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WEATHER RADAR TRAINING 5.

0 / ISTANBUL-2010 TURKISH STATE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE (TSMS) WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO) COMMISSION FOR INSTRUMENTS AND METHODS OF OBSERVATION (CIMO) OPAG ON CAPACITY BUILDING (OPAG-CB/C.2.) TRAINING ACTIVITIES AND TRAINING MATERIALS

TRAINING COURSE ON WEATHER RADAR SYSTEMS


MODULE D: RADAR PRODUCTS AND OPERATIONAL APPLICATIONS
CNEYT GEER-Meteorological Engineer REMOTE SENSING DIVISION TURKISH STATE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE 10-14 OCTOBER 2010 WMO RTC-TURKEY ISTANBUL FACILITIES, ISTANBUL-TURKEY

MODULE D- RADAR PRODUCTS AND OPERATIONAL APPLICATIONS

IMPORTANT NOTE!
The main sources of the information used in those training documents, which have been stated in the reference list, are the guides published by WMO, technical brochure and instruction manuals of the manufacturers, all related documents issued by research institutions, universities and manufacturers, and all the documents available for anyone in the internet. In addition, previous version of those documents have been reviewed and updated based on the comments of the participants of the previous trainings and view of the instrument experts of TSMS. It must be always kept in mind that those document have been prepared just for such training courses but not for any commercial purposes.

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MODULE A: INTRODUCTION TO RADAR

MODULE B: RADAR HARDWARE

MODULE C: PROCESSING BASICS IN DOPPLER WEATHER RADARS

MODULE D: RADAR PRODUCTS AND OPERATIONAL APPLICATIONS

MODULE E: RADAR MAINTENANCE AND CALIBRATION TECHNIQUES

MODULE F: RADAR INFRASTRUCTURE

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RADAR PRODUCTS AND OPERATIONAL APPLICATIONS CONTENTS CONTENTS FIGURE LIST TABLE LIST ABBREVIATIONS 1 2 3 INTRODUCTION SCANNING SIGNAL PROCESSING AND RADAR PRODUCT GENERATION 3 4 6 7 9 10 14 17 17 17 20 22 23 26 26 29 32 33 34 35 35 37 38 40 41 43 45 46 48 49 51

4 RADAR PRODUCTS 4.1. Radar Data 4.1.1. Reflectivity 4.1.2. Velocity 4.1.3. Spectrum Width 4.1.4. Differential Reflectivity 4.2. Base Products 4.2.1. PPI Product 4.2.2. RHI Product 4.2.3. CAPPI Product 4.2.4. Echo Top Heights 4.2.5. Maximum Reflectivity 4.3. Derived Products 4.3.1. SRI Product 4.3.2. Vertically Integrated Liquid (VIL) 4.3.3. Surface Precipitation Accumulation 4.3.4. Subcatchment Accumulation 4.3.5. Wind Speed and Direction 4.3.6. Vertical Wind Profile 4.3.7. Wind Shear 4.4. Warning Products 4.5. Tracking Products 4.6. Dual Polarization Products 5 REFERENCES

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FIGURE LIST FIGURE 1: FIGURE 2: FIGURE 3: FIGURE 4: FIGURE 5: FIGURE 6: FIGURE 7: FIGURE 8: FIGURE 9: FIGURE 10: FIGURE 11: FIGURE 12: FIGURE 13: FIGURE 14: FIGURE 15: FIGURE 16: FIGURE 17: FIGURE 18: FIGURE 19: FIGURE 20: FIGURE 21: FIGURE 22: FIGURE 23: FIGURE 24: FIGURE 25: FIGURE 26: FIGURE 27: FIGURE 28: FIGURE 29: FIGURE 30: FIGURE 31: FIGURE 32: FIGURE 33: FIGURE 34: FIGURE 35: FIGURE 36: FIGURE 37: PPI and RHI scanning Volume scan Example of 15-tilt volume scan Signal processing and radar product generation Radar data flow infrastructure Task configuration tool (from IRIS) Product configuration tool (from IRIS) Echo intensities The interpretation of dBZ factors on colour figure Echo intensity scales for clear air (left) and precipitation mode (right) Doppler frequency shift by moving targets Doppler radial velocities and an example image Another figure of Doppler radial velocities Spectrum width and its averages Dual polarization Raindrop diagram Hydrometeor types in a radar volume coverage Hydrometeor classification products A PPI product display A PPI(V) product display PPI(W) product PPI(V) product A RHI product A cross-section product (in this case height of the Maximum reflectivity is 2,5 km) A cross-section product A CAPPI product Echo top heights display product for 30 dBZ of selectable threshold value The schematic diagram of the maximum reflectivities A Maximum reflectivity product display (in this case, height is from 0 km to 12 km) A SRI product display A VIL product display A surface precipitation accumulation product of the last 6 hours An hourly surface precipitation accumulation product Subcatchment accumulation product display Subcatchment accumulation product (histogram display) A typical display of horizontal wind vectors at 2 km height The horizontal wind vectors displayed as an overlay product on the CAPPI(V) product
overlay product on the maximum reflectivity product

11 11 12 15 15 16 16 17 19 19 21 21 22 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 29 30 31 31 32 33 34 35 37 38 39 39 40 41 42 42 43 44 44 45

FIGURE 38: The horizontal wind vectors displayed as an FIGURE 39: A sample VVP product FIGURE 40: A sample VVP product FIGURE 41: A sample VVP product
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FIGURE 42: FIGURE 43: FIGURE 44: FIGURE 45: FIGURE 46:

