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Quantitative Precipitation Estimation from a C-Band Dual-Polarized Radar for the 8 July 2013 Flood in Toronto, Canada

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  • 1 Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • | 2 Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and National Severe Storm Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 3 Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Abstract

A heavy rainfall event over a 2-h period on 8 July 2013 caused significant flash flooding in the city of Toronto and produced 126 mm of rain accumulation at a gauge located near the Toronto Pearson International Airport. This paper evaluates the quantitative precipitation estimates from the nearby King City C-band dual-polarized radar (WKR). Horizontal reflectivity Z and differential reflectivity ZDR were corrected for attenuation using a modified ZPHI rain profiling algorithm, and rain rates R were calculated from R(Z) and R(Z, ZDR) algorithms. Specific differential phase KDP was used to compute rain rates from three R(KDP) algorithms, one modified to use positive and negative KDP, and an R(KDP, ZDR) algorithm. Additionally, specific attenuation at horizontal polarization A was used to calculate rates from the R(A) algorithm. High-temporal-resolution rain gauge data at 44 locations measured the surface rainfall every 5 min and produced total rainfall accumulations over the affected area. The nearby NEXRAD S-band dual-polarized radar at Buffalo, New York, provided rain-rate and storm accumulation estimates from R(Z) and S-band dual-polarimetric algorithm. These two datasets were used as references to evaluate the C-band estimates. Significant radome attenuation at WKR overshadowed the attenuation correction techniques and resulted in poor rainfall estimates from the R(Z) and R(Z, ZDR) algorithms. Rainfall estimation from the Brandes et al. R(KDP) and R(A) algorithms were superior to the other methods, and the derived storm total accumulation gave biases of 2.1 and −6.1 mm, respectively, with correlations of 0.94. The C-band estimates from the Brandes et al. R(KDP) and R(A) algorithms were comparable to the NEXRAD S-band estimates.

Corresponding author address: Sudesh Boodoo, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Environment Canada, 14780 Jane St., King City, ON L7B 1A3, Canada. E-mail: sudesh.boodoo@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

A heavy rainfall event over a 2-h period on 8 July 2013 caused significant flash flooding in the city of Toronto and produced 126 mm of rain accumulation at a gauge located near the Toronto Pearson International Airport. This paper evaluates the quantitative precipitation estimates from the nearby King City C-band dual-polarized radar (WKR). Horizontal reflectivity Z and differential reflectivity ZDR were corrected for attenuation using a modified ZPHI rain profiling algorithm, and rain rates R were calculated from R(Z) and R(Z, ZDR) algorithms. Specific differential phase KDP was used to compute rain rates from three R(KDP) algorithms, one modified to use positive and negative KDP, and an R(KDP, ZDR) algorithm. Additionally, specific attenuation at horizontal polarization A was used to calculate rates from the R(A) algorithm. High-temporal-resolution rain gauge data at 44 locations measured the surface rainfall every 5 min and produced total rainfall accumulations over the affected area. The nearby NEXRAD S-band dual-polarized radar at Buffalo, New York, provided rain-rate and storm accumulation estimates from R(Z) and S-band dual-polarimetric algorithm. These two datasets were used as references to evaluate the C-band estimates. Significant radome attenuation at WKR overshadowed the attenuation correction techniques and resulted in poor rainfall estimates from the R(Z) and R(Z, ZDR) algorithms. Rainfall estimation from the Brandes et al. R(KDP) and R(A) algorithms were superior to the other methods, and the derived storm total accumulation gave biases of 2.1 and −6.1 mm, respectively, with correlations of 0.94. The C-band estimates from the Brandes et al. R(KDP) and R(A) algorithms were comparable to the NEXRAD S-band estimates.

Corresponding author address: Sudesh Boodoo, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section, Environment Canada, 14780 Jane St., King City, ON L7B 1A3, Canada. E-mail: sudesh.boodoo@ec.gc.ca
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