Emission: a simple new technique to correct rainfall estimates from attenuation due to both the radome and heavy rainfall
Thompson, R., Illingworth, A. and Ovens, J. (2012) Emission: a simple new technique to correct rainfall estimates from attenuation due to both the radome and heavy rainfall. In: International Symposium on Weather Radar and Hydrology (WRaH 2011), 18-21 Apr 2011, Exeter, UK, pp. 39-44.
We present a new technique for correcting errors in radar estimates of rainfall due to attenuation which is based on the fact that any attenuating target will itself emit, and that this emission can be detected by the increased noise level in the radar receiver. The technique is being installed on the UK operational network, and for the first time, allows radome attenuation to be monitored using the increased noise at the higher beam elevations. This attenuation has a large azimuthal dependence but for an old radome can be up to 4 dB for rainfall rates of just 2–4 mm/h. This effect has been neglected in the past, but may be responsible for significant errors in rainfall estimates and in radar calibrations using gauges. The extra noise at low radar elevations provides an estimate of the total path integrated attenuation of nearby storms; this total attenuation can then be used as a constraint for gate-by-gate or polarimetric correction algorithms.