A wind shear product A hail warning product Track with two centroids A sample tracking product Dual polarization products

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TABLE LIST

TABLE 1: TABLE 2: TABLE 3: TABLE 4: TABLE 5: TABLE 6: TABLE 7: TABLE 8:

PPI and RHI scanning types Example of defined parameters for precipitation mode volume scan configuration Example of defined parameters for clear air mode volume scan configuration The range of radar reflectivity factor The interpretation of dBZ factors Average Spectral Width values ZDR values of hydrometeors Input parameters and output types of a sample hydrometeor classification study

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ABBREVIATIONS: RADAR TSMS AWOS PPI CAPPI RHI MAX VVP VAD SRI VIL SL Cb RDA RPG AP PRF Vmax Rmax Hz PRT Sec. sec. cm dB dBZ c f Z hPa : Radio Detecting and Ranging : Turkish State Meteorological Service : Automated Weather Observing System : Plan Position Indicator : Constant Plan Position Indicator : Range Height Indicator : Maximum Display : Velocity Volume Processing : Velocity Azimuth Display : Surface Rainfall Intensity : Vertically Integrated Liquid : Squall Line : Cumulonimbus Cloud : Radar Data Acquisition : Radar Product Generation : Anomalous Propagation : Pulse Repetition Frequency : Maximum Unambiguous Velocity : Maximum Unambiguous Range : Hertz : Pulse Repetition Time : Second : Microsecond : Centimetre : Decibel : Logarithmic Scale for Measuring Radar Reflectivity Factor : Speed of light : Frequency : Wavelength : Reflectivity Factor of the Precipitation : Hectopascal

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1. INTRODUCTION The meteorological radar is a basic remote sensing tool which uses electromagnetic waves. It is also an atmospheric observation tool for detecting and tracking severe weather phenomena in real time covering large areas. The meteorological radar senses energy from the radar beam that is reflected back to the radar by various targets in the atmosphere. The targets in the atmosphere can be precipitation (like raindrops, hailstones, snowflakes, or sleet particles) or they can be non-meteorological (such as birds, insects, or bats). Among its main characteristics are: Rainfall accumulation and intensity Detection and analysis of wind velocity Vertical and horizontal wind profile Echo Top Heights Range selection presentation Storm speed and development As you aware from global warming, from the researchers point of view; global warming threatens all the world. Heavy rainfalls and flash flooding will be experienced more frequently in near future. Consequently, we should consider this problem. It is attached importance to weather radars worldwide recently. Meteorological radars are one of the most important component of a flood warning system. They can be used to issue early warning and to reduce risk of future floods. Although a flood warning system will not prevent floods, it will allow minimisation of damage and reduce the loss of life. A number of products are obtained from Doppler weather radars. These products include radar reflectivity factor, radial velocity, spectrum width and differential reflectivity data information which are directly observed/measured by Doppler weather radars. The radar products are classified in two groups generally as Base and Derived products. A radar product generation software provides for the determination and visualization of a set of base and derived products.

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The following base products are: Plan Position Indicator (PPI) Range Height Indicator (RHI) Constant Altitude PPI (CAPPI) Echo Top Heights Maximum Reflectivity The derived products are produced from some algorithms by the radar product generation softwares. The following derived products are grouped: Hydrological products: Surface Rainfall Intensity (SRI) Vertically Integrated Liquid (VIL) Surface Precipitation Accumulation Subcatchment Accumulation Wind products: Wind Speed and Direction Vertical Wind Profile Wind Shear Warning products (hail, wind shear, flash flood, etc.) Tracking Products Dual polarization products 2. SCANNING Firstly, it should be explained briefly how the radar products are generated. Raw data collection from the atmosphere via scanning is the first step in order to generate the radar products which were listed above. Scanning is the motion of the radar antenna during data collection. We can move the antenna up and down (elevation) and round in horizontal plane (azimuth). There are two base scanning techniques; PPI and RHI. Meteorological radars usually employ one of these two scanning techniques.

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Scan Mode Azimuth Elevation

PPI Full Full Circle: antenna scans 0~359 in azimuth continuously. Single angle in elevation or different elevation angles from -2 to 90 in elevation can be chosen for volume scan.

PPI Sector RHI Antenna scans between Antenna is fixed in an two azimuthal angles. azimuthal angle. scans Single angle in elevation Antenna two or different elevation between angles from -2 to 90 in elevation angles. elevation can be chosen for volume scan.

Table 1: PPI and RHI scanning types. Plan Position Indicator (PPI): The radar antenna holds its elevation angle constant but varies its azimuth angle. If the radar antenna rotates through 360 degrees in azimuth continuously, this is the PPI Full Scan and also called Surveillance Scan. If the radar antenna rotates through less than 360 degrees, the scan is called Sector Scan. Its good surveillance scan and good in operational setting. Range Height Indicator (RHI): The radar holds its azimuth angle constant but varies its elevation angle. The elevation angle normally is rotated from near the horizon to near the zenith (the point in the sky directly overhead). Its excellent for determining the detailed vertical structure of a storm. Figure 1: PPI and RHI scanning. Most of products require Volume Scan. Volume Scan is a radar scanning strategy in which sweeps are made at successive antenna elevations (tilts). In other words, volume scan is taken at multiple elevation angles either PPI Full or PPI Sector scans (generally PPI Full).

