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Journal of Hydroinformatics In Press, Uncorrected Proof © IWA Publishing 2012  |  doi:10.2166/hydro.2012.016

Evaluation of a near-real time NEXRAD DSP product in evolution of heavy rain events on the Upper Guadalupe River Basin, Texas

Xianwei Wang, Hongjie Xie, Newfel Mazari, Jon Zeitler, Hatim Sharif and Weldon Hammond

School of Geography and Planning, and Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China E-mail: wangxw8@mail.sysu.edu.cn
Department of Geological Science, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
NOAA/National Weather Service, Austin/San Antonio Weather Forecast Office, New Braunfels, TX 78130, USA
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA

First received 28 January 2012; accepted in revised form 9 August 2012. Available online 15 October 2012


This study evaluates the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) Digital Storm-Total Precipitation product (DSP) by analyzing 30 rain events on the Upper Guadalupe River Basin, Texas, from September 2006 to May 2007. The DSP product provides relatively accurate information on the evolution of rain events at high spatial and temporal resolutions in near-real time. This is particularly important for rainfall estimation of heavy rain events and flash flood forecasting. The DSP's accuracy is comparable to the other NEXRAD product MPE (multisensor precipitation estimator, at hourly resolution and 4 km grid spacing) at both hourly and event total scales for some heavy rain events, although the DSP is inferior to the MPE product for total rainfall of all 30 rain events analyzed, especially for light rain events. The DSP product shows the best agreement with gauges at ranges of 50–150 km from the radar (with mean absolute estimation bias (MAEB) of +15–22% for total rainfall of 30 rain events), while underestimating precipitation at both close ranges (<30 km) and far ranges (>180 km). The DSP product also tends to underestimate (overestimate) precipitation during event growth (dissipation). However, the total rainfall estimate for all rain events over a long period from DSP shows range dependence and is not recommended for calculation of water resource budget.

Keywords: DSP; evaluation; MPE; NEXRAD; rain

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