29 Sep 2023
 | 29 Sep 2023

Enhancing Consistency of Microphysical Properties of Precipitation across the Melting Layer in the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar Data

Kamil Mroz, Alessandro Battaglia, and Ann M. Fridlind

Abstract. Stratiform rain and the overlying ice play crucial roles in the Earth's climate system. From a microphysics standpoint, water mass flux primarily depends on two variables: particles concentration and their mass. The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on the Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite is a space-borne instrument capable of estimating these two quantities through dual-wavelength measurements. In this study, we evaluate bulk statistics on the ice particle properties derived from dual-wavelength radar data in relation to the properties of rain underneath. Specifically, we focus on DPR observations over stratiform precipitation, characterized by columns exhibiting a prominent bright band, where the melting layer can be easily detected.

Our analysis reveals a significant increase in the retrieved mass flux as we transition from the ice to the rain phase in the official DPR product. This observation is in disagreement with our expectation that mass flux should remain relatively stable across the bright band in cold rain conditions. To address these discrepancies, we propose an alternative retrieval algorithm that ensures a gradual transition of Dm (mean mass-weighted particle melted-equivalent diameter) and precipitation rate across the melting zone. This approach also helps in estimating bulk ice density above the melting level. These findings demonstrate that DPR observations can not only quantify ice particle content and their size above stratiform rain regions but also estimate bulk density, provided uniform conditions that minimize uncertainties related to partial beam filling.

Kamil Mroz et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2117', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Nov 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Kamil Mroz, 01 Dec 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2117', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Nov 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Kamil Mroz, 05 Dec 2023

Kamil Mroz et al.

Data sets

Microwave Single Scattering Properties Database Kamil Mroz and Jussi Leinonen

Model code and software

GPyM Mroz Kamil

Kamil Mroz et al.


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Short summary
In this study, we examine the extent to which radar measurements from space can inform us about the properties of clouds and precipitation. Surprisingly, our analysis showed that the amount of ice turning into rain was lower than expected in the current product. To improve on this, we came up with a new way to extract information about the size and concentration of particles from radar data. As long as we use this method in the right conditions, we can even estimate how dense the ice is.