Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2012

Abstract

An important application of radar reflectivity measurements is their interpretation as precipitation intensity. Empirical relationships exist for converting microwave backscatter retrieved from precipitation particles (represented by an equivalent reflectivity factor Z e) to precipitation intensity. The reflectivity-snow-rate relationship has the form Z e 5 αS β, where S is a liquid-equivalent snow rate and α and β are fitted coefficients. Substantial uncertainty exists in radar-derived values of snow rate because the reflectivity and intensity associated with snow tend to be smaller than those for rain and because of snow-particle drift between radar and surface detection. Uncertainty in radar-derived snow rate is especially evident at the few available high-altitude sites for which a relationship between reflectivity and snow rate has been developed. Using a new type of precipitation sensor and a NationalWeather Service radar, this work investigates the Ze-S relationship at a high-altitude site (Cheyenne, Wyoming). The S measurements were made 25 km northwest of the radar on the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains; vertical separation between the radar range gate and the ground was less than 700 m. A meteorological feature of the snowstorms was northeasterly upslope flow of humid air at low levels. TheZe-S data pairs were fitted with β=2. The finding of this study for Cheyenne, α=110 mm 4 h 2 m -3, is bounded by previous determinations made at other high-altitude NationalWeather Service sites. Also investigatedwas the temperature dependence of α.Apositive α-T relationship is evident and is hypothesized to result from ice crystals produced by heterogeneous ice nucleation, at cloud top, followed by diffusional crystal growth during sedimentation. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.

DOI

10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0112.1

Comments

© Copyright 2012 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.

Included in

Engineering Commons

Share

COinS