Hurricane Laura (2020): A Comparison of Drop Size Distribution Moments Using Ground and Radar Remote Sensing Retrieval Methods Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractHurricane Laura was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana since 1969 with maximum sustained winds of 130 knots. One University of Oklahoma Shared Atmospheric Mobile and Teaching Polarmetric Radar (SR1‐P), and four portable in situ precipitation stations (PIPSs) equipped with parsivel disdrometers were spatially and temporally collocated with two NASA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Dual‐frequency Precipitation Radar overpasses. The combined retrieval methods were able to quantify and compare drop size distribution moments and radar‐inferred precipitation processes before, during, and after the storm center made landfall. It was found that the magnitude of collision‐coalescence dominant precipitation decreased from before to after landfall. Further, the presence of a bright‐band becomes more evident across all percentiles in the post‐landfall overpass, indicating an increase in stratiform precipitation compared to convective precipitation after Laura moved inland. The PIPS showed an increase in mean drop size from 1.0 mm before landfall to as high as 4.0 mm in the eyewall, while decreasing to below 1.0 mm as Laura continued to move inland with a decrease in maximum echo top height of 0.5–1.0 km. Last, the Dual‐frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) algorithm overestimated the normalized intercept parameter by 0.5–1.0 m−3 mm−1 compared to the PIPS implying differences in measured drop number concentration, potentially due to differences in measurement footprint or assumptions in the DPR retrieval algorithm. These findings can potentially be used to improve the DPR particle size distribution algorithm in tropical cyclones.

publication date

  • August 27, 2022

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • February 22, 2024 9:11 AM

Full Author List

  • Brauer NS; Alford AA; Waugh SM; Biggerstaff MI; Carrie GD; Kirstetter PE; Basara JB; Dawson DT; Elmore KL; Stevenson J

author count

  • 11

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2169-897X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-8996

Additional Document Info


  • 127


  • 16