Merging GOES-R ABI and TRMM/GPM Observations with MRMS Ground-Based Radar for Real-Time QPE in Complex Terrain

Monday, 15 December 2014
Heather Grams1,2, Jonathan J Gourley2, Robert Rabin2 and Pierre Kirstetter1,2, (1)University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, CIMMS, Norman, OK, United States, (2)NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK, United States
Real-time detection and estimation of rainfall at the flash flood scale remains a significant challenge in the Western United States where complex terrain limits NEXRAD coverage and rain gauge networks are sparse. Quantitative precipitation estimates (QPE) from geostationary satellites offer the advantage of full coverage and spatiotemporal resolution comparable to ground-based radars, particularly with the upcoming launch of GOES-R.

A multisensor (NEXRAD+GPM+GOES-R) QPE product is under development that will capitalize on the complementary scales of NEXRAD and GOES-R measurements to provide high-resolution rainfall estimates in areas within and just outside the United States where ground radar coverage is not sufficient for flash flood detection and monitoring.

As a first step, a multi-year database was developed over the continental United States of Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS) NEXRAD mosaics of surface precipitation types, rainfall rates, vertical profiles of reflectivity (VPRs), and the radar quality index (RQI), TRMM PR VPRs from 2A25 Version 7, and derived cloud properties from the GOES-R ABI proxy dataset. A Bayesian approach was then employed to match the cloud top observations to probability distributions of MRMS Q3 surface rain rates, using VPRs and precipitation types derived from MRMS as constraints. A description of the prototype QPE product and initial results will be presented.