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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4294271, 15 pages
Research Article

Operational C-Band Dual-Polarization Radar QPE for the Subtropical Complex Terrain of Taiwan

1Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
2NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73072, USA
3Central Weather Bureau, Taipei, Taiwan

Received 15 July 2015; Revised 27 September 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Hiroyuki Hashiguchi

Copyright © 2016 Yadong Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Complex terrain poses significant challenges to the radar based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) because of blockages to the lower tilts of radar observations. The blockages often force the use of higher tilts data to estimate precipitation at the ground and result in errors due to vertical variations of the radar variables. To obtain accurate radar QPEs in the subtropical complex terrain of Taiwan, a vertically corrected composite algorithm (VCCA) was developed for two C-band polarimetric radars. The new algorithm corrects higher tilt radar variables with the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) or vertical profile of specific differential phase (VPSDP) and estimates rainfall rate at the ground through an automated combination of R-Z and relations. The VCCA was assessed with three precipitation cases of different regimes including typhoon, mei-yu, and summer stratiform precipitation events. The results showed that a combination of R-Z and relations provided more accurate QPEs than each alone because R-Z provides better rainfall estimates for light rains and relation is more suitable for heavy rains. The vertical profile corrections for reflectivity and specific differential phase significantly reduced radar QPE errors caused by inadequate sampling of the orographic enhancement of precipitation near the ground.