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If you want to predict extreme rainstorms, it's vital you know how small processes, such as condensation, affect bigger systems. These small processes, however, are hard to study. To learn more about these microphysical processes, researchers performed statistical analysis on a global data set of rain drop size distributions. They revealed the rain drops fit into six groups. These groups are independent of location. That is, the drop size distributions revealed six main groups that are linked to cloud processes and types.
The results offer two key benefits. First, they improve our physical understanding of how small, microphysical processes impact rainfall. Second, they provide new information regarding the global variability of rain cloud type (warm rain, ice-based precipitation, etc.). Scientists can use the results in two key ways. They can fine-tune models to better represent precipitation processes. Also, they can improve remote-sensing retrievals of rainfall.
Team - Disdrometer - Data - Sets - Department
The team analyzed twelve disdrometer data sets (including four from the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement user facility). Disdrometers are surface instruments that measure the size of rain drops. The team gathered the data across three latitude bands, spanning a broad range of precipitation regimes: light rain,...
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