Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The spatial distribution of precipitation is an important quantity for a variety of rangeland applications. Most information regarding precipitation comes from precipitation gauge networks, which are point measurements that must be interpolated over large areas to obtain an estimate of the spatial distribution of rain and snow. Recent advances in radar remote sensing retrieval of precipitation, and the deployment of a new weather radar in Boise in 1995, have prompted the application of these measurements to estimating rainfall and snowfall rates and accumulations using Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD). Precipitation retrievals using radars require calibrated algorithms that use the radar reflectivity-rain rate relationship (Z-R), which is highly dependent on the size distribution of the precipitation particles (i.e. hydrometeors), as well as the ambient air temperature and relative humidity conditions present in the atmosphere and at the surface. A variety of other atmospheric and environmental effects may cause contamination of the radar signal, such as from topographic obstacles, and methods for removing spurious data from the radar signals will be discussed. Different algorithms have been tested for rain and snow accumulations using the gauge networks at the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed and the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area as verification sites. These validation studies will be presented, along with overviews of the applications of NEXRAD precipitation estimates to rangeland reseeding, management, and conservation studies.