Rainfall is a “collective” phenomenon emerging from numerous drops. Understanding the relation between the physics of individual drops and that of a population of drops remains an open challenge, both scientifically and at the level of practical implications. This remains true also for solid precipitation. Hence, it is much needed to better understand small scale spatio-temporal precipitation variability, which is a key driving force of the hydrological response, especially in highly heterogeneous areas (mountains, cities). This hydrological response at the catchment scale is the result of the interplay between the space-time variability of precipitation, the catchment geomorphological / pedological / ecological characteristics and antecedent hydrological conditions. Therefore, (1) accurate measurement and prediction of the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation over a catchment and (2) the efficient and appropriate description of the catchment properties are important issues in hydrology.
This session will bring together scientists and practitioners who aim to measure and understand precipitation variability from drop scale to catchment scale as well as its hydrological consequences. Contributions addressing one or several of the following topics are especially targeted:
- Novel techniques for measuring liquid and solid precipitation variability at hydrologically relevant space and time scales (from drop to catchment scale), from in situ measurements to remote sensing techniques, and from ground-based devices to spaceborne platforms. Innovative comparison metrics are welcomed;
- Precipitation drop (or particle) size distribution and its small scale variability, including its consequences for precipitation rate retrieval algorithms for radars, commercial microwave links and other remote sensors;
- Novel modelling or characterization tools of precipitation variability from drop scale to catchment scale from various approaches (e.g. scaling, (multi-)fractal, statistic, deterministic, numerical modelling);
- Novel approaches to better identify, understand and simulate the dominant microphysical processes at work in liquid and solid precipitation.
- Applications of measured and/or modelled precipitation fields in catchment hydrological models for the purpose of process understanding or predicting hydrological response.
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