Abstract Observational results of meteor trails in 1992 as obtained by using a forward scatter (FS) bistatic radar over the Bologna-Lecce baseline (about 700 km) in Italy are presented in terms of peak signal amplituderate dependence. The distribution of energy reflected by meteor trails is shown to be correlated with the electron line density q, and is different for underdense and overdense echoes. It is pointed out that in the cumulative distribution function of meteor trails vs peak signal amplitudes, the number of underdense echoes decreases with the increasing signal more rapidly than predicted, whereas the trend is opposite for overdense echoes with a minor decrease when the signal increases. By comparing sets of observations and specified theoretical distributions and using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) procedure, a lognormal (and/or Gaussian) model is proposed in order to provide a better fit to trends of meteor trails for values of q ⩾ 10 13 el m −1. The distribution of the cumulative echo number vs the energy reflected from meteor trails in December Geminids exhibits the typical trend of particles more massive in comparison to particles of the other streams. The present FS'observations of meteor showers indicate that the transition region where contributions from both overdense and underdense are important, extends over a wide amplitude range.