Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

PATTERN: Advantages of High Resolution Weather Radar Networks

September 30, 2013

Dr. Katharina Lengfeld
Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Germany
Monday, September 30, 2013
11 am – 12 noon
Argonne National Laboratory
TCS Building 240
Room 4301

Precipitation observations with radars operating in the X-band frequency range are essential for meeting present and future requirements for flood forecasting, water management, and other hydro-meteorological applications. Besides having higher resolution, these systems are cost-effective compared to S- or C-band radars because of smaller antenna size. Disadvantages of single X-band radars are the large influence of attenuation by liquid water and a relatively short range.

The project Precipitation and ATTenuation Estimates from a High-Resolution Weather Radar Network (PATTERN) is designed to demonstrate that a network of high-resolution weather radars (HRWRs) can overcome the apparent drawbacks of single X-band radars. The University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology have set up a network of four modified ship navigation radars near Hamburg, Germany. The network has been operational since January 2012. Each radar has a maximum range of 20 km with 60 m spatial and 30 s temporal resolution. A large area in the network is covered by at least two radars at the borders and up to four radars in the center. Several rain stations consisting of a micro-rain radar (MRR) and a rain gauge complement the network. These stations are used to calibrate and evaluate the quality of the X-band radars.

In addition to identifying advantages and disadvantages of the HRWR network and single X-band radar, Dr. Lengfeld will briefly describe the algorithms used to derive precipitation from reflectivity measurements — particularly algorithms exploiting benefits of the network, such as clutter removal and replacement of disturbed pixels with measurements from other radars rather than interpolation. A comparison with measurements of the German Weather Service weather radar operating in C-band will focus on the ability of high-resolution observations to generate information about-small scale structures of rain events. Dr. Lengfeld will also describe the specifications of the modified HRWR systems and the design of the network.

Photo of Dr. Katharina Lengfeld
Photo of Dr. Katharina Lengfeld [Source: Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg]
portrait of Scott Collis