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Development of a neural network based algorithm for rainfall estimation from radar observations




Chandrasekar, V., author
Xiao, Rongrui, author
IEEE, publisher

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Rainfall estimation based on radar measurements has been an important topic in radar meteorology for more than four decades. This research problem has been addressed using two approaches, namely a) parametric estimates using reflectivity-rainfall relation (Z-R relation) or equations using multiparameter radar measurements such as reflectivity, differential reflectivity, and specific propagation phase, and b) relations obtained by matching probability distribution functions of radar based estimates and ground observations of rainfall. In this paper we introduce a neural network based approach to address this problem by taking into account the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of precipitation. A three-layer perceptron neural network is developed for rainfall estimation from radar measurements. The neural network is trained using the radar measurements as the input and the ground raingage measurements as the target output. The neural network based estimates are evaluated using data collected during the Convection and Precipitation Electrification (CaPE) experiment conducted over central Florida in 1991. The results of the evaluation show that the neural network can be successfully applied to obtain rainfall estimates on the ground based on radar observations. The rainfall estimates obtained from neural network are shown to be better than those obtained from several existing techniques. The neural network based rainfall estimate offers an alternate approach to the rainfall estimation problem, and it can be implemented easily in operational weather radar systems.


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radar rainfall estimation
neural networks
multiparameter radar


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