Cloud radar observations of vertical drafts and microphysics in convective rain

Pavlos Kollias, Bruce A Albrecht, F. D. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Observations of convective precipitation using a 94-GHz cloud radar are presented. Due to Mie scattering, the Doppler power spectra collected at vertical incidence contains characteristics of the scatterers (hydrometeors). These characteristics are used for the retrieval of the vertical air motion and the associated raindrop size distribution in an attempt to accurately map the time-height structure of the vertical air motion and raindrop fields within intense convective precipitation. The data provide strong evidence of the interaction between draft intensity and raindrop size distribution and highlight the variability of convective precipitation at small scales. Horizontal sorting of the raindrops caused by the air motion is documented. Signal attenuation measured at 94 GHz is shown to be well correlated to rainfall rates. The observations demonstrate the capability of 94-GHz cloud radars for studies of precipitation processes at low altitudes even under intense convective conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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