Volume Scan

N Range

Azimuth

Elevation

Elevation Step

Figure 2: Volume scan.


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A typical volume scan for precipitation mode is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Example of 15-tilt volume scan. As you see in 15-tilt volume scan, the scans are made at 15 different elevations starting at 0.8 and increasing up to 44.9. Precipitation Mode volume scan is the standard mode of operation whenever precipitation is first detected. When rain is occurring, the radar does not need to be as sensitive as in clear air mode as rain provides plenty of returning signals. When the weather conditions turn severe, the Precipitation Mode can be activated. The Precipitation Mode provides a faster scan rate to monitor a larger volume of space in a shorter time. This permits the tracking of rapidly moving meteorological phenomena found in convective weather patterns. This mode is characterized by the use of a short pulse width at both high and low PRFs. It consists of the Surveillance Task with Monitor Task. In addition, a RHI Task can be scheduled for observing storm structure in detail, especially for storms close to the radar (max range 120 km). In precipitation mode, the radar products update every 6 minutes.

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Elevation Angles () Resolution () Pulse Width (sec) Scan Speed (/sec) Data Samples Number of Bins Bin Spacing (m) Max Range (km) PRF (Hz) Unambiguous Velocity (m/s) Processing Data Quality Thresholding LOG (dB) SIG (dB) CSR (dB) SQI Speckle

0.5-45.0 (16 angles) 1.0 1.00 12.00, 24.00 Z, V, W, ZDR 64, 32, 32 1200 250.0 120.0 1200-900 48 (4:3) RPHASE T: LOG, Z: LOG&CSR, V:SQI&CSR, W: SIG&SQI&LOG 0.8 10 18 0.4 Z on, V on

Table 2: Example of defined parameters for precipitation mode volume scan configuration. Another kind of precipitation mode volume scan type contains 14 elevation angles. The scans are made at 14 different elevations starting at 0.5 and increasing up to 19.5. It uses a short pulse wave and sweeps in 5 minutes. Clear Air Mode volume scan is preferred when significant precipitation is not estimated in the radar coverage. In this mode, the radar is in its most sensitive operation. This mode has the slowest antenna rotation rate which permits the radar to sample a given volume of the atmosphere longer. This increased sampling increases the radar's sensitivity and ability to detect smaller objects in the atmosphere than in precipitation mode. This mode allow to meteorologists, detecting clear air phenomena, such as dry lines, dry microbursts, and wind shift lines. In clear air mode, the radar products update every 10 minutes. It uses a long pulse and the radar is operated at a relatively slow scan rate that allows the sampling of five contiguous elevation angles (0.5 to 4.5) in a period of 10 minutes. When a radar system detects precipitation of a specified intensity and extent (30 dBZ), it automatically switches from clear air to the precipitation mode by using Automatic Mode Switch Menu for two plans.

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Elevation Angles () Resolution () Pulse Width (sec) Scan Speed (/sec) Data Samples Number of Bins Bin Spacing (m) Max Range (km) PRF (Hz) Unambiguous Velocity (m/sec) Processing Data Quality Thresholding LOG (dB) SIG (dB) CSR (dB) SQI Speckle

0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 1.0 2.00 12.00 Z, V, W, ZDR 55 1200 250.0 300.0 500-375 20 (4:3) PPP T: LOG, Z: LOG&CSR, V: SQI&CSR, W: SIG&SQI&LOG 0.8 10 18 0.4 Z on, V on

Table 3: Example of defined parameters for clear air mode volume scan configuration. Surveillance Scan is used to generate PPI at a single elevation close to zero for long range weather monitoring (e.g., Elevation Angle:0.5, Max Range:300 km, Pulse Width:2 sec). It can be used for winter and summer conditions. As its mentioned before, PPI is the fastest of all radar products and therefore suitable for studying the fast-developing mesoscale storms. We are most concerned with the PPI scan. The TSMS radars are operated by collecting a series of surveillance scans at increasing elevation angles. It takes a radar ~ 8 minutes to collect the data, depending on how many elevation angles are used. The radar then repeats the cycle. 3. SIGNAL PROCESSING AND RADAR PRODUCT GENERATION The processing of radar data generally involves two distinct steps. The first step, called signal processing, is the extraction of raw radar parameters like echo strength (reflectivity) or Doppler velocity from the radar signals coming out of the receiver. The second step, called data processing or product generation, is the further processing of raw radar parameters in order to obtain information that is useful for meteorological or hydrological purposes. In

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general, these two steps are done by different computers, signal processing being done at the radar site, while product generation can be done everywhere the data are sent to.

Figure 4: Signal processing and radar product generation.

Signal Processor RVP 7

RADAR Site
VSAT Terminal

The RPG serves as the command centre for the entire system. The RPG processes the digital data and creates the Base and Derived Products, providing clutter filtering and other functions.

RDA Workstation
VSAT Terminal

The RDA unit consists of the antenna, transmitter, receiver and signal processor. These components generate/transmit the energy pulses, receive the reflected energy and process the received energy into base data.

RPG Workstation

Display

Composite WEB Server

Figure 5: Radar data flow infrastructure. Every product is associated with a TASK (scanning definition), defines a radar TASK such as a volume scan, single PPI sweep or sector scan. TASKS collect information from signal processors and store the raw data on disk. These raw data is used for product generation.

