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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
07 Mar 2014
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT). A final paper in AMT is not foreseen.
Binning effects on in-situ raindrop size distribution measurements
R. Checa-Garcia1, A. Tokay2,3, and F. J. Tapiador4 1Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
2Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, USA
3NASA Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Biochemistry. University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
Abstract. This paper investigates the binning effects on drop size distribution (DSD) measurements obtained by Joss-Waldvogel disdrometer (JWD), Precipitation Occurrence Sensor System (POSS), Thies disdrometer (Thies), Parsivel OTT disdrometer, two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) and optical spectro-pluviometer (OSP) instruments, therefore the evaluation comprises non-regular bin sizes and the effect of minimum and maximum measured sizes of drops. To achieve this goal, 2DVD measurements and simulated gamma size distributions were considered. The analysis of simulated gamma DSD binned according each instrument was performed to understand the role of discretisation and truncation effects together on the integral rainfall parameters and estimators of the DSD parameters. In addition, the drop-by-drop output of the 2DVD is binned to simulate the raw output of the other disdrometers which allowed us estimate sampling and binning effects on selected events from available dataset. From simulated DSD it has been found that binning effects exist in integral rainfall parameters and in the evaluation of DSD parameters of a gamma distribution. This study indicates that POSS and JWD exhibit underestimation of concentration and mean diameter due to binning. Thies and Parsivel report a positive bias for rainfall and reflectivity (reaching 5% for heavy rainfall intensity events). Regarding to DSD parameters, distributions of estimators for the shape and scale parameters were analyzed by moment, truncated moment and maximum likelihood methods. They reported noticeable differences between instruments for all methodologies of estimation applied. The measurements of 2DVD allow sampling error estimation of instruments with smaller capture areas than 2DVD. The results show that the instrument differences due to sampling were a~relevant uncertainty but that concentration, reflectivity and mass-weighted diameter were sensitive to binning.
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Citation: Checa-Garcia, R., Tokay, A., and Tapiador, F. J.: Binning effects on in-situ raindrop size distribution measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 7, 2339-2379,, 2014.
R. Checa-Garcia et al.
R. Checa-Garcia et al.


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