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Keywords:

  • radar;
  • drop size distribution;
  • convection over Sumatra

[1] The diurnal variability of raindrop size distribution (DSD) in precipitating clouds over Kototabang, West Sumatra, Indonesia (0.20°S, 100.32°E), is studied using three types of Doppler radars, operated at VHF (47 MHz), UHF (1.3 GHz), and X band (9.4 GHz) frequencies. Two precipitation events from 5 to 6 May 2004 in the first observation campaign of the first Coupling Processes in the Equatorial Atmosphere (CPEA-I) project reveal a difference between clouds precipitating in the early afternoon and clouds precipitating in the nighttime. In the early afternoon, the precipitating clouds were dominated by shallow convective types with high rainfall rate at the surface. In the nighttime, precipitating clouds were dominated by stratiform types with small rainfall rate at the surface. A diurnal variation of horizontal wind was observed over this area. The westerly in the lower troposphere and the easterly in the middle troposphere began to be enhanced in the afternoon (1400–1700 LT). DSD parameters were retrieved from VHF band Doppler radar data. A modified gamma distribution was used to model DSD parameters. The shape parameter (μ) was larger during stratiform precipitation than during shallow convective precipitation events, as shown by previous studies. During stratiform rain events on 5 May 2004, the median volume diameter (D0) was dominantly greater than 1 mm, which is larger than D0 during shallow convective rain events. Results presented in this paper indicate that DSD has a diurnal cycle over the mountainous region of Sumatra.