this report is to provide an introduction to radar polarimetrySthe theory and physical basis for the measurementsSand to discuss possible applications (algorithms). [Important supplements to this discussion are given by Oguchi (1983), Bringi and Hendry (1990), Zrni# (1991), and Doviak and Zrni# (1993); algorithm prospects are also discussed by Zrni# et al. (1999).] The report is organized as follows: Section 1 reviews properties of hydrometeor distributions. A brief review of the backscattering and backscattering covariance matrices follows (Section 2). Common radar-measured and derived quantities are discussed in Section 3. Possible applications including rainfall estimation, hail and bright band detection, hydrometeor discrimination, and data quality assessment are described in Section 4 . A concluding section (Section 5) summarizes key findings and recommends that a committee be established to develop an evaluation plan for possible implementation on the WSR-88D. 1. PARTICLE DISTRIBUTIONS Because they have been studied extensively, the discussion in this section focusses on the distribution of raindrops in the atmosphere. However, the described distributions have been shown to be roughly applicable to other precipitation types (hail and snow) as well. The growth of raindrops is determined largely by collision and coalescence processes which reduce the number of small drops and shift the distribution to larger drops. Growth is countered by breakup once the drops reach a certain size. Marshall and Palmer (1948) determined experimentally that drop distributions at equilibrium could be described by an exponential relation of the form where D is the drop diameter [mm], N(D) is the number density of the drops per unit volume [m
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