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Figure 6: Task configuration tool (from IRIS). To configure the details of the product generation for each product type such as the range and resolution of the product as well as product-specific information such as the CAPPI heights.

Figure 7: Product configuration tool (from IRIS).

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4. RADAR PRODUCTS At this point, it should be given short information about reflectivity, velocity, spectrum width and differential reflectivity. Recall, a number of products are obtained from Doppler weather radars. These products include radar reflectivity factor, radial velocity, spectrum width and differential reflectivity data information which are directly observed/measured by Doppler weather radars. 4.1. Radar Data 4.1.1. Reflectivity Some degree of transmitted energy (power) is likely to be returned to the radar antenna (receiver) as a result of backscattering. Reflectivity is simply a measure of how much power was scattered back to the radar from any targets. Stronger targets have higher levels of reflectivity and return more energy. Thus, stronger targets have higher reflectivity values; that is, higher dBZ levels. dBZ is also related to the number of drops per unit volume and the sixth power of their diameter (and also it can be related to rainfall rate through an empirical relationship called the Z-R relationship). Energy backscattered from a target as seen on the radar display, i.e. echo intensities are displayed as on color in Figure 8 below:

Figure 8: Echo intensities. This energy is converted into a logarithmic (base10) unit so that a wide range of reflectivity can be expressed with a short number scale.
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Z=Di6 (mm6/m3) dBZ=10log10Z Linear Value Z (mm /m ) 1000 100 10 1 0.1 0.01 0.001
6 3

Linear Radar Reflectivity Factor Logarithmic Radar Reflectivity Factor Logarithm Log10Z 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 Decibels dBZ 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 No Precipitation

Table 4: The range of radar reflectivity factor. Radar reflectivity factor can take on a tremendous range of values: 0.001(fog)-40,000,000 mm6/m3 (large hail) (-30 ~ +76 dBZ). Radar reflectivity factor of the clouds which do not produce rainfall or produce little rainfall is generally low. So, most of the meteorologists do not interested in very light precipitation. The reflectivity values less than 0 dBZ are not displayed on the colour scale. dBZ values are what you typically see on radar displays (e.g., on TV.). General interpretation, reflectivity values lower than about 35 dBZ are light rain. Typically, light rain is occurring when the dBZ value reaches 20. Values between 35 and 50 dBZ are moderate rain. And values above about 50 dBZ are heavy rain. Reflectivity values above about 55 dBZ are usually hail. In Table 5 below a guideline on the interpretation of dBZ factors is given in Figure 9. Comments Significant but mostly non-precipitating clouds 20 ~1 Drizzle, very light rain 30 ~3 Light rain 40 ~10 Moderate rain, showers 50 ~50 Heavy rain, thundershowers, some hail possible 60 ~200 Extremely heavy rain, severe thunderstorm, hail likely Table 5: The interpretation of dBZ factors.
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dBZ 10

Rain Rate ~0.2

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Figure 9: The interpretation of dBZ factors on colour figure. A radar reflectivity image includes one of two colour scales. One scale represents dBZ values when the radar is in clear air mode (dBZ values from -28 to +28). The other scale represents dBZ values the radar is in precipitation mode (dBZ values from 0 to 75). (Notice the colour on each scale remains the same in both operational modes, only the values change). Clear air mode is more sensitive than precipitation mode.

Figure 10: Echo intensity scales for clear air (left) and precipitation mode (right). The colour scale on the radar image corresponds the reflectivity values. By clicking on a given colour in the legend, the corresponding reflectivity values are toggled off and on in the radar image. The process of toggling the colours allows visual filtering to more easily focus on higher reflectivity values, which are usually more significant. Another method by the different radar software, by clicking on an image, the corresponding reflectivity value is shown.

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Corresponding dBZ values of fog and hail: Z=0.001 mm6/m3 (fog) dBZ=10log10Z =10log10(0.001) =10x(-3) dBZ=-30 Definition of this fog: Assume that there is a cloud in a radar scope which has 1,000,000,000 drops and average diameter of the drops is 0,01 mm in 1 m3; For each drops Di6=0,016 mm6=10-12 mm6 Z=Di6 Z=1,000,000,000 m-3x10-12 mm6 Z=0.001 mm6/m3 Z=156,25 mm6/m3 (heavy rain with some hail possible) dBZ=10log10Z =10log10(156,250) =10x(5.19) dBZ=51,9 Definition of this hail: Assume that there is a cloud in a radar scope which has 10 drops and average diameter of the drops is 5 mm in 1 m3; For each drops Di6=56 mm6=15625 mm6 Z=10 m-3x15625 mm6 Z=156,25 mm6/m3

4.1.2. Velocity Until now, we have only considered power measurements with radar. Most modern radars now easily measure velocities of targets. These are Doppler radars. Doppler is a means to measure motion. Doppler radars not only detect and measure the power received from a target, they also measure the motion of the target toward or away from the radar. This is called the Radial Velocity. Radial velocity is determined from Doppler frequency shift of the target. Doppler frequency shift caused by a moving target. Moving targets change the frequency of the returned signal. This frequency shift is then used to determine wind speed. Doppler radars routinely measure velocities and used to detect wind speeds, tornadoes, mesocyclones.

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Figure 11: Doppler frequency shift by moving targets. Motion towards a doppler radar is expressed in negative values and green (cool) colours on a display screen. Motion away from a Doppler radar is expressed in positive values and red (warm) colours.

Figure 12: Doppler radial velocities and an example image.

