Statistical intercomparison of idealized rainfall measurements using a stochastic fractional dynamics model
A statistical method is developed for comparing precipitation data from measurements performed by (hypothetical) perfect instruments using a recently developed stochastic model of rainfall. The stochastic dynamical equation that describes the underlying random process naturally leads to a consistent spectrum and incorporates the subtle interdependence of the length and time scales governing the statistical fluctuations of the rain rate field. The main attraction of such a model is that the complete set of second-moment statistics embodied in the space-time covariance of both the area-averaged instantaneous rain rate (represented by radar or passive microwave data near the ground) and the time-averaged point rain rate (represented by rain gauge data) can be expressed as suitable integrals over the spectrum. With the help of this framework, the model allows one to carry out a faithful intercomparison of precipitation estimates derived from radar or passive microwave remote sensing over an area with direct observations by rain gauges or disdrometers, assuming all the measuring instruments to be ideal. A standard linear regression analysis approach to the intercomparison of radar and gauge rain rate estimates is formulated in terms of the appropriate observed and model-derived quantities. We also estimate the relative sampling error as well as separate absolute sampling errors for radar and gauge measurements of rainfall from the spectral model.