On Utilization of NEXRAD Scan Strategy Information to Infer Discrepancies Associated With Radar and Rain Gauge Surface Volumetric Rainfall Accumulations
ABSTRACT To evaluate the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) monthly Ground Validation (GV) rain map, 42 quality controlled tipping bucket rain gauge data (1 minute interpolated rain rates) were utilized. We have compared the gauge data to the surface volumetric rainfall accumulation of NEXRAD reflectivity field, (converting to rain rates using a 0.5 dB resolution smooth Z-R table). The comparison was carried out from data collected at Melbourne, Florida during the month of July 98. GV operational level 3 (L3 monthly) accumulation algorithm was used to obtain surface volumetric accumulations for the radar. The gauge records were accumulated using the 1 minute interpolated rain rates while the radar Volume Scan (VOS) intervals remain less than or equal to 75 minutes. The correlation coefficient for the radar and gauge totals for the monthly time-scale remain at 0.93, however, a large difference was noted between the gauge and radar derived rain accumulation when the radar data interval is either 9 minute, or 10 minute. This difference in radar and gauge accumulation is being explained in terms of the radar scan strategy information. The discrepancy in terms of the Volume Coverage Pattern (VCP) of the NEXRAD is being reported where VCP mode is ascertained using the radar tilt angle information. Hourly radar and gauge accumulations have been computed using the present operational L3 method supplemented with a threshold period of +/- 5 minutes (based on a sensitivity analysis). These radar and gauge accumulations are subsequently improved using a radar hourly scan weighting factor (taking ratio of the radar scan frequency within a time bin to the 7436 total radar scans for the month). This GV procedure is further being improved by introducing a spatial smoothing method to yield reasonable bulk radar to gauge ratio for the hourly and daily scales.