Vertical precipitation estimation using microwave links in conjunction with weather radar

Roi Raich, Pinhas Alpert, Hagit Messer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When monitoring rain rates by weather radar in semi-arid regions and when measuring precipitation at an arid region; precipitation particles, rain, or snowflakes may evaporate before reaching the ground. This evaporation is regarded as the Virga phenomenon and may cause a false representation of the precipitation amount that actually reaches the ground. The Virga occurs naturally when the air below the cloud is relatively dry, and continues until humidity below the base of the cloud is high enough to decrease the evaporation. This paper suggests a method of combining near ground Commercial Microwave Links (CMLs) attenuation measurements, in conjunction with data from several weather radar beams, observing different heights, in order to produce estimates of the vertical profile of the rain-rate values and of the Cloud Base level (ClB). We propose an estimation method and demonstrate it using real-data measurements of two major storm events in the dead-sea area. We verify the validity of the estimation near ground by comparing the results with Rain Gauges’ (RGs) actual measurements in addition to comparing the estimated ClB with real ClB observations of a nearby weather station. While the storm events selected indeed show great evaporation, the suggested method provides excellent results, with a correlation of up to 0.9615, when correlated with real measurements of RGs of two storms from 2014 to 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironments - MDPI
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Arid regions
  • Cloud base level
  • Commercial microwave links
  • Precipitation estimation
  • Rain evaporation
  • Virga


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