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If the target is moving sideways so that its distance relative to the radar does not change, the radar will record zero radial velocity for that target.

Figure 13: Another figure of Doppler radial velocities. 4.1.3. Spectrum Width Spectrum Width data is a measure of dispersion of velocities within the radar sample volume. In other words, it is the distribution of velocities within a single radar pixel. One pixel on radar represents a volume within which there can be literally millions of individual hydrometeors. Each individual hydrometeor will have its own speed and direction of movement. The radar averages the individual radial velocities with a volume sample to produce a single average radial velocity that is displayed for that pixel. In a situation, where shear and turbulence is small within a pixel, the spectrum width will be small. In a situation, where shear and radial velocity is large within a pixel, the spectrum width will be large. A technical way of defining spectrum width is the standard deviation of the velocity distribution within a single pixel.

Strong shear and turbulence, thunderstorm

Average Spectral Width (m/sec) Turbulence Moderate 4 Severe 7 Extreme 8

Figure 14: Spectrum width and its averages. Table 6: Average Spectral Width values.
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4.1.4. Differential Reflectivity Differential reflectivity parameter is a kind of data produced by polarimetric radars. In general, weather radars send and receive microwaves at one polarization, usually horizontal, because raindrops are usually oblate. By transmitting and/or receiving radar waves at more than one polarization, additional information can be obtained on the nature of the targets. Differential reflectivity is a ratio of the reflected horizontal and vertical power returns. Amongst other things, it is a good indicator of drop shape. In turn, the shape is a good estimate of average drop size. The signals that are received from each polarization channel are averaged separately, and radar reflectivity factors are determined from each, giving ZH and ZV. The reflectivity depolarization ratio is defined as:

ZDR=10log10(ZH/ZV) where ZH and ZV are the linear radar reflectivity factors at horizontal and vertical polarization, respectively. ZDR is measured in decibels.

Figure 15: Dual polarization.

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The precipitation particles of different size and type can be distinguished by using differential reflectivity ZDR. The shape of raindrops falling in the atmosphere varies from nearly perfect spheres for small droplets up to a couple of millimetres in diameter to more flattened drops up to 5 or 6 mm across. These flattened drops give stronger returns at horizontal polarization than at vertical. Thus, ZDR varies from near zero for spherical droplets to values as large as +5 dB for echoes from large water drops. This added information is useful for refining rainfall measurements made by radar. Relation of the hydrometeor types and ZDR values are shown in Table 7. Target Drizzle Rain Snow, Graupel Hail ZDR (dB) 0 0.5 - 4 (-1) - (+1) ~0

Table 7: ZDR values of hydrometeors. ZDR is also useful for indicating the presence of hail. When hail is present, ZDR often goes to near zero. In moderate to heavy rain, the rain drops are large and as they fall they flatten to become oblate spheroids, giving a stronger echo for horizontal polarization. Raindrop diagram is shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16: Raindrop diagram.


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Perhaps a more significant result of polarization measurements is the ability to perform hydrometeor identification (classification), to differentiate liquid water from ice using their different dielectric properties and to identify various form of ice (snow, hail, crystals).

Figure 17: Hydrometeor types in a radar volume coverage.

Modern polarimetric radars have the capability of successful hydrometeor classification by obtain Z, ZDR, DP, KDP, HV and LDR data. You can see a sample hydrometeor classification product in Figure 18.

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Figure 18: Hydrometeor classification products. 4.2. Base Products The following base products are generally available from a Doppler weather radar. 4.2.1. PPI Product The Plan Position Indicator (PPI) product is a natural radar product. In other words, PPI is the most common (classic) display of radar data. It is used primarily for weather surveillance purposes. It is produced in much shorter time than volume scan. So, this product is available for display immediately on completion of the scan (quick). Therefore, PPI is advantageous
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product for especially airport meteorology services. This is most widely used form of weather radar display. A typical PPI display is shown in Figure 19. It shows the distribution of the selected data parameter (Z, R, V, W or ZDR) on a constant elevation angle surface (near to 0). PPI product is possible for all elevations at which data are collected.

Figure 19: A PPI product display. The PPI(Z) is display of reflectivity for a given elevation at all azimuth values. The PPI(V) gives the radial velocity (for a selected elevation) on a PPI scope (see Figure 20). The radial wind component towards (-ve) and away (+ve) from the radar site is of some importance for the tracking of weather systems and in aviation forecasting.

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Figure 20: A PPI(V) product display. PPI(W), which shows the velocity spectrum width indicating turbulence, is of immense use in nowcasting the occurrence of microburst, wind shear, etc. for aviation. This product is used for issuing airfield warnings in some countries based on their experience to nowcast the possibility of turbulence in the airfield. But, this product is rarely used or shown except for specialized applications. A typical display of PPI(W) is shown in Figure 21 and the PPI(V) at the same time is shown in Figure 22.

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Figure 21: PPI(W) product.

Figure 22: PPI(V) product. 4.2.2. RHI Product RHI is another widely used form of display of base products in the two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, having the curvature corrected range as x-axis and height as y-axis for an elevation scan at a fixed azimuth. In other words, the horizontal axis is distance from the radar and the vertical axis is the height. In short, radar is scanned in elevation at a fixed azimuth. It is excellent for viewing the detailed vertical structure of a storm. In general, you should schedule the associated RHI TASK through a region of interest. During RHI scanning, the antenna azimuth is fixed and the elevation is swept, typically from near 0 to 90 degrees to create a vertical cross-section effect. A typical display of RHI is shown in Figure 23.
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Figure 23: A RHI product. In addition to this, a similar display with more flexibility of selecting the cut axis is available from a volume scan of a modern Doppler weather radar which is generally known as Vertical Cut or XSECT is shown in Figure 24 and Figure 25. It is very useful, because of users can produce so many cross-section products for each requested time and arbitrary line. The white arbitrary line on the CAPPI product (bottom) marks the location of the vertical cut (upper) in Figure 24.

