Atmospheric Effects and Precursors of Rainfall over the Swiss Plateau

Wang, Wenyue; Hocke, Klemens (2022). Atmospheric Effects and Precursors of Rainfall over the Swiss Plateau. Remote sensing, 14(12), p. 2938. Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI 10.3390/rs14122938

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In this study, we investigate the characteristics of atmospheric parameters before, during, and after rain events in Bern, Switzerland. Ground-based microwave radiometer data of the TROpospheric WAter RAdiometer (TROWARA) with a time resolution of 7 s, observations of a weather station, and the composite analysis method are used to derive the temporal evolution of rain events and to identify possible rainfall precursors during a 10-year period (1199 available rain events). A rainfall climatology is developed using parameters integrated water vapor (IWV), integrated liquid water (ILW), rain rate, infrared brightness temperature (TIR), temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed, and air density. It was found that the IWV is reduced by about 2.2 mm at the end of rain compared to the beginning. IWV and TIR rapidly increase to a peak at the onset of the rainfall. Precursors of rainfall are that the temperature reaches its maximum around 30 to 60 min before rain, while the pressure and relative humidity are minimal. IWV fluctuates the most before rain (obtained with a 10 min bandpass). In 60% of rain events, the air density decreases 2 to 6 h before the onset of rain. The seasonality and the duration of rain events as well as the diurnal cycle of atmospheric parameters are also considered. Thus, a prediction of rainfall is possible with a true detection rate of 60% by using the air density as a precursor. Further improvements in the nowcasting of rainfall are possible by using a combination of various atmospheric parameters which are monitored by a weather station and a ground-based microwave radiometer.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Microwaves

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Wang, Wenyue, Hocke, Klemens


600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI




Wenyue Wang

Date Deposited:

27 Jun 2022 11:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:21

Publisher DOI:


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