How frequent is precipitation over the contiguous United States? Perspectives from ground-based and space-borne radars

How frequent is precipitation over the contiguous United States? Perspectives from ground-based... AbstractHigh temporal and spatial resolution observations of precipitation occurrence from the NEXRAD-based Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor System (MRMS) are compared to matched observations from CloudSat for three years over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Across the CONUS, precipitation is generally reported more frequently by CloudSat (7.8%) than by MRMS (6.3%), with dependence on factors such as the NEXRAD beam height, the near-surface air temperature, and the surface elevation. There is general agreement between ground-based and satellite-derived precipitation events over flat surfaces, especially in widespread precipitation events and when the NEXRAD beam heights are low. Within 100 km of the nearest NEXRAD site, MRMS reports a precipitation frequency of 7.54% while CloudSat reports 7.38%. However, further inspection reveals offsetting biases between the products, where CloudSat reports more snow and MRMS reports more rain. The magnitudes of these discrepancies correlate with elevation, but they are observed in both the complex terrain of the Rocky Mountains and the relatively flat Midwestern areas of the CONUS. The findings advocate for caution when using MRMS frequency and accumulations in complex terrain, when temperatures are below freezing, and at ranges greater than 100 km. A multi-resolution analysis shows that no more than 1.88% CloudSat pixels over flat terrain are incorrectly identified as non-precipitating as a result of shallow showers residing the CloudSat clutter-filled blind zone when near-surface air temperatures are above 15°C. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Hydrometeorology American Meteorological Society

How frequent is precipitation over the contiguous United States? Perspectives from ground-based and space-borne radars

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1525-7541
eISSN
1525-7541
D.O.I.
10.1175/JHM-D-16-0242.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractHigh temporal and spatial resolution observations of precipitation occurrence from the NEXRAD-based Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor System (MRMS) are compared to matched observations from CloudSat for three years over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Across the CONUS, precipitation is generally reported more frequently by CloudSat (7.8%) than by MRMS (6.3%), with dependence on factors such as the NEXRAD beam height, the near-surface air temperature, and the surface elevation. There is general agreement between ground-based and satellite-derived precipitation events over flat surfaces, especially in widespread precipitation events and when the NEXRAD beam heights are low. Within 100 km of the nearest NEXRAD site, MRMS reports a precipitation frequency of 7.54% while CloudSat reports 7.38%. However, further inspection reveals offsetting biases between the products, where CloudSat reports more snow and MRMS reports more rain. The magnitudes of these discrepancies correlate with elevation, but they are observed in both the complex terrain of the Rocky Mountains and the relatively flat Midwestern areas of the CONUS. The findings advocate for caution when using MRMS frequency and accumulations in complex terrain, when temperatures are below freezing, and at ranges greater than 100 km. A multi-resolution analysis shows that no more than 1.88% CloudSat pixels over flat terrain are incorrectly identified as non-precipitating as a result of shallow showers residing the CloudSat clutter-filled blind zone when near-surface air temperatures are above 15°C.

Journal

Journal of HydrometeorologyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Mar 30, 2017

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