RHI or cross-section? Both of them have almost similar characteristic. Although RHI gives you a much better resolution and RHI has always one point fixed to the radar, cross-section can be cut through any part of the polar volume. So, you can study the two-dimensional structure of the atmosphere by using RHI or cross-section products. Consequently, due to cross-section product is a convenient option, it is much more preferred by users.

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Figure 24: A cross-section product (in this case height of the maximum reflectivity is 2,5 km).

Figure 25: A cross-section product.


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4.2.3. CAPPI Product The Constant Altitude Plan Position Indicator (CAPPI) is a horizontal cut through the atmosphere; therefore, it requires a volume scan at multiple elevation angles. The number of angles and their spacing depends on the range and height of the CAPPI you want to produce. A CAPPI radar image shows precipitation at a nearly constant altitude above ground. In the case of the 1.5 km CAPPI image, it displays precipitation which is located approximately 1.5 km above the ground. In other words, a CAPPI product is a slice through a volume scan in a plane parallel to the earths surface at a desired altitude set by users. It is used for surveillance and severe storm identification. A typical display of CAPPI is shown in Figure 26.

Figure 26: A CAPPI product. While the CAPPI product is best to see horizontal patterns, it is more likely to be contaminated by non-meteorological echoes from the ground!

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4.2.4. Echo Top Heights Echo Top Heights is another special product derived from base reflectivity. Basically, this product shows the maximum heights of precipitation echoes. The Echo Top Heights product displays the height (in kilometres) of the highest occurrence of an arbitrary selectable threshold dBZ contour (30 dBZ in Figure 27) using a volume scan. In other words, an Echo Top Heights product is the highest altitude for each cell with a data value above a threshold defined by users. The Echo Top Heights product shows how high the precipitation echoes, or reflectivities, extend up into the sky. It is an excellent indicator of severe weather and hail. For example, a 50 dBZ top 1 km above the freezing level can be produced only by a vigorous convective storm, and is most probably caused by the presence of hail. For air traffic applications, the search can be made using a lower threshold value, such as 10 dBZ, to determine the height of surrounding precipitation.

Figure 27: Echo top heights display product for 30 dBZ of selectable threshold value.

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Echo Top Heights product provides forecasters with a valuable first look tool. It allows them to monitor the highest echo tops throughout the radar coverage area. It is very good display of current weather and make excellent indicators of things (severe storm, precipitation) to come. For this reason, Echo Top Heights product is of particular interest to forecasters and aviators. For example, rapidly increasing Echo Top Heights might warn of storm intensification, while decreasing Echo Top Heights indicates weakening. A rapid collapse of Echo Top Heights may indicate the onset of downburst conditions at the surface. 4.2.5. Maximum Reflectivity Maximum Reflectivity product is the maximum reflectivity between two altitudes for each cell of a volume. In other words, it shows the maximum detected reflectivities (echoes) over each pixel between user selected heights, and includes East-West and North-South profiles of the maximum in side panels. The product is based on a volume scan. A minimum and maximum height may be user-defined and defaults to zero and 30 kilometres (12 km in Figure 29). It is especially useful for depicting areas of severe weather. This product is a useful, quick surveillance of regions of convective precipitation to locate both infant and mature thunderstorms.

Figure 28: The schematic diagram of the maximum reflectivities.

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Figure 29: A Maximum reflectivity product display (in this case height is from 0 km to 12 km). 4.3. Derived Products The following derived products are generally available from a Doppler weather radar. 4.3.1. SRI Product Firstly, we have to get some information about estimating precipitation with radar. Weather radars are not able to measure precipitation directly. It was explained at the other lessons that the radar reflectivity factor Z is directly related to the size of precipitation particles in the radar echo. If we assume that our radar echo has known distribution of precipitation particles (i.e., number of drops of different size categories), we can relate the reflectivity factor (Z) to the rainfall rate (R-mm/hr) in our echo feature:

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Z= ARb (A and b are constants determined by the assumed drop size distribution) This kind of equation between reflectivity factor and rain rate is called Z-R relation. Precipitation measurement is done automatically by radars software. The values for A and b vary from season to season and place to place (radar location). Also the values of A and b predominantly depend on the type of cloud (drop size distribution). Since the value of A and b will be specific to each radar site configuration, many researchers have produced a large variety of values A and b. A and b depend on the distribution and character of precipitation. Most common Z-R relation is: Z=200R1.6 by Marshall and Palmer (in 1948). This is used for stratiform rain. It is generally acceptance in mid-latitude temperature climates to use default value. Some other typical Z-R relations are: Z=31R1.71 Z=500R1.5 Z=350R1.4 Z=2000R2 for orographic rain (Blanchard, 1953) for thunderstorm (Joss, 1970) for convective rain for snow (Marshall and Gunn, 1958)

Surface rainfall intensity (SRI) product shows the rainfall intensities based on Z-R relation for a user-defined layer. The SRI generates an image of the rainfall intensity in a user selectable surface layer with a constant height above ground. A typical SRI display is shown in Figure 30.

