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Keywords:

  • precipitation;
  • weather radar;
  • vertical profile of reflectivity;
  • radar rainfall estimation;
  • radar hydrology

[1] This paper presents a novel approach to estimate the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) from volumetric weather radar data using both a traditional Eulerian as well as a newly proposed Lagrangian implementation. For this latter implementation, the recently developed Rotational Carpenter Square Cluster Algorithm (RoCaSCA) is used to delineate precipitation regions at different reflectivity levels. A piecewise linear VPR is estimated for either stratiform or neither stratiform/convective precipitation. As a second aspect of this paper, a novel approach is presented which is able to account for the impact of VPR uncertainty on the estimated radar rainfall variability. Results show that implementation of the VPR identification and correction procedure has a positive impact on quantitative precipitation estimates from radar. Unfortunately, visibility problems severely limit the impact of the Lagrangian implementation beyond distances of 100 km. However, by combining this procedure with the global Eulerian VPR estimation procedure for a given rainfall type (stratiform and neither stratiform/convective), the quality of the quantitative precipitation estimates increases up to a distance of 150 km. Analyses of the impact of VPR uncertainty shows that this aspect accounts for a large fraction of the differences between weather radar rainfall estimates and rain gauge measurements.