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In this work, the authors present observations of enhanced temporal coherency beyond that expected using the observations of the standard deviation of the Doppler velocities and the assumption of a family of exponentially decaying autocorrelation functions. The purpose of this paper is to interpret these observations by developing the complex amplitude autocorrelation function when both incoherent and coherent backscatter are present. Using this expression, it is then shown that when coherent scatter is present, the temporal coherency increases as observed. Data are analyzed in snow and in rain. The results agree with the theoretical expectations, and the authors interpret this agreement as an indication that coherent scatter is the likely explanation for the observed enhanced temporal coherency. This finding does not affect decorrelation times measured using time series. However, when the time series is not available (as in theoretical studies), the times to decorrelation are often computed based upon the assumptions that the autocorrelation function is a member of the family of exponentially decaying autocorrelation functions and that the signal decorrelation is due solely to the Doppler velocity fluctuations associated with incoherent scatter. Such an approach, at times, may significantly underestimate the true required times to decorrelation thus leading to overestimates of statistical reliability of parameters.

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© 2010 American Meteorological Society. Article deposited here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher’s version of record:

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Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology


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