Sensitivities of quantitative precipitation forecasts for typhoon soudelor (2015) near landfall to polarimetric radar data assimilation

Chih Chien Tsai, Kao Shen Chung

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1 Scopus citations


Based on the preciousness and uniqueness of polarimetric radar observations collected near the landfall of Typhoon Soudelor (2015), this study investigates the sensitivities of very short-range quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) for this typhoon to polarimetric radar data assimilation. A series of experiments assimilating various combinations of radar variables are carried out for the purpose of improving a 6 h deterministic forecast for the most intense period. The results of the control simulation expose three sources of the observation operator errors, including the raindrop shape-size relation, the limitations for ice-phase hydrometeors, and the melting ice model. Nevertheless, polarimetric radar data assimilation with the unadjusted observation operator can still improve the analyses, especially rainwater, and consequent QPFs for this typhoon case. The different impacts of assimilating reflectivity, differential reflectivity, and specific differential phase are only distinguishable at the lower levels of convective precipitation areas where specific differential phase is found most helpful. The positive effect of radar data assimilation on QPFs can last three hours in this study, and further improvement can be expected by optimizing the observation operator in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3711
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2020


  • Data assimilation
  • Differential reflectivity
  • Observation operator
  • Polarimetric radar
  • Quantitative precipitation forecast
  • Specific differential phase


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