Preliminary Comparisons of the GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar to Ground Validation Radars of the GPM Validation Network

Monday, 15 December 2014
Kenneth R Morris and Mathew Schwaller, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite successfully launched in February, 2014, and is now providing precipitation observations from the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) and GPM Microwave Imager (GMI). The GPM Validation Network (VN) provides unique, detailed information on the performance of the new DPR on GPM. The GPM VN collects GPM orbit subset data products and coincident ground radar observations, performs a unique spatial matching of the space and ground radar observations, and provides a set of software tools to analyze and visualize the matched data sets. For GPM, a DPR/GR comparison algorithmhas been developed that defines the common volumes in terms of the geometric intersection of DPR and GR rays, where smoothing of the DPR and GR data are minimized and no interpolation is performed. The primary GR data source for the VN is a collection of National Weather Service WSR-88D S-band, dual-polarization radars located primarily in the eastern and central United States.

This paper will concentrate on the results of the space- and ground-radar comparisons, and present preliminary evaluations of the performance of the DPR Ku-band radar relative to the legacy TRMM Ku-band PR over the same times and locations. Both the direct measurements of radar reflectivity as well as derived measurements of rain rate from the space and ground radars will be compared, down to the scale of individual instrument measurements. Vertical profiles, site-specific time series, Probability Density Function, scatter plots, and other analyses of the comparison data will be shown. Results for both the Ku-band and Ka-band DPR radars will be presented. Visualizations of the volume-matched and original GPM and ground radar data that assist in the understanding of the DPR-GR volume matching and comparison methods and data coverage will be included. GPM DPR data are still in evaluation and algorithm refinement at the time of this writing and have not been released to the public, so we cannot provide descriptions or examples of the ongoing VN DPR analysis results in this abstract. It is expected that the DPR data will be released well in advance the AGU Fall Meeting and we will be able to present our results of the first 8-9 months of DPR observations in the meeting presentation.