Potential Applications of Remote Sensing Precipitation Data on Urban Stormwater Modeling

Friday, 19 December 2014
Rachele Tarantola, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, 20133, Italy, Viviana Maggioni, George Mason University Fairfax, Fairfax, VA, United States and Celso Ferreira, George Mason University Fairfax, Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering, Fairfax, VA, United States
Although stormwater modeling is widely used to plan, manage and operate stormwater systems in the urban environment, accuracy in model development and calibration is still problematic. Precipitation is the major forcing of stormwater modeling and one of the most important variables for accurate representation of the water cycle in urban areas. However, rainfall data availability in both temporal and spatial adequate scales is scarce. Here we investigate the potential to apply satellite precipitation products to small-scale urban watersheds with a focus on real-time data for operational use and historical data for model calibration and planning. We present a study case in Northern Virginia, part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.

We compare several rainfall datasets from satellites, radar and rain gauges during 2002-2008, using two multi-satellite precipitation products. The first one is the NASA TRMM TMPA at daily/0.25° time/space resolution, which is available in two forms: 3B42-Real Time and 3B42-Version 7, where the latter is a post-processed product, corrected with ground-based observations. The second one is the NOAA CMORPH at 3hrs/0.25° time/space resolution. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) data and NCEP Stage IV radar-based product are used as reference datasets for TMPA and CMORPH, respectively.

Statistical analyses are conducted to compare these datasets: correlation coefficient, RMSE, bias, probability of correct no-rain detection and of false alarm were computed with a focus on Fairfax, VA county. Preliminary results show that the TMPA products outperform CMORPH, when compared to rain gauges and radar data over the county. Moreover, no appreciable difference is detected between TMPA-V7 and TMPA-RT, which demonstrates that real-time data could be used over the urban watershed with results that are comparable to the adjusted product. Analyses are undergoing to investigate higher temporal resolution and to include a comparison with the Fairfax county rain gages data. Future work will also evaluate the impacts of different precipitation datasets on stormwater runoff for Fairfax county, using the EPA-SWMM5 storm water model.