P13R.4 A Framework for Use of NEXRAD Data in Hydrology

Friday, 28 October 2005
Alvarado F and Atria (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
A. Allen Bradley, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; and M. L. Baeck, S. Del Greco, W. F. Krajewski, A. Kruger, R. E. Lawrence, M. K. Ramamurthy, M. Steiner, J. A. Smith, and J. Weber

Although NEXRAD operational products are used extensively by forecasters in real time, scientific use of the full resolution NEXRAD data, which are archived at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), is limited. A daunting obstacle for most scientists is that current methods for accessing and using NEXRAD data requires considerable expertise in weather radars, data quality control, formatting and handling, and radar-rainfall algorithms, To address this, we are developing a framework and a set of tools for access, visualization, management, rainfall estimation algorithms, and scientific analysis of full resolution NEXRAD data. Our goal is to provide professionals in the scientific, engineering, education, and public policy sectors with on-demand NEXRAD data and custom products that are at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Furthermore, the data and custom products will be of a quality suitable for scientific discovery in hydrology and hydrometeorology and in data formats that are convenient to a wide spectrum of users. The framework will address the issues of data dissemination, format conversions and compression, management of terabyte-sized datasets, rapid browsing and visualization, metadata selection and calculation, relational and XML databases, integration with geographic information systems, data queries and knowledge mining, and Web Services. The tools will perform instantaneous comprehensive quality control and radar-rainfall estimation using a variety of algorithms. The algorithms that the user can select will range from "quick look" to complex, and computing-intensive and will include operational algorithms used by federal agencies as well as research grade experimental methods. Options available to the user will include user-specified spatial and temporal resolution, ancillary products such as storm advection velocity fields, and estimation of uncertainty associated with rainfall maps. The data and the developed tools will be provided to the community via the services and the infrastructure of Unidata and the NCDC.

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