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

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
30 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Hotplate Precipitation Gauge Calibrations and Field Measurements
Nicholas Zelasko1, Adam Wettlaufer1, Bujidmaa Borkhuu1, Matthew Burkhart1, Leah S. Campbell2, W. James Steenburgh2, and Jefferson R. Snider1 1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, USA
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, USA
Abstract. First introduced in 2003, approximately 70 Yankee Environmental Systems (YES) hotplate precipitation gauges have been purchased by researchers and operational meteorologists. A version of the YES hotplate is described in Rasmussen et al. (2011; R11). Presented here is indoor- and field-based testing of a newer version of the hotplate; this device is equipped with longwave and shortwave radiation sensors. Hotplate surface temperature, coefficients describing natural and forced convective sensible energy transfer, and radiative properties (longwave emissivity and shortwave reflectance) are reported for two of the new-version YES hotplates. These parameters are applied in a new algorithm and used to derive liquid-equivalent accumulations for snowfall and rainfall. These accumulations are compared to values derived by the internal algorithm used in the YES hotplates (hotplate-derived accumulations) and to weighing gauge accumulations. In contrast with R11, the new algorithm accounts for radiative terms in a hotplate’s energy budget, applies an energy conversion factor which does not differ from a theoretical energy conversion factor, and applies a surface area that is correct for the YES hotplate. Radiative effects are shown to be relatively unimportant for the precipitation events analyzed. In addition, this work documents a 10 % difference between the hotplate-derived and new-algorithm-derived accumulations. This difference seems consistent with R11’s application of a hotplate surface area that deviates from the actual surface area of the YES hotplate and with R11’s recommendation for an energy conversion factor that differs from that calculated using thermodynamic theory.

Citation: Zelasko, N., Wettlaufer, A., Borkhuu, B., Burkhart, M., Campbell, L. S., Steenburgh, W. J., and Snider, J. R.: Hotplate Precipitation Gauge Calibrations and Field Measurements, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Nicholas Zelasko et al.
Nicholas Zelasko et al.
Nicholas Zelasko et al.


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Short summary
The hotplate precipitation gauge has potential to solve some problems with conventional precipitation gauge measurements, especially for snowfall. This paper extents the seminal published work (Rasmussen et al., 2011). We picked the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques over Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology because we want an open review. We assert that the precipitation rate algorithm we have developed for the hotplate is an improvement over that previously published.
The hotplate precipitation gauge has potential to solve some problems with conventional...