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.