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Greg M. McFarquhar, Roland List, David R. Hudak, Robert P. Nissen, J. S. Dobbie, N. P. Tung, and T. S. Kang

Abstract

During the Joint Tropical Rain Experiment of the Malaysian Meteorological Service and the University of Toronto, pulsating raindrop ensembles, hereafter pulses, were observed in and around Penang Island. Using a Doppler radar on 25 October 1990, a periodic variation of precipitation aloft 30 km from the radar site, with an approximate 8-min period, was established and seemed to be caused by the evolution and motion of horizontal inhomogeneities existing within the same cell. On 30 October 1990, using a new volume scanning strategy with a repetition cycle of 3.5 min, pulsations of the same frequency were observed up to 3 km above the radar and at the ground by a disdrometer. High concentrations of large drops were followed by high concentrations of successively smaller drops at the ground. This provides observational evidence to support the recent argument for using a time-varying release of precipitation-sized particles to model observed pulsating rainfall.

Many cases of nonsteady rain from convective clouds displayed repetition periods of between 8 and 25 min.

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