Vertical structure of Alpine precipitation

Accurate estimation of precipitation quantities at the ground level by weather radar in the Alps is a challenge as a consequence of the influence of topography on the dynamics and microphysics of precipitation as well as on radar visibility (i.e. beam blocking). In order to overcome the issue of limited visibility, the operational radars are either scanning at high elevation angles or situated at high altitude sites. They are therefore measuring in regions of the atmosphere far above the ground level, which raises the issue of representativeness of the precipitation estimates in complex terrain.

The aim of this project is to better characterize the vertical structure of (alpine) precipitation using both operational measurements in well-visible regions and high resolution measurements in the alpine region. This should contribute to the development of correction techniques to extrapolate the values of precipitation measured at higher altitudes down to the ground level.

Overlapping reflectivtiy scans from the two precipitation radars operated during the Valais campaign from Nov. 2016 to May 2017.


Collaborators involved: F. Van den Heuvel