34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


Keynote Talk - Urban Flood Monitoring using X-band Dual-polarization Radar Network: Program of the CASA-NIED Partnership

V. Chandrasekar, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and Y. Wang, M. Maki, and K. Nakane

Flooding is one of the most common natural hazards in the world. Especially, heavy development decreases the response time of urban watersheds to rainfall and increases the chance of localized flooding events over a small spatial domain. Successful monitoring of urban floods requires high spatiotemporal resolution, accurate precipitation estimation because of the rapid flood response as well as the complex hydrologic and hydraulic characteristics in an urban environment. This paper reviews various aspects in radar rainfall mapping in urban coverage using X-band dual-polarization radar networks. By reducing the maximum range and operating at X-band, one can ensure good azimuthal resolution with a small-size antenna and keep the radar beam closer to the ground. The networked topology helps to achieve satisfactory sensitivity and fast temporal update across the coverage. Strong clutter is expected from buildings in the neighborhood which act as perfect reflectors. The reduction in radar size enables flexible deployment, such as rooftop installation, with small infrastructure requirement, which is critical in a metropolitan region. Dual-polarization based technologies can be implemented for real-time mitigation of rain attenuations and accurate estimation of rainfall. The NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) is developing the technologies and the systems for network centric weather observation. A four-node X-band dual-polarization radar network has been in operation in Oklahoma, which is referred as the IP1 (Integrative Project 1).

Particularly, the specific differential propagation phase (Kdp) has higher sensitivity at X-band compared to the non-attenuating frequencies. It is attractive to use Kdp to derive Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) because it is immune to rain attenuation, calibration biases, partial beam blockage, and hail contamination. Despite the advantage of Kdp for radar QPE, the estimation of Kdp itself is a challenge as the range derivative of the differential propagation phase profiles. An adaptive Kdp algorithm was implemented in the CASA IP1 testbed that substantially reduces the fluctuation in light rain and the bias at heavy rain. The Kdp estimation also benefits from the higher resolution in the IP1 radar network. The performance of the IP1 QPE product was evaluated for all major rain events against the USDA Agriculture Research Service's gauge network (MicroNet) in the Little Washita watershed, which comprises 20 weather stations in the center of the test bed. The cross-comparison with gauge measurements shows excellent agreement for the storm events during the Spring Experiments of 2007 and 2008. The hourly rainfall estimates compared to the gauge measurements have a very small bias of 4.6% and a normalized standard error of 21%.

The IP1 testbed was designed with substantial overlapping coverage among its radar nodes. The study area is covered by multiple radars and the aspect of network composition is also evaluated. The independence of Kdp on the radar calibration enables flexibility in combining the collocated Kdp estimates from all the radar nodes. Radar QPE can be improved from the composite Kdp field from the radar with lowest beam height and nearest slant range, or from the radar with the best Kdp estimates. More importantly, the data availability is greatly enhanced by the overlapped topology in cases of heavy rainfall, demonstrating the operational strength of the network centric radar system. The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), Japan, is in the process of establishing an X-band radar network (X-Net) in Metropolitan Tokyo area. CASA and NIED have formed a partnership to initiate a joint program for urban flood monitoring using X-band dual-polarization radar network. This paper will also present some preliminary plans for this program.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (472K)

Session 10A, Polarimetric Radar I
Thursday, 8 October 2009, 8:00 AM-10:00 AM, Auditorium

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