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Figure 30: A SRI product display. 4.3.2. Vertically Integrated Liquid (VIL) Vertically Integrated Liquid (VIL) product provides an estimate of atmospheric liquid water content in a vertical column for an area of precipitation. It is another excellent indicator of severe storm activity, especially with regard to the rainfall potential of a storm. The VIL product is complied from extensive reanalysis of base reflectivity data. It totals reflectivity within a given column of the atmosphere and then displays a product of tallied values. The function of the VIL algorithm is to estimate the amount of liquid water contained in a storm. In addition to this, VIL is directly related to updraft strength. The VIL product was designed to distinguish severe from nonsevere storms. The output shows the estimated precipitation (in millimetres) contained within a user-defined layer. If the layer height is above the freezing level, high VIL values are an excellent indicator
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of severe storm and hail. If the layer height extends from the surface up to 3 km, then the VIL values serve as a forecasting guide as to how much precipitation is likely to fall during the next few minutes. A typical VIL display is shown in Figure 31.

Figure 31: A VIL product display. 4.3.3. Surface Precipitation Accumulation It shows the precipitation estimates at surface level accumulated rainfall during a predefined period of time. This can be calculated and displayed based on Hourly Rain product. Hourly Rain uses the previous hours CAPPI or SRI data to obtain an estimate of the rainfall that fell within that hour. Surface Precipitation Accumulation is the rainfall accumulation of the last N hours, where N is selected by the user. So, it is product of a product. It is obtained from hourly rainfall accumulation, you can sum any number of individual Hourly Rain product. A sample surface precipitation accumulation product is shown in Figure 32. You can see the accumulated rainfall on the radar coverage area for last 6 hours. And also, a typical hourly surface precipitation accumulation product is shown in Figure 33.

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Figure 32: A surface precipitation accumulation product of the last 6 hours.

Figure 33: An hourly surface precipitation accumulation product.


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4.3.4. Subcatchment Accumulation The Subcatchment Accumulation product calculates the precipitation accumulation in subcatchment regions such as watershead areas. It is used for hydrometeorological applications such as estimating the total rainfall in a river basin for the purpose of flood forecasting. The subcatchment regions are defined by using LAT/LON vector points and stored in a file. So, the user-defined subcatchment regions can be displayed on the radar display. It also includes histogram display. This product can also issue warning if the precipitation in a subcatchment region exceeds a threshold value. Sample display of subcatchment accumulation products are shown in Figure 34 and 35.

Figure 34: Subcatchment accumulation product display.

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Figure 35: Subcatchment accumulation product (histogram display). 4.3.5. Wind Speed and Direction Horizontal wind vectors or uniform wind vectors are displayed as wind speed and direction with either wind barbs or wind strings, based on the radial velocity data, uniform wind assumption and the VVP. This product shows estimated winds for a selected layer of the atmosphere. A typical sample display of horizontal wind vectors is shown in Figure 36. In addition, the horizontal wind vectors can be displayed as an overlay product (Figure 37 and 38).

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Figure 36: A typical display of horizontal wind vectors at 2 km height.

Figure 37: The horizontal wind vectors displayed as an overlay product on the CAPPI(V) product.

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Figure 38: The horizontal wind vectors displayed as an overlay product on the maximum reflectivity product.

4.3.6. Vertical Wind Profile One of the most useful and unique product generated by the Doppler weather radars is the Velocity Volume Processing. It shows wind velocities at various altitudes above the ground. In the Velocity Volume Processing product, wind speed and direction (windbarbs) is plotted as a function of height and time. VVP is a vertical wind profile including wind speed, direction, divergence, deformation, axis of dilatation, particle velocities and reflectivity versus height. Display is either time-height cross-section or graphs. This algorithm is similar to the so-called VAD technique. Various products are shown in the some figures below (Figure 39, 40, 41). You can see the wind barb presentation displays the horizontal wind velocity and direction of a vertical column above the radar site over the time axis in Figure 41.

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Figure 39: A sample VVP product.

Figure 40: A sample VVP product.


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Figure 41: A sample VVP product. 4.3.7. Wind Shear Wind shear in the atmosphere can be detected by Doppler radars. The radial, azimuthal and elevational shears can be calculated from base velocity data and used as a tool for generating appropriate warnings for the aviation community. They can be produced separately or any combination (Combined Shear). Wind sheer products are especially used for microburst and mesocyclone detection. An important point that mountain radars are not able to observe to sufficiently low altitudes immediately above the airports to reliably detect microburst. As it is known, severe wind shear occurs 100-200 m above ground level. You can see the wind shear product in Figure 42, and a microburst was detected and issued warning above the airport.

