Quasi-vertical profiles-A new way to look at polarimetric radar data

Alexander Ryzhkov, Pengfei Zhang, Heather Reeves, Matthew Kumjian, Timo Tschallener, Silke Trömel, Clemens Simmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


A novel methodology is introduced for processing and presenting polarimetric data collected by weather surveillance radars. It involves azimuthal averaging of radar reflectivity Z, differential reflectivity ZDR, cross-correlation coefficient ρhv, and differential phase ΦDP at high antenna elevation, and presenting resulting quasi-vertical profiles (QVPs) in a height-versus-time format. Multiple examples of QVPs retrieved from the data collected by S-, C-, and X-band dual-polarization radars at elevations ranging from 6.4° to 28° illustrate advantages of the QVP technique. The benefits include an ability to examine the temporal evolution of microphysical processes governing precipitation production and to compare polarimetric data obtained from the scanning surveillance weather radars with observations made by vertically looking remote sensors, such as wind profilers, lidars, radiometers, cloud radars, and radars operating on spaceborne and airborne platforms. Continuous monitoring of the melting layer and the layer of dendritic growth with high vertical resolution, and the possible opportunity to discriminate between the processes of snow aggregation and riming, constitute other potential benefits of the suggested methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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