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Characterization of tropical precipitation using drop size distribution and rain rate-radar reflectivity relation

Abstract

Characterization of precipitation is important for proper interpretation of rain information from remotely sensed data. Rain attenuation and radar reflectivity (Z) depend directly on the drop size distribution (DSD). The relation between radar reflectivity/rain attenuation and rain rate (R) varies widely depending upon the origin, topography, and drop evolution mechanism and needs further understanding of the precipitation characteristics. The present work utilizes 2 years of concurrent measurements of DSD using a ground-based disdrometer at five diverse climatic conditions in Indian subcontinent and explores the possibility of rain classification based on microphysical characteristics of precipitation. It is observed that both gamma and lognormal distributions are performing almost similar for Indian region with a marginally better performance by one model than other depending upon the locations. It has also been found that shape-slope relationship of gamma distribution can be a good indicator of rain type. The Z-R relation, Z = ARb, is found to vary widely for different precipitation systems, with convective rain that has higher values of A than the stratiform rain for two locations, whereas the reverse is observed for the rest of the three locations. Further, the results indicate that the majority of rainfall (>50%) in Indian region is due to the convective rain although the occurrence time of convective rain is low (<10%).

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Acknowledgements

One of the authors (S. Das) thankfully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India under INSPIRE Faculty Scheme. Authors also acknowledge the SAC, ISRO for the contribution in data collections.

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Correspondence to Saurabh Das.

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Das, S., Maitra, A. Characterization of tropical precipitation using drop size distribution and rain rate-radar reflectivity relation. Theor Appl Climatol 132, 275–286 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2073-1

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