Unified formulation of single- and multimoment normalizations of the raindrop size distribution based on the gamma probability density function

Nan Yu, Guy Delrieu, Brice Boudevillain, Pieter Hazenberg, Remko Uijlenhoet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study offers a unified formulation of single- and multimoment normalizations of the raindrop size distribution (DSD), which have been proposed in the framework of scaling analyses in the literature. The key point is to consider a well-defined "general distribution" g(x) as the probability density function (pdf) of the raindrop diameter scaled by a characteristic diameter Dc. The two-parameter gamma pdf is used to model the g(x) function. This theory is illustrated with a 3-yr DSD time series collected in the Cévennes region, France. It is shown that threeDSD moments (M2,M3, and M4) make it possible to satisfactorily model the DSDs, both for individual spectra and for time series of spectra. The formulation is then extended to the one- and twomoment normalization by introducing single and dual power-law models. As compared with previous scaling formulations, this approach explicitly accounts for the prefactors of the power-law models to yield a unique and dimensionless g(x), whatever the scaling moment(s) considered. A parameter estimation procedure, based on the analysis of power-law regressions and the self-consistency relationships, is proposed for those normalizations. The implementation of this method with different scaling DSD moments (rain rate and/or radar reflectivity) yields g(x) functions similar to the one obtained with the three-moment normalization. For a particular rain event, highly consistent g(x) functions can be obtained during homogeneous rain phases, whatever the scaling moments used. However, the g(x) functions may present contrasting shapes from one phase to another. This supports the idea that the g(x) function is process dependent and not "unique" as hypothesized in the scaling theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-179
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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