Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
14 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Comparison of precipitation measurements by Ott Parsivel2 and Thies LPM optical disdrometers
Marta Angulo-Martínez1, Santiago Beguería1, Borja Latorre1, and María Fernández-Raga2 1Experimental Station of Aula Dei, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC), Avda. Montanana 1005, Zaragoza, E-50059, Spain
2Dept. of Physics, University of Leon, Spain
Abstract. Optical disdrometers are present weather sensors with the ability of providing detailed information of precipitation such as rain intensity, kinetic energy or radar reflectivity, together with discrete information on the distribution of particle sizes and fall velocities (PSVD) of the hydrometeors. Disdrometers constitute a step forward towards a more complete characterisation of precipitation, being highly useful in several research fields and applications. In this article the performance of the two optical disdrometer most extensively used, the most recent version of Ott PARSIVEL2 disdrometer and Thies Clima Laser Precipitation Monitor, is evaluated. During a two years precipitation observation experiment, four collocated optical disdrometers, two Thies Clima LPM and two Ott PARSIVEL2, recorded 58761 common one-minute precipitation observations, totalling 221 natural rainfall events, with intensities peaking at 220 mm h−1. The results show significant differences between both disdrometer types for all integrated precipitation parameters, which can be explained by differences in the raw particle size and velocity distribution (PSVD). Thies LPM recorded in average double number of particles than PARSIVEL2. PSVD percentile comparison showed Thies LPM measuring more small particles than Ott Parsivel2, resulting in higher rain rates and totals. These differences increased greatly with rainfall intensity. At rain rates above 10 mm h−1 Thies LPM recorded nine times the number of particles of PARSIVEL2, affecting all precipitation variables. The practical consequences of these differences, and possible reasons, are discussed, in order to help researchers and users in the election of the sensor, pointing out at the same time limitations to be fixed in future versions.
Citation: Angulo-Martínez, M., Beguería, S., Latorre, B., and Fernández-Raga, M.: Comparison of precipitation measurements by Ott Parsivel2 and Thies LPM optical disdrometers, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Marta Angulo-Martínez et al.

Model code and software

DisdRo: an R package for working with disdrometric data S. Beguería, B. Latorre, and M. Angulo-Martínez
Marta Angulo-Martínez et al.


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Short summary
The article aims at evaluating the performance of two common and extensively used comercial disdrometers: the Laser Precipitation Monitor (Thies Clima) and the Particle Size and Velocity disdrometer, PARSIVEL (Ott Hydromet). Both sensors work under the same principle, measuring the distribution of particle sizes and velocity from the obscuration of a laser beam by particles passing through. The experiment, monitoring two years of precipitation, allowed quantify the differences for a better use.
The article aims at evaluating the performance of two common and extensively used comercial...