Drop Size Distribution Variability in Central Argentina during RELAMPAGO-CACTI

Candela Casanovas, Paola Salio, Victoria Galligani, Brenda Dolan, Stephen W. Nesbitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Meso-scale/micro-scale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) and the Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions Experiment Proposal (CACTI) field campaigns provided an unprecedented thirteendisdrometer dataset in Central Argentina during the Intensive (IOP, 15 November to 15 December 2018) and Extended (EOP, 15 October 2018 to 30 April 2019) Observational Periods. The drop size distribution (DSD) parameters and their variability were analyzed across the region of interest, which was divided into three subregions characterized by the differing proximity to the Sierras de Córdoba (SDC), in order to assess the impact of complex terrain on the DSD parameters. A rigorous quality control of the data was first performed. The frequency distributions of DSD-derived parameters were analyzed, including the normalized intercept parameter (logNw), the mean volume diameter (D0), the mean mass diameter (Dm), the shape parameter (µ), the liquid water content (LWC), and the rain rate (R). The region closest to the SDC presented higher values of logNw, lower D0, and higher µ, while the opposite occurred in the farthest region, i.e., the concentration of small drops decreased while the concentration of bigger drops increased with the distance to the east of the SDC. Furthermore, the region closest to the SDC showed a bimodal distribution of D0: the lower values of D0 were associated with higher values of logNw and were found more frequently during the afternoon, while the higher D0 were associated with lower logNw and occurred more frequently during the night. The data were analyzed in comparison to the statistical analysis of Dolan et al. 2018 and sorted according to the classification proposed in the cited study. The logNw-D0 and LWC-D0 two-dimensional distributions allowed further discussion around the applicability of other mid-latitude and global precipitation classification schemes (startiform/convection) in the region of interest. Finally, three precipitation case studies were analyzed with supporting polarimetric radar data in order to relate the DSD characteristics to the precipitation type and the microphysical processes involved in each case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2026
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Complex terrain
  • Drop size distribution
  • DSD
  • Precipitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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