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A Neural Network Quality-Control Scheme for Improved Quantitative Precipitation Estimation Accuracy on the U.K. Weather Radar Network

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  • 1 aMet Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • | 2 bCooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
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Abstract

In this work, we present a new quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) quality-control (QC) algorithm for the U.K. weather radar network. The real-time adaptive algorithm uses a neural network (NN) to select data from the lowest useable elevation scan to optimize the combined performance of two other radar data correction algorithms: ground-clutter mitigation [using Clutter Environment Analysis using Adaptive Processing (CLEAN-AP)] and vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) correction. The NN is trained using 3D tiles of observed uncontaminated weather signals that are systematically combined with ground-clutter signals collected under dry weather conditions. This approach provides a way to simulate radar signals with a wide range of clutter contamination conditions and with realistic spatial structures while providing the uncontaminated “truth” with respect to which the performance of the QC algorithm can be measured. An evaluation of QPE products obtained with the proposed QC algorithm demonstrates superior performance as compared to those obtained with the QC algorithm currently used in operations. Similar improvements are also illustrated using radar observations from two periods of prolonged precipitation, showing a better balance between overestimation errors from using clutter-contaminated low-elevation radar data and VPR-induced errors from using high-elevation radar data.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Nawal Husnoo, nawal.husnoo@metoffice.gov.uk

Abstract

In this work, we present a new quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) quality-control (QC) algorithm for the U.K. weather radar network. The real-time adaptive algorithm uses a neural network (NN) to select data from the lowest useable elevation scan to optimize the combined performance of two other radar data correction algorithms: ground-clutter mitigation [using Clutter Environment Analysis using Adaptive Processing (CLEAN-AP)] and vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) correction. The NN is trained using 3D tiles of observed uncontaminated weather signals that are systematically combined with ground-clutter signals collected under dry weather conditions. This approach provides a way to simulate radar signals with a wide range of clutter contamination conditions and with realistic spatial structures while providing the uncontaminated “truth” with respect to which the performance of the QC algorithm can be measured. An evaluation of QPE products obtained with the proposed QC algorithm demonstrates superior performance as compared to those obtained with the QC algorithm currently used in operations. Similar improvements are also illustrated using radar observations from two periods of prolonged precipitation, showing a better balance between overestimation errors from using clutter-contaminated low-elevation radar data and VPR-induced errors from using high-elevation radar data.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Nawal Husnoo, nawal.husnoo@metoffice.gov.uk
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