Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 77–95 | Cite as

Links Between Weather Phenomena and Characteristics of Refractivity Measured by Precipitation Radar

  • Lucas Besson
  • Chiraz Boudjabi
  • Olivier Caumont
  • Jacques Parent du Chatelet


Refractivity depends on meteorological parameters such as temperature and water vapour pressure and can be measured using a weather radar. A realistic atmospheric simulation from the Meso-NH numerical model is used in order to describe and establish the relation between refractivity and the dynamic and thermodynamic phenomena responsible for the development and propagation of convection. These investigations lead to discussion of the complementarity between the refractivity and the convective available potential energy. The relation observed between the refractivity signal and the meteorological parameters calls the refractivity measurement into question, since it is based on phase differentiation with time and space and can be degraded by phase aliasing problems. These aliasing problems increase with the radar frequency (perceptible in the S-band, serious in the C-band, and more serious in the X-band) and also with the integration range and sampling time. Thus, a statistical approach permits us to simulate the possibility of measuring the refractivity with operational radar during convective events. A typical case in the south-east region of France is selected to simulate measurements by radar (S-band, C-band, X-band) in convective systems, in order to evaluate the measurement feasibility, particularly in terms of phase ambiguity, related to temporal and spatial sampling, of a future implementation of the refractivity measurement over the French operational radar network. This numerical statistical approach is completed with a similar study using in-situ measurements performed at the Trappes station. The seasonal and diurnal dependencies of aliasing are investigated, leading to clarification of the impact of the turbulent fluxes on the refractivity measurement.


Aliasing Meso-NH numerical model Refractivity Weather radar 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucas Besson
    • 1
  • Chiraz Boudjabi
    • 1
  • Olivier Caumont
    • 2
  • Jacques Parent du Chatelet
    • 1
  1. 1.Météo France, DSO/CMIGuyancourtFrance
  2. 2.Météo France, CNRM/GMME/MICADOToulouse Cedex 01France

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