An EnKF-based method to produce rainfall maps from simulated satellite-to-ground MW-link signal attenuation

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  • 1 Consorzio LaMMA, Firenze, Italy
  • 2 National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Bioeconomy (CNR-IBE), Firenze, Italy
  • 3 National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC), Roma, Italy
  • 4 Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
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Abstract

Measuring rainfall is complex, due to the high temporal and spatial variability of precipitation, especially in a changing climate, but it is of great importance for all the scientific and operational disciplines dealing with rainfall effects on the environment, human activities, and economy.

Microwave (MW) telecommunication links carry information on rainfall rates along their path, through signal attenuation caused by raindrops, and can become measurements of opportunity, offering inexpensive chances to augment information without deploying additional infrastructures, at the cost of some smart processing. Processing satellite telecom signals bring some specific complexities related to the effects of rainfall boundaries, melting layer, and non-weather attenuations, but with the potential to provide worldwide precipitation data with high temporal and spatial samplings. These measurements have to be processed according to the probabilistic nature of the information they carry. An EnKF-based (Ensemble Kalman Filter) method has been developed to dynamically retrieve rainfall fields in gridded domains, which manages such probabilistic information and exploits the high sampling rate of measurements. The paper presents the EnKF method with some representative tests from synthetic 3D experiments. Ancillary data are assumed as from worldwide-available operational meteorological satellites and models, for advection, initial and boundary conditions, rain height. The method reproduces rainfall structures and quantities in a correct way, and also manages possible link outages. It results computationally viable also for operational implementation and applicable to different link observation geometries and characteristics.

Corresponding author: Alberto Ortolani, ortolani@lamma.toscana.it

This article is included in the 12th International Precipitation Conference (IPC12) Special Collection.

Abstract

Measuring rainfall is complex, due to the high temporal and spatial variability of precipitation, especially in a changing climate, but it is of great importance for all the scientific and operational disciplines dealing with rainfall effects on the environment, human activities, and economy.

Microwave (MW) telecommunication links carry information on rainfall rates along their path, through signal attenuation caused by raindrops, and can become measurements of opportunity, offering inexpensive chances to augment information without deploying additional infrastructures, at the cost of some smart processing. Processing satellite telecom signals bring some specific complexities related to the effects of rainfall boundaries, melting layer, and non-weather attenuations, but with the potential to provide worldwide precipitation data with high temporal and spatial samplings. These measurements have to be processed according to the probabilistic nature of the information they carry. An EnKF-based (Ensemble Kalman Filter) method has been developed to dynamically retrieve rainfall fields in gridded domains, which manages such probabilistic information and exploits the high sampling rate of measurements. The paper presents the EnKF method with some representative tests from synthetic 3D experiments. Ancillary data are assumed as from worldwide-available operational meteorological satellites and models, for advection, initial and boundary conditions, rain height. The method reproduces rainfall structures and quantities in a correct way, and also manages possible link outages. It results computationally viable also for operational implementation and applicable to different link observation geometries and characteristics.

Corresponding author: Alberto Ortolani, ortolani@lamma.toscana.it

This article is included in the 12th International Precipitation Conference (IPC12) Special Collection.

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