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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Jan 2020

10 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Use of dual-polarization weather radar quantitative precipitation estimation for climatology

Tanel Voormansik1,2, Roberto Cremonini3,4, Piia Post1, and Dmitri Moisseev4,5 Tanel Voormansik et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • 2Estonian Environment Agency, Estonia
  • 3Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Piemonte, Department for Natural and Environmental Risks, Torino, Italy
  • 4Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 5Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Accurate, timely and reliable precipitation observations are mandatory for hydrological forecast and early warning systems. In the case of convective precipitations, traditional rain gauges networks often miss precipitation maxima, due to density limitations and high spatial variability of rainfall field. Despite several limitations like attenuation or partial beam-blockings, the use of C-band weather radar has become operational in most of European weather services. Traditionally, weather radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) are derived by horizontal reflectivity data. Nevertheless, dual-polarization weather radar can overcome a number of shortcomings of the legacy horizontal reflectivity based estimation. For the first time, the present study analyses one of the longest datasets from fully operational polarimetric C-band weather radars; those ones are located in Estonia and in Italy, in very different climate conditions and environments. The study focuses on long-term observations of summertime precipitation and their quantitative estimations by polarimetric observations. From such derived QPEs accumulations for 1 hour, 24 hours and one month durations are calculated and compared with reference rain gauges to quantify uncertainties and evaluate performances.

Tanel Voormansik et al.

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Tanel Voormansik et al.

Tanel Voormansik et al.


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Latest update: 28 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A long set of operational polarimetric weather radar rainfall accumulations from Estonia and Italy are generated and investigated. Results show that the combined product of specific differential phase and horizontal reflectivity yields the best results when compared to rain gauge measurements. Specific differential phase based product overestimates weak precipitation and horizontal reflectivity based product underestimates heavy rainfall on all analysed accumulation periods.
A long set of operational polarimetric weather radar rainfall accumulations from Estonia and...