Department of Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Raindrop size distributions (RSDs) are often estimated using surface raindrop sampling devices (e.g., disdrometers) or optical array (2D-PMS) probes. A number of authors have used these measured distributions to compute certain higher-order RSD moments that correspond to radar reflectivity, attenuation, optical extinction, etc. Scatter plots of these RSD moments versus disdrometer-measured rainrates are then used to deduce physical relationships between radar reflectivity, attenuation, etc., which are measured by independent instruments (e.g., radar), and rainrate. In this paper we simulate RSDs of the gamma form as well as radar reflectivity (via time series simulation) to study the correlation structure of radar estimates versus rainrate as opposed to RSD moment estimates versus rainrate. Simulations offer a powerful method of studying the statistics of radar and surface RSD measurements since the natural RSD fluctuations can be introduced separately. In our simulations we vary the parameter No, Do and m of a gamma distribution over the range normally found in rainfall, as well as varying the device sampling volume. We apply our simulations to explain some possible features related to discrepancies which can arise when radar rainfall measurements are compared with surface or aircraft-based sampling devices.