The Disdrometer Verification Network (DiVeN): a UK network of laser precipitation instruments

Pickering, Ben S.; Neely III, Ryan R.; Harrison, Dawn

Starting in February 2017, a network of 14 Thies laser precipitation monitors (LPMs) were installed at various locations around the United Kingdom to create the Disdrometer Verification Network (DiVeN). The instruments were installed for verification of radar hydrometeor classification algorithms but are valuable for much wider use in the scientific and operational meteorological community. Every Thies LPM is able to designate each observed hydrometeor into one of 20 diameter bins from inline-formula≥0.125 to inline-formula>8 mm and one of 22 speed bins from inline-formula>0.0 to inline-formula>20.0 m sinline-formula−1. Using empirically derived relationships, the instrument classifies precipitation into one of 11 possible hydrometeor classes in the form of a present weather code, with an associated indicator of uncertainty. To provide immediate feedback to data users, the observations are plotted in near-real time (NRT) and made publicly available on a website within 7 min. Here we describe the Disdrometer Verification Network and present specific cases from the first year of observations. Cases shown here suggest that the Thies LPM performs well at identifying transitions between rain and snow, but struggles with detection of graupel and pristine ice crystals (which occur infrequently in the United Kingdom) inherently, due to internal processing. The present weather code quality index is shown to have some skill without the supplementary sensors recommended by the manufacturer. Overall the Thies LPM is a useful tool for detecting hydrometeor type at the surface and DiVeN provides a novel dataset not previously observed for the United Kingdom.



Pickering, Ben S. / Neely III, Ryan R. / Harrison, Dawn: The Disdrometer Verification Network (DiVeN): a UK network of laser precipitation instruments. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


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