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Figure 42: A wind shear product. 4.4. Warning Products Modern Doppler weather radars have the capability of issue various automatic warnings. Warning products are used for detecting significant weather such as the approach of a severe storm, hail, turbulence, lightning hazard or flood potential. For example, the occurrence of 45 dBZ at 1.5 km above the freezing level is a good indicator of hail in many mid-latitude locations. Suppose the freezing level is at 4 km, and you run an Echo Top Heights product for the 45 dBZ contour. If the Echo Tops product shows 45 dBZ tops at heights greater than 5.5 km, there is a high probability of hail. Because of this general approach, the automatic warning feature can provide alerts for a wide variety of weather phenomena. The most important advantage of the warning products is that the forecasters dont have to spend time searching every product for significant weather. Hail warning product scans all storms within the radar coverage area and searches for very high reflectivity values located above the freezing level. It then provides an indication of which storms are expected to produce hail. All storms are examined for hail potential, and
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then categorized accordingly. While the algorithm is not foolproof, it provides a valuable first guess. The hail warning product provides estimates on the probability of hail, probability of severe hail, and maximum expected hail size. This product provides an extremely simple display by using a warning text symbol like HAIL, TRW (thunderstorm warning), MBW (microburst warning). You can see a hail warning product in Figure 43. Some examples of warning criteria are summarized below: Hail Detection: [45 dBZ Echo Top Heights > 1.5 km above freezing level] over an area of 10 km
2

Wind Shear Detection: [Wind Shear > 10 m/s/km at 0.5 EL] .AND. [ ... at 0.7 EL] over an area of 3 km2 (for sample product, see in Section 4.3.7 in Figure 42) Storm Turbulence Detection: [Spectrum Width > 6 m/s] .AND. [Reflectivity > 20 dBZ] over an area of 10 km
2

The spectrum width data is used for storm turbulence detection basically.
2

Precipitation Surveillance Detection: [1.5 to 14 km VIL > 1mm] over an area of 10 km especially by using VIL product).

(An automatic warning issue is provided at the beginning of the precipitation over an area

Severe Storm Detection or Lightning Hazard: [1.5 to 15 km VIL > 10 mm] .AND. [10 dBZ Echo Top Heights > 8 km] over an area of 10 km product).
2 2

(An automatic warning issue is provided especially by using VIL and Echo top heights

Flash Flood Warning: [Hourly Rainfall or N-Hour Rainfall > 5 mm] over an area of 25 km

(If a criterion for flash flood is determined over an area, an automatic warning issue is provided).

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Figure 43: A hail warning product.

4.5. Tracking Products Many developed radar softwares have tracking and forecasting products which are used to identify and track storm cells (centroids). These products show the calculated (estimated) motion vectors of the centroids. With every new scan (when new data comes in), the display of the identified cells is updated. The tracking product display contains current cells, trace image with cells of the previous scans and forecast images (see Figure 44). You can see a sample tracking product in Figure 45.

Figure 44: Track with two centroids. 48

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Figure 45: A sample tracking product. 4.6. Dual Polarization Products As differential reflectivity was explained in the Section 4.1.4, modern polarimetric radars have the capability of successful hydrometeor classification by obtain Z, ZDR, DP, KDP, HV and LDR data. You can see a sample hydrometeor classification product in Figure 18. The detailed information regarding ZDR, DP, KDP, HV and LDR data was given in the part of the Radar Variables. Some examples of dual polarization products are shown in Figure 46. When you see the rain area in Figure 46, hydrometeor types can be determined by comparing with dual polarization data values each other (see Table 8).

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Figure 46: Dual polarization products.

Species

ZHH (dBZ) 10 to 25 25 to 60

ZDR (dB) 0.2 to 0.7 0.5 to 4

HV

KDP Temp. (deg/km) (C) 0 to 0.06 0 to 20 -1 to 1 >-10 >-10 <0

Drizzle Rain

>0.97 >0.95

Snow (dry, low density) -10 to 35 -0.5 to 0.5 >0.95 Snow (dry, high density) Snow (wet, melting) Graupel (dry) Graupel (wet) -10 to 35 0.0 to 1 20 to 45 20 to 35 30 to 50 0.5 to 3 -0.5 to 1 -0.5 to 2 >0.95 0.5 to 0.9 >0.95 >0.95

0.0 to 0.4 < 0 0 to 1 0 to 1 0 to 3 -1 to 1 -1 to 2 0 to 20 0 to 5 <0 -15 to 5 -15 to 5 -25 to 5 -10 to 10

Hail, small wet < 2 cm 50 to 60 Hail, large wet> 2 cm Rain & hail 55 to 65 45 to 80

-0.5 to 0.5 > 0.92 -1 to 0.5 -1 to 6 0.90 to 0.92 >0.9

Table 8: Input parameters and output types of a sample hydrometeor classification study.

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5
1. 2. 3. 4.

REFERENCES:
Radar for Meteorologists, Ronald E. Rinehart August 1997. Doppler Radar and Weather Observations, Doviak R.J. and Zrnic D.S. Radar for Meteorologists: A Course of Training, Radar-Info, Karlsruhe, Gysi, H., 1998. Doppler Radar-A detecting tool and measuring instrument in meteorology, India Meteorological Department, New Delhi, Bhatnagar, A. K., Rao, P. Rajesh, Kalyanasundaram, S., Thampi, S. B., Suresh, R., and Gupta, J.P., 2003.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Images in Weather Forecasting, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, Bader, M. J., Forbes, G. S., Grant J. R., Lilley R. B. E., and Waters A. J., 1995. IRIS Radar Manual, Version 7.30, SIGMET, Inc. Massachusetts, 2002. IRIS Product & Display Manual, Version 7.30, SIGMET, Inc. Massachusetts, 2002. Doppler Weather Radar System- Meteor 1000CUser Manuel and DocumentationGematronik GmbH, 12.July.2001. Doppler Weather Radar System, Enterprise Electric Corp. Radar Lecture Notes and Articles available in internet Booklets, reports and guidelines published by WMO Technical Brochures of Radar Manufacturers

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