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A 2D video disdrometer (2DVD) probe was used to gather detailed drop measurements over a 770-min rain event. Accumulated totals of the rainfall and of the number of drops for each square centimeter showed persistent, significant correlated structures across the approximately 11 cm × 11 cm grid of the 2DVD. This is surprising because larger-scale studies suggest that the values in each square centimeter should be highly correlated with very little variation. Nevertheless, this correlation remains strikingly similar to what is observed at a coarser resolution, suggesting that it somehow scales with spatial resolution. However, because the correlation functions are not power laws, the origin of this scaling must be due to a factor other than fractal geometry. Analysis reveals that this occurs because of a filtering effect such that as the domain size (or resolution of a remote sensor) becomes finer, it is only the smaller wavelengths that contribute most to the variance so that the correlation function also scales. Consequently, correlated finescale structures can apparently occur even over 10 cm. This fine structure was also found for the kinetic energy and impact power of the rain, important for understanding the initiation of soil erosion. The patterns in the integrated parameters appeared to arise almost exclusively from patterns in the total number of drops with patterns in the drop sizes playing an insignificant role. Therefore, in future studies of rain it is recommended that the total number of drops be retained as a crucial variable.

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Copyright 2016 American Meteorological Society. Article deposited here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:

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Journal of Hydrometeorology


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