A general approach to double-moment normalization of drop size distributions

G.W. Lee, I. Zawadzki, W. Szyrmer, D. Sempere Torres, R. Uijlenhoet

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91 Citations (Scopus)


Normalization of drop size distributions (DSDs) is reexamined here. First, an extension of the scaling normalization that uses one moment of the DSD as a scaling parameter to a more general scaling normalization that uses two moments as scaling parameters of the normalization is presented. In addition, the proposed formulation includes all two-parameter normalizations recently introduced in the literature. Thus, a unified vision of the question of DSD normalization and a good model representation of DSDs are given. Data analysis of some convective and stratiform DSDs shows that, from the point of view of the compact representation of DSDs, the double-moment normalization is preferred. However, in terms of physical interpretation, the scaling exponent of the single-moment normalization clearly indicates two different rain regimes, whereas in the double-moment normalization the two populations are not readily separated. It is also shown that DSD analytical models ( exponential, gamma, and generalized gamma DSD) have the same scaling properties, indicating that the scaling formalism of DSDs is a very general way of describing DSDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-281
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • radar observations
  • gamma distribution
  • raindrop spectra


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