Investigation Of The Scale-dependent Variability Of Radar-rainfall And Rain Gauge Error Covariance


There is a significant spatial sampling mismatch between radar and rain gauge data. The use of rain gauge data to estimate radar-rainfall error variance requires partitioning of the variance of the radar and rain gauge difference to account for the sampling mismatch. A key assumption in the literature pertaining to the error variance separation method used to partition the variance is that the covariance between radar-rainfall error and the error of rain gauges in representing radar sampling domain is negligible. Our study presents the results of an extensive test of this assumption. The test is based on empirical data and covers temporal scales ranging from 0.25 to 24. h and spatial scales ranging from 1 to 32. km. We used a two-year data set from two high quality and high density rain gauge networks in Oklahoma and excluded the winter months. The results obtained using a resampling procedure show that covariance can be considerable at large scales due to the significant variability. As the variability of the covariance rapidly increases with larger spatial and shorter temporal scales, applications of the error variance separation method at those scales require more caution. The variability of the covariance and one of its constituting variables, the variance ratio of radar and gauge errors, shows simple scaling behavior well characterized by a power-law. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation, Grant ATM 0427422

Keywords and Phrases

Error variance separation; Radar-rainfall; Rainfall; Scale effects

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Jan 2011