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Accurate characterization of winter precipitation using multi-angle snowflake camera, visual hull, advanced scattering methods and polarimetric radar




Notaroš, Branislav M., author
Bringi, Viswanathan N., author
Kleinkort, Cameron, author
Kennedy, Patrick, author
Huang, Gwo-Jong, author
Thurai, Merhala, author
Newman, Andrew J., author
Bang, Wonbae, author
Lee, GyuWon, author
MDPI, publisher

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This article proposes and presents a novel approach to the characterization of winter precipitation and modeling of radar observables through a synergistic use of advanced optical disdrometers for microphysical and geometrical measurements of ice and snow particles (in particular, a multi-angle snowflake camera-MASC), image processing methodology, advanced method-of-moments scattering computations, and state-of-the-art polarimetric radars. The article also describes the newly built and established MASCRAD (MASC + Radar) in-situ measurement site, under the umbrella of CSU-CHILL Radar, as well as the MASCRAD project and 2014/2015 winter campaign. We apply a visual hull method to reconstruct 3D shapes of ice particles based on high-resolution MASC images, and perform "particle-by-particle" scattering computations to obtain polarimetric radar observables. The article also presents and discusses selected illustrative observation data, results, and analyses for three cases with widely-differing meteorological settings that involve contrasting hydrometeor forms. Illustrative results of scattering calculations based on MASC images captured during these events, in comparison with radar data, as well as selected comparative studies of snow habits from MASC, 2D video-disdrometer, and CHILL radar data, are presented, along with the analysis of microphysical characteristics of particles. In the longer term, this work has potential to significantly improve the radar-based quantitative winter-precipitation estimation.


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winter precipitation
polarimetric radar
in-situ measurements
multi-angle snowflake camera
2D video-disdrometer
electromagnetic scattering
hydrometeor shapes
frozen phase microphysics


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