Weather radar rainfall data in urban hydrology

Søren Thorndahl, Thomas Einfalt, Patrick Willems, Jesper Ellerbæk Nielsen, Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Michael R. Rasmussen, Peter Molnar

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Abstract

Application of weather radar data in urban hydrological applications has evolved significantly during the past decade as an alternative to traditional rainfall observations with rain gauges. Advances in radar hardware, data processing, numerical models, and emerging fields within urban hydrology necessitate an updated review of the state of the art in such radar rainfall data and applications. Three key areas with significant advances over the past decade have been identified: (1) temporal and spatial resolution of rainfall data required for different types of hydrological applications, (2) rainfall estimation, radar data adjustment and data quality, and (3) nowcasting of radar rainfall and real-time applications. Based on these three fields of research, the paper provides recommendations based on an updated overview of shortcomings, gains, and novel developments in relation to urban hydrological applications. The paper also reviews how the focus in urban hydrology research has shifted over the last decade to fields such as climate change impacts, resilience of urban areas to hydrological extremes, and online prediction/warning systems. It is discussed how radar rainfall data can add value to the aforementioned emerging fields in current and future applications, but also to the analysis of integrated water systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume21
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1359-1380
Number of pages22
ISSN1027-5606
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Weather radar
  • Rainfall data
  • Urban hydrology

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