Tropical precipitating systems observed with Indian MST radar

Rao, T. Narayana ; Rao, D. Narayana ; Raghavan, S. (1999) Tropical precipitating systems observed with Indian MST radar Radio Science, 34 (5). pp. 1125-1139. ISSN 0048-6604

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Three campaigns are conducted with the Indian mesosphere-stratosphere-troposphere (MST) radar, located at Gadanki (13.5°N, 79.2°E), India, to study the precipitating systems in the tropics. This study mainly deals with (1) classification of precipitating clouds and the spectral characteristics of echoes associated with these cloud systems and (2) characteristics of the radar bright band. The radar gets echoes scattered both from refractive index fluctuations and precipitation particles in moderate to heavy precipitation conditions. These echoes are separated in the spectral domain to determine the vertical air motion and the Doppler velocity of hydrometeors simultaneously. The tropical precipitating systems are classified as stratiform and convective using the reflectivity and vertical velocity distribution. The echo power, spectral width, and vertical velocities of the ambient air and hydrometeors in both the cloud systems have been compared. Aspect sensitivity of the echoes from the hydrometeors and refractive index fluctuations in both stratiform and convective atmosphere is studied. A transition stage, where the stratiform precipitation is associated with the convection, is also reported. Backscattered power from precipitation particles is used to estimate the reflectivity factor (dBZ), and these values along with spectral width and vertical velocity values are used to identify the bright band structure. The reflectivity at the bright band, up to 42 dBZ, is found to be 10–12 dB more than the average value of reflectivity below the bright band. Discussion on the factors contributing to this enhancement is also included. A clear layered structure around the 0°C isotherm in the reflectivity profile of the precipitation echo confirms the presence of the bright band. The thickness of the bright band is estimated and is correlated with the peak reflectivity at the bright band. Comparison of the average terminal velocity of hydrometeors with their average Doppler veloc...

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