Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-393
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-393

  17 Oct 2020

17 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Effect of disdrometer sampling area and time on the precision of precipitation rate measurement

Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett
  • Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Abstract. Due to the discretized nature of rain, the measurement of a continuous precipitation rate by disdrometers is subject to statistical sampling errors. Here, Monte Carlo simulations are employed to obtain the precision of rain detection and rate as a function of disdrometer collection area and compared with World Meteorological Organization guidelines for a one-minute sample interval and 95 \% probability. To meet these requirements, simulations suggest that measurements of light rain with rain rates R ≤ 0.50 mm h−1 require a collection area of at least 6 cm × 6 cm, and for R > 1 mm h−1, the minimum collection area is 10 cm × 10 cm. For R = 0.01 mm h−1, a collection area of 2 cm × 2 cm is sufficient to detect a single drop. Simulations are compared with field measurements using a new hotplate device, the Differential Emissivity Imaging Disdrometer. The field results suggest an even larger plate may be required to meet the stated accuracy, although for reasons that remain to be determined.

Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett

 
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett

Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett

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Short summary
Monte Carlo simulations are used to establish baseline precipitation measurement uncertainties according to World Meteorological Organization standards. Measurement accuracy depends on instrument sampling area, time interval, and precipitation rate. Simulations are compared with field measurements taken by an emerging hotplate precipitation sensor. We find that the current collection area is sufficient for light rain, but a larger collection area is required to detect moderate to heavy rain.