Combining a rain microphysical model and observations: Implications for radar rainfall estimation

Olivier P. Prat, Ana P. Barros

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A bin-model was used to characterize the signature of dynamical microphysical processes on Z-R relationships used for radar rainfall estimation. The sensitivity analysis performed shows that coalescence is the dominant microphysical process for low to moderate rain intensity regimes (R < 20mm h-1), and that rain rate in this regime is strongly dependent on the spectral properties of the DSD (i.e. the shape). For high intensity rainfall (R > 20mm h-1), collision-breakup dynamics dominate the evolution of the raindrop spectra. Analysis of the time-dependent Z-R relationships produced by the model suggests convergence to a universal Z-R relationship for heavy intensity rainfall. Conversely, the model results show that Z-R relationships severely underestimate reflectivity in the light rainfall regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2009
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event2009 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2009 - Pasadena, CA, United States
Duration: May 4 2009May 8 2009

Publication series

NameIEEE National Radar Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1097-5659


Conference2009 IEEE Radar Conference, RADAR 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPasadena, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Combining a rain microphysical model and observations: Implications for radar rainfall estimation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this