Rain characterization based on maritime and continental origin at a tropical location

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Research Article

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Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics


Quantitative precipitation estimations (QPE) from remote sensing observations requires understanding of the rain characteristics. Rain drop size distribution (DSD) is the fundamental parameter for characterizing rain and depends strongly on the climate, origin and precipitation type. Past studies are mostly concentrated on the DSD variations on locations and rain type, but only a few studies focused on the rain DSD difference between maritime and continental circulation. The aim of the present study is to analyse the different precipitation properties associated with maritime and continental rain at a coastal Indian location. The rain rate probability, DSD parameters, rain rate(R)-radar reflectivity (Z) relation and rain attenuation under different rain conditions are presented here based on three years of DSD measurements at Trivandrum (08°52′ 76°93′). Higher value of mean rain rate is observed for maritime rain than continental rain. The Z-R relation is also found to be significantly different for these two types of rain. Abundance of smaller drops is indicated in maritime rain whereas large raindrops has dominance in continental rain. The rain attenuation associated with maritime rain also found to be notably higher than the continental rain. The coefficients for converting the rain rate to attenuation values for different frequencies are estimated for the present location. The results indicate the scope of improvement in QPE by adjusting the Z-R relation from the characteristics difference in rain microstructure/attenuation for continental and maritime rain.

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