The hotplate precipitation gauge operates by means of a thermodynamic principle. It is composed of a small disk with two thin aluminum heated plates on the upper and lower faces. Each plate has three concentric rings to prevent the hydrometeors from sliding off in strong wind. As for the more widely used tipping-bucket and weighing gauges, measurements are affected by the wind-induced bias due to the bluff-body aerodynamics of the instrument outer shape. Unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations were numerically solved, using a k–ω shear stress transport closure model, to simulate the aerodynamic influence of the gauge body on the airflow. Wind tunnel tests were conducted to validate simulation results. Solid particle trajectories were modeled using a Lagrangian particle tracking model to evaluate the influence of the airflow modification on the ability of the instrument to collect the incoming hydrometeors. A suitable parameterization of the particle size distribution, as a function of the snowfall intensity, was employed to calculate the collection efficiency (CE) under different wind conditions. Results reveal a relevant role of the three rings in enhancing the collection performance of the gauge. Below 7.5 m s−1, the CE curves linearly decrease with increasing the wind speed, while beyond that threshold, the blocking caused by the rings counter effects the aerodynamic induced undercatch, and the CE curves quadratically increase with the wind speed. At high wind speed, the undercatch vanishes and the instrument exhibits a rapidly increasing overcatch. For operational purposes, adjustment curves were formulated as a function of the wind speed and the measured snowfall intensity. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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