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David John Gagne II, Amy McGovern, and Jerry Brotzge

Abstract

This paper presents an automated approach for classifying storm type from weather radar reflectivity using decision trees. Recent research indