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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rainfall Estimation Using Radar, Gauge and Drop Spectra Information - the Goodwin Creek Experience, Mississippi

Authors
item Steiner, Matthias - PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
item Smith, James - PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
item Burges, Stephen - WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
item Alonso, Carlos

Submitted to: International Hydrologic Applications of Weather Radar Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Accurate observations of precipitation (e.g., rain and snow) are very important to hydrological applications. Historically surface rainfall has been measured using raingauges deployed in networks of various gauge density. With improved remote sensing capabilities, particularly radar, these point measures of rainfall have increasingly been augmented by area-covering, remotely-sensed rain estimates. Radar enables three-dimensional observation of precipitation with excellent aerial coverage and high resolution in space and time. The radar reflectivity factor Z is physically related to rainfall rate R. For this study we make use of data collected in the Goodwin Creek research watershed. Since early 1996, we have collected approximately eighty rainfall events with accumulations in excess of 10 mm each. For most of these storms archive level II data of the NEXRAD WSR-88D located at Memphis (Tennessee) have been obtained. These data, in combination with the raingauges of the Goodwin Creek watershed and the disdrometer, is used to investigate the problems involved in the rainfall measurement and develop strategies on how to obtain accurate surface rainfall estimates. This study highlights the importance of carefully designed field observations and the need for much more rigorous analysis of precipitation as it reaches the ground than we have done in the past.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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