X-band polarimetric and Ka-band Doppler spectral radar observations of a graupel-producing arctic mixed-phase cloud

Mariko Oue, Matthew R. Kumjian, Yinghui Lu, Zhiyuan Jiang, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Johannes Verlinde, Kultegin Aydin

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33 Scopus citations


Characteristics of graupel in an Arctic deep mixed-phase cloud on 7 December 2013 were identified with observations from an X-band scanning polarimetric radar and a Ka-band zenith-pointing radar in conjunction with scattering calculations. The cloud system produced generating cells and strongly sheared precipitation fall streaks. The X-band radar hemispheric RHI observables revealed spatial sorting of polarimetric signatures: decreasing (with increasing range) differential propagation phase shift ϕDP, negative specific differential phase KDP collocated with negative differential reflectivity ZDR in the upper half of the fall streak, and increasing or near-constant ϕDP with positive ZDR at the bottom edge of the fall streak. The negative KDP and ZDR, indicating prolate particles with vertically oriented maximum dimensions, were consistent with small, slow-falling conical graupel coexisting with low concentrations of more isometric graupel. The observed negative KDP values were best matched by scattering calculations for small, dense conical graupel with 30°-40° cone angles. The positive KDP and ZDR and the Doppler spectra indicate that large isometric graupel coexisted with a second population of slower-falling rimed platelike particles in the lower half of the fall streak. Through the core of the fall streak, ϕDP decreased in range while ZDR was slightly positive, indicating that the prolate conical graupel dominated ϕDP while the isometric larger graupel dominated reflectivity (and thus ZDR). These results demonstrate the capability of polarimetric observables and Doppler spectra to distinguish different growth stages of rimed particles, allowing for the improvement of hydrometeor classification methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1351
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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