-point hourly mean rain rates obtained from the different polarimetric rainfall algorithms were compared with the hourly rain rates measured by a rain gauge. The daily calibration biases of horizontal reflectivity (ZH) and differential reflectivity (ZDR) were calculated by comparing ZH and ZDR radar measurements with the same parameters simulated by the 2DVD. Overall, the derived new axis ratio was similar to the existing axis ratio except for both small particles (≤ 2 mm) and large particles (≥ 5.5 mm). The shapes of raindrops obtained by the new axis-ratio relation carried out with the 2DVD were more oblate than the shapes obtained by the existing relations. The combined polarimetric rainfall relations using ZDR and KDP were more efficient than the single-parameter rainfall relation for estimated 2DVD rainfall; however, the R(ZH, ZDR) algorithm showed the best performance for radar rainfall estimations, because the rainfall events used in the analysis consisted mainly of weak precipitation and KDP is relatively noisy at lower rain rates (≤ 10 mm h−1). Some of the polarimetric rainfall algorithms can be further improved by new axis-ratio relations.

Short summary
The main contribution of our paper is that we present a method to find optimal polarimetric rainfall algorithms on the Korean Peninsula using the 2-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) and Bislsan S-band dual-polarization radar. We believe that this contribution is theoretically and practically relevant because it will help improve rainfall estimation. Our research is of particular interest and use to those who use radar to provide climatic information and forecasting.