Articles | Volume 2
Adv. Geosci., 2, 201–208, 2005
Adv. Geosci., 2, 201–208, 2005

  08 Jun 2005

08 Jun 2005

Effects of propagation conditions on radar beam-ground interaction: impact on data quality

A. Fornasiero1,2, P. P. Alberoni2, R. Amorati2, L. Ferraris1,3, and A. C. Taramasso1,3 A. Fornasiero et al.
  • 1CIMA Università di Genova e della Basilicata, Savona, Italy
  • 2A.R.P.A Emilia-Romagna - Servizio Idrometeorologico, Bologna, Italy
  • 3DIST Università di Genova, Genova, Italy

Abstract. A large part of the research in the radar meteorology is devoted to the evaluation of the radar data quality and to the radar data processing. Even when, a set of absolute quality indexes can be produced (like as ground clutter presence, beam blockage rate, distance from radar, etc.), the final product quality has to be determined as a function of the task and of all the processing steps.

In this paper the emphasis lies on the estimate of the rainfall at the ground level taking extra care for the correction for ground clutter and beam blockage, that are two main problems affecting radar reflectivity data in complex orography. In this work a combined algorithm is presented that avoids and/or corrects for these two effects. To achieve this existing methods are modified and integrated with the analysis of radar signal propagation in different atmospheric conditions. The atmospheric refractivity profile is retrieved from the nearest in space and time radiosounding. This measured profile is then used to define the `dynamic map' used as a declutter base-field. Then beam blockage correction is applied to the data at the scan elevations computed from this map.

Two case studies are used to illustrate the proposed algorithm. One is a summer event with anomalous propagation conditions and the other one is a winter event. The new algorithm is compared to a previous method of clutter removal based only on static maps of clear air and vertical reflectivity continuity test. The improvement in rain estimate is evaluated applying statistical analysis and using rain gauges data. The better scores are related mostly to the ``optimum" choice of the elevation maps, introduced by the more accurate description of the signal propagation.

Finally, a data quality indicator is introduced as an output of this scheme. This indicator has been obtained from the general scheme, which takes into account all radar data processing steps.