IWA Publishing

Radar-rainfall estimation algorithms of Hydro-NEXRAD


Hydro-NEXRAD is a prototype software system that provides hydrology and water resource communities with ready access to the vast data archives of the U.S. weather radar network known as NEXRAD (Next Generation Weather Radar). This paper describes radar-rainfall estimation algorithms and their modular components used in the Hydro-NEXRAD system to generate rainfall products to be delivered to users. A variety of customized modules implemented in Hydro-NEXRAD perform radar-reflectivity data processing, produce radar-rainfall maps with user-requested space and time resolution, and combine multiple radar data for basins covered by multiple radars. System users can select rainfall estimation algorithms that range from simple (‘Quick Look’) to complex and computing-intensive (‘Hi-Fi’). The ‘Pseudo NWS PPS’ option allows close comparison with the algorithm used operationally by the US National Weather Service. The ‘Custom’ algorithm enables expert users to specify values for many of the parameters in the algorithm modules according to their experience and expectations. The Hydro-NEXRAD system, with its rainfall-estimation algorithms, can be used by both novice and expert users who need rainfall estimates as references or as input to their hydrologic modelling and forecasting applications.

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