Image © 2014 American Meteorological Society

Olivier Prat of CICS-NC and co-author Matthew Kumjian recently examined the complex, very small-scale processes of rainfall by combining model simulations of rainfall microphysics with a model describing how dual-polarization radar signals are scattered by rainfall. By comparing simulated radar profiles with actual radar data and with ground-based measurements, they identify distinctive radar signatures of various physical processes and some limitations of the microphysical model parameterizations. These advances can help improve radar measurements of rainfall as well as macro-scale models of storm behavior, which depend heavily on the accuracy of the microphysical models.