58 Advancing Precipitation Estimation in Data-Sparse Regions—The MRMS Multi-Sensor QPE Product

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Steven M. Martinaitis, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and C. Langston, J. Zhang, K. W. Howard, and Y. Qi

Different precipitation observing platforms have varying strengths and challenges in generating deterministic surface precipitation values. These challenges are magnified in the western United States. There are significant gaps in radar coverage due to fewer sites and substantial regions of beam blockage from mountainous terrain. There is also a reduced spatial density of precipitation gauge network observations that hinder proper precipitation estimation. The Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system is introducing a Multi-Sensor quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) product that will physically blend the strengths of different observing platforms to create a more accurate QPE, especially in data sparse regions. The first phase of the Multi-Sensor QPE will combine two currently existing products in the MRMS system: 1) locally gauge-corrected radar QPE and 2) Mountain Mapper QPE, which combine gauges with PRISM background climatologies. The weight of the two products will depend on radar and gauge coverage. The second phase of the Multi-Sensor QPE will be developed over the next couple of years to include GOES and other satellite QPEs as well as short-term quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) in the merging process. These products will be developed for the CONUS domain as well as other domains like Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Alaska. Earlier run times to reduce the latency for the Multi-Sensor QPE product will also be introduced to allow the Multi-Sensor QPE to be ingested into the National Water Model and hydrometeorological applications.
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