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Classification of tropical precipitation regimes: a comparative analysis of disdrometer, profiler, and multi-parameter radar measurements




Belcher, Larry R., Jr., author

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The key objective of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission is to improve estimates of the diabatic heating in tropical precipitation. These improvements depend on the separation of the convective and stratiform components of a precipitating system since each type of precipitation exhibits a different latent heating profile. The objectives of this study were to develop a classification algorithm using multiparameter radar data and apply it and several existing classification algorithms to the TRMM-LBA data set. We have developed a precipitation classification algorithm that identifies convective precipitation within the storm complex using multiparameter radar data. This identification depends on the intensity and trend of the estimated precipitation rate. The existing algorithms use disdrometer data, Doppler profiler systems, and radar reflectivity to classify precipitation. Comparisons between each algorithm were made, which provided the opportunity to evaluate the performance of each algorithm over a variety of precipitation events. The disdrometer-based algorithm failed to classify 14% of the data, leading to poor agreement with the remaining algorithms. The profiler-based, reflectivity-based, and multiparameter algorithms agreed well; of 430 minutes of precipitation, they classified 36%, 41%, and 40% as convective respectively. The total convective area produced by the reflectivity-based algorithms and the multiparameter algorithm agreed reasonably well. Qualitative inspection of the classification results by the reflectivity­ based and multiparameter algorithm showed each algorithm's ability to identify the cellular structure within the precipitating events as convective.


Fall 2000.

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Precipitation (Meteorology) -- Measurement


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