Comparison of precipitation measurements by OTT Parsivel2 and Thies LPM optical disdrometers
Published: 08 May 2018 by Copernicus GmbH in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Copernicus GmbH, Volume 22; 10.5194/hess-22-2811-2018
Abstract: Optical disdrometers are present weather sensors with the ability of providing detailed information on precipitation such as rain intensity, radar reflectivity or kinetic energy, together with discrete information on the particle size and fall velocity distribution (PSVD) of the hydrometeors. Disdrometers constitute a step forward towards a more complete characterization of precipitation, being useful in several research fields and applications. In this article the performance of two extensively used optical disdrometers, the most recent version of OTT Parsivel2 disdrometer and Thies Clima Laser Precipitation Monitor (LPM), is evaluated. During 2 years, four collocated optical disdrometers, two Thies Clima LPM and two OTT Parsivel2, collected up to 100000min of data and up to 30000min with rain in more than 200 rainfall events, with intensities peaking at 277mmh−1 in 1 minute. The analysis of these records shows significant differences between both disdrometer types for all integrated precipitation parameters, which can be explained by differences in the raw PSVD estimated by the two sensors. Thies LPM recorded a larger number of particles than Parsivel2 and a higher proportion of small particles than OTT Parsivel2, resulting in higher rain rates and totals and differences in radar reflectivity and kinetic energy. These differences increased greatly with rainfall intensity. Possible causes of these differences, and their practical consequences, are discussed in order to help researchers and users in the choice of sensor, and at the same time pointing out limitations to be addressed in future studies.
Keywords: rainfall, Ott, radar reflectivity, Kinetic energy, Disdrometers, Thies LPM, Parsivel2, reflectivity and kinetic