A general approach to double-moment normalization of drop size distributions

Gyu Won Lee*, Isztar Zawadzki, Wanda Szyrmer, Daniel Sempere-Torres, Remko Uijlenhoet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Normalization of drop size distributions (DSDs) is reexamined here. First, an extension of the scaling normalization that uses one moment of the DSD as a scaling parameter to a more general scaling normalization that uses two moments as scaling parameters of the normalization is presented. In addition, the proposed formulation includes all two-parameter normalizations recently introduced in the literature. Thus, a unified vision of the question of DSD normalization and a good model representation of DSDs are given. Data analysis of some convective and stratiform DSDs shows that, from the point of view of the compact representation of DSDs, the double-moment normalization is preferred. However, in terms of physical interpretation, the scaling exponent of the single-moment normalization clearly indicates two different rain regimes, whereas in the double-moment normalization the two populations are not readily separated. It is also shown that DSD analytical models (exponential, gamma, and generalized gamma DSD) have the same scaling properties, indicating that the scaling formalism of DSDs is a very general way of describing DSDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-281
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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