Effect of sampling variation on error of rainfall variables measured by optical disdrometer
X. C. Liu, T. C. Gao, and L. Liu
College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
Received: 12 Nov 2012 – Accepted for review: 08 Dec 2012 – Discussion started: 19 Dec 2012
Abstract. During the sampling process of precipitation particles by optical disdrometers, the randomness of particles and sampling variability has great impact on the accuracy of precipitation variables. Based on a marked point model of raindrop size distribution, the effect of sampling variation on drop size distribution and velocity distribution measurement using optical disdrometers are analyzed by Monte Carlo simulation. The results show that the samples number, rain rate, drop size distribution, and sampling size have different influences on the accuracy of rainfall variables. The relative errors of rainfall variables caused by sampling variation in a descending order as: water concentration, mean diameter, mass weighed mean diameter, mean volume diameter, radar reflectivity factor, and number density, which are independent with samples number basically; the relative error of rain variables are positively correlated with the margin probability, which is also positively correlated with the rain rate and the mean diameter of raindrops; the sampling size is one of the main factors that influence the margin probability, with the decreasing of sampling area, especially the decreasing of short side of sample size, the probability of margin raindrops is getting greater, hence the error of rain variables are getting greater, and the variables of median size raindrops have the maximum error. To ensure the relative error of rainfall variables measured by optical disdrometer less than 1%, the width of light beam should be at least 40 mm.
Liu, X. C., Gao, T. C., and Liu, L.: Effect of sampling variation on error of rainfall variables measured by optical disdrometer, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 5, 8895-8924, doi:10.5194/amtd-5-8895-2012, 2012.