The Estimation of Rainfall for Flood Forecasting Using Radar and Rain Gage Data

by William J. Charley, US Army Corps of Engineers, Davis, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The use of radar-rainfall data in combination with rain gage measurements may improve rainfall estimates over those based on either form of measurement alone. A set of rainfall analysis software that incorporates this methodology has been developed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center to aid hydrologists in making real-time water control decisions. The rainfall-analysis software retrieves real-time radar-rainfall data from a National Weather Service RADAP II (Radar Data Processor), and rain gage measurements from data collection platforms via the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES. ) The radar data from the RADAP II is 'calibrated' with the rain gage data using a simple Kriging technique. Subbasin-average rainfall is then computed from the calibrated data and stored in a data base file for subsequent use by a river-flow forecast model. Graphics programs aid in the evaluation of the data. This software system has been implemented for a few pilot watersheds in Oklahoma.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Rainfall | Floods | Forecasting | Radar | Hydrologic data | Rain water | Hydrologic engineering | Oklahoma | United States

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