A multi-source precipitation estimation approach to fill gaps over a radar precipitation field: a case study in the Colorado River Basin

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Abstract

The present work develops an approach to seamlessly blend satellite, available radar, climatological and gauge precipitation products to fill gaps in ground-based radar precipitation field. To mix different precipitation products, the error of any of the products relative to each other should be removed. For bias correction, the study uses an ensemble-based method that aims to estimate spatially varying multiplicative biases in SPEs using a radar precipitation product. A weighted successive correction method (SCM) is used to make the merging between error corrected satellite and radar precipitation estimates. In addition to SCM, we use a combination of SCM and Bayesian spatial model for merging the rain gauges (RGs) and climatological precipitation sources with radar and SPEs. We demonstrated the method using a satellite-based hydro-estimator; a radar-based, stage-II; a climatological product, Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model and a RG dataset for several rain events from 2006 to 2008 over an artificial gap in Oklahoma and a real radar gap in the Colorado River basin. Results show that: the SCM method in combination with the Bayesian spatial model produced a precipitation product in good agreement with independent measurements. The study implies that using the available radar pixels surrounding the gap area, RG, Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model and satellite products, a radar-like product is achievable over radar gap areas that benefit the operational meteorology and hydrology community. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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