pyart.retrieve.composite_reflectivity(radar, field='reflectivity', gatefilter=None)[source]#

Composite Reflectivity

Often a legacy product, composite reflectivity is: “A display or mapping of the maximum radar reflectivity factor at any altitude as a function of position on the ground.” - AMS Glossary This is more useful for the dry regions of the world, where maximum reflectivity values are found aloft, as opposed to the lowest scan. Alternatively this is useful for comparing to NWP since composite Z is a standard output of NWP.

Why this is not as easy as one would think: Turns out the data are not natively stored with index 0 being azimuth 0. Likely due to the physical spinning of the radar antenna.

Author: Randy J. Chase (@dopplerchase)

  • radar (Radar) – Radar object used.

  • field (str) – Reflectivity field name to use to look up reflectivity data. In the radar object. Default field name is ‘reflectivity’.

  • gatefilter (GateFilter) – GateFilter instance. None will result in no gatefilter mask being applied to data.


radar (Radar) – The radar object containing the radar dimensions, metadata and composite field.


American Meteorological Society, 2022: “Composite reflectivity”. Glossary of Meteorology,