Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-434
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-434
 
07 Feb 2022
07 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

3D trajectories and velocities of rainfall drops in a multifractal turbulent wind field

Auguste Gires, Ioulia Tchiguirinskaia, and Daniel Schertzer Auguste Gires et al.
  • Hydrologie Meteorologie et Complexite (HM&Co), Ecole des Ponts Paris-Tech, Champs-sur-Marne, France

Abstract. Weather radars measure rainfall in altitude whereas hydro-meteorologists are mainly interested in rainfall at ground level. During their fall, drops are advected by the wind which affects the location of the measured field.

The governing equation of a rain drop motion relates the acceleration to the forces of gravity and buoyancy along with the drag force. It depends non-linearly on the instantaneous relative velocity between the drop and the local wind; which yields to complex behaviour. Here, the drag force is expressed in a standard way with the help of a drag coefficient expressed as a function of Reynolds number. Corrections accounting for the oblateness of drops greater than 1–2 mm are suggested and validated through comparison of retrieved “terminal fall velocity” (i.e. without wind) with commonly used relationships in the literature.

An explicit numerical scheme then is implemented to solve this equation for 3+1D turbulent wind field, and hence analyse the temporal evolution of the velocities and trajectories of rain drops during their fall. It appears that multifractal features of the input wind are simply transferred to drop velocity with an additional fractional integration whose level depends on drop size, and a slight time shift. Using actual high resolution 3D sonic anemometer and a scale invariant approach to simulate realistic fluctuations of wind in space, trajectories of drop of various size falling form 1 500 m are studied. For a strong wind event, drops located within a radar gate in altitude during 5 min are spread on the ground over an area of size few kilometers. Spread for drops of a given diameter are found to cover few radar pixels. Consequences on measurements of hydro-meteorological extremes which are needed to improve resilience of urban areas are discussed.

Auguste Gires et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-434', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-434', Qiang Dai, 08 Apr 2022

Auguste Gires et al.

Auguste Gires et al.

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Short summary
Weather radars measure rainfall in altitude whereas hydro-meteorologists are mainly interested in rainfall at ground level. During their fall, drops are advected by the wind which affects the location of the measured field. Governing equation linking acceleration, gravity, buoyancy, and drag force is updated to account for oblateness of drops. Then multifractal wind is used as input to explore velocities and trajectories of drops. Finally consequence on radar rainfall estimation is discussed.