Polarimetric radar characteristics of melting hail. part II: Practical implications

Alexander V. Ryzhkov, Matthew R. Kumjian, Scott M. Ganson, Pengfei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The results of theoretical modeling in Part I are utilized to develop practical recommendations for developing the algorithms for hail detection and determination of its size as well as attenuation correction and rainfall estimation in the presence of hail. A new algorithm for discrimination between small hail (with maximal size of less than 2.5 cm), large hail (with diameters between 2.5 and 5.0 cm), and giant hail with size exceeding 5.0 cm is proposed and implemented for applications with the S-band dual-polarization Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) systems. The fuzzy-logic algorithm is based on the combined use of radar reflectivity Z, differential reflectivity ZDR, and cross-correlation coefficient ρhv. The parameters of the membership functions depend on the height of the radar resolution volume with respect to the freezing level, exploiting the size-dependent melting characteristics of hailstones. The attenuation effects in melting hail are quantified in this study, and a novel technique for polarimetric attenuation correction in the presence of hail is suggested. The use of a rainfall estimator that is based on specific differential phase KDP is justified on the basis of the results of theoretical simulations and comparison of actual radar retrievals at S band with gauge measurements for storms containing large hail with diameters exceeding 2.5 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2871-2886
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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