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Modeling Distribution of Raindrop Size

© 2012 EPFL

© 2012 EPFL

The distribution of rain drop size (DSD) reflects the complex interactions between atmospheric dynamics and cloud microphysics. It is a fundamental characteristic of rainfall, from which all rain variables can be derived.

Using DSD measurements collected from optical disdrometers and geostatistical tools, we have developed a stochastic model of 2-dimensional fields of DSDs. This model provides a controlled simulation framework that makes it possible to investigate many issues related to the propagation of electromagnetic signals through a rainy atmosphere.

This work has direct applications for the improvement of the measurement of rainfall in general, and for the quantification of the uncertainties associated with rain-rate estimation using weather radar in particular.