Measured 94-GHz reflectivity in midlevel, stratiform ice clouds was compared with reflectivity calculated from size distributions determined with a particle imaging probe. The radar and the particle probe were carried on the same aircraft, the Wyoming King Air, ensuring close spatial correspondence between the two measurements. Good overall agreement was found within the range from -18 to +16 dBZ, but there is an important degree of scatter in the results. Two different assumptions about particle density led to calculated values that bracket the observations. The agreement found for reflectivity supports the use of the data for establishing relationships between the measured reflectivity and ice water content and between precipitation rate and reflectivity. The resulting equation for ice water content (IWC vs Z) agrees with the results of Liu and Illingworth within a factor of 2 over the range of overlap between the two datasets. The equation here reported for precipitation rate (PR vs Z) has a shallower slope in the power-law relationship than that reported by Matrosov as a consequence of sampling particles of greater densities. Because the radar and the particle probe were collocated on the same platform, errors arising from differences in sampling locations and volumes were minimized. Therefore it is concluded that the roughly factor-of-10 spread in IWC and in PR for given Z is, primarily, a result of variations in ice crystal shape and density. Retrievals of IWC and PR from cloud radar data can be expected to have that level of uncertainty. © 2011 American Meteorological Society.
Pokharel, Binod and Vali, Gabor (2011). "Evaluation of Collocated Measurements of Radar Reflectivity and Particle Sizes in Ice Clouds." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 50.10, 2104-2119.