Exploring the use of a column model for the characterization of microphysical processes in warm rain: results from a homogeneous rainshaft model
Abstract. A study of the evolution of raindrop spectra (raindrop size distribution, DSD) between cloud base and the ground surface was conducted using a column model of stochastic coalescense-breakup dynamics. Numerical results show that, under steady-state boundary conditions (i.e. constant rainfall rate and DSD at the top of the rainshaft), the equilibrium DSD is achieved only for high rain rates produced by midlevel or higher clouds and after long simulation times (~30 min or greater). Because these conditions are not typical of most rainfall, the results suggest that the theoretical equilibrium DSD might not be attainable for the duration of individual rain events, and thus DSD observations from field experiments should be analyzed conditional on the specific storm environment under which they were obtained.