Evaluation of Triple-Frequency Radar Retrieval of Snowfall Properties Using Coincident Airborne In Situ Observations During OLYMPEX


Scattering models of precipitation-size ice particles have shown that aggregates and spheroidal particles occupy distinct regions of the Ku-Ka-W-band dual-frequency ratio (DFR) plane. Furthermore, past ground-based observations suggest that particle bulk density and characteristic size can be retrieved from the DFR plane. This study, for the first time, evaluates airborne DFR observations with coincident airborne microphysical measurements. Over 2 hr of microphysical data collected aboard the University of North Dakota Citation from the Olympic Mountains Experiment are matched with Airborne Precipitation and cloud Radar Third Generation triple-frequency radar observations. Across all flights, 31% (63%) of collocated data points show nonspheroidal (spheroidal) particle scattering characteristics. DFR observations compared with in situ observations of effective density and particle characteristic size reveal relationships that could potentially be used to develop quantitative dual- and triple-frequency DFR ice property retrievals.

Geophysical Research Letters