Most microphysical models in precipitation physics and radar meteorology assume (at least implicitly) that raindrops are completely uncorrelated in space and time. Yet, several recent studies have indicated that raindrop arrivals are often temporally and spatially correlated. Resolution of this conflict must begin with observations of perfectly uncorrelated rainfall, should such “perfectly steady rain” exist at all. Indeed, it does. Using data with high temporal precision from a two-dimensional video disdrometer and the pair-correlation function, a scale-localized statistical tool, several ∼10–20-min rain episodes have been uncovered where no clustering among droplet arrival times is found. This implies that (i) rain events exist where current microphysical models can be tested in an optimal manner and (ii) not all rain can be properly described using fractals.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jul 9, 2004