Microphysics in West African squall line with an Xband polarimetric radar and an Hydrometeor Identification Scheme: comparison with in situ measurements

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Frederic Cazenave1,2, Marielle Gosset1,3, Modeste Kacou4, Matias Alcoba3 and Emmanuel Fontaine5, (1)IRD Institute for Research and Development, Marseille Cedex 02, France, (2)LTHE Laboratoire d'étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement, Saint Martin d'Hères, France, (3)GET Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, Toulouse, France, (4)University Félix Houphouët Boigny, LAPA-MF, Abidjan, Côte D'ivoire, (5)Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique Observatoire de Physique du Globe de Clermont-Ferrand, Aubiere Cedex, France
A better knowledge on the microphysics of tropical continental convective systems is needed in order to improve quantitative precipitation measurements in the Tropics. Satellite passive microwave estimation of tropical rainfall could be improved with a better parameterization of the icy hydrometeors in the Bayesian RAIN estimation algorithm (BRAIN, Viltard et al., 2006) used over continental tropics. To address this important issue specific campaigns that combine aircraft based in situ microphysics probing and polarimetric radar have been organized as part of the CNES/ISRO satellite mission Megha-Tropiques. The first microphysics validation campaign was set up in Niamey in August 2010. The field deployment included the AMMA-CATH 56 rain gages, 3 disdrometers, 2 meteorological radars including the C-band MIT and the Xport X-band dual polarisation radar, and a 4 weeks campaign with the instrumented Falcon 20 from the french operator for environmental research aircrafts equipped with several microphysics probes and the 94Ghz cloud radar RASTA. The objective is to combine scales and methods to converge towards a parameterization of the ice size, mass and density laws inside continental Mesoscale Convective System (MCS). The Particle IDentification algorithm (PID) developed by the Colorado State University (CSU) adapted to the band X by B. Dolan (Dolan et al. 2009) is used to classify seven kind of particles: drizzle or light rain, moderate to heavy rain, wet and dry graupel, wet and dry aggregates and ice crystals. On a limited number of systems, the airborne microphysics sensors provide a detailed in situ reference on the Particle Size Distribution (PSD) that can be compared with the radar PID in the radar pixels located along the flight trajectory. An original approach has been developed for the radar – in situ comparison: it consists in simulating synthetic radar variables from the microphysics probe information and compare the 2 data sets in a common 'radar space'. The consistency between the 2 types of observation is good considering the differences in sampling. The time evolution of the hydrometeor types and their relative proportion in the convective and stratiform regions are analyzed for the 13rd August 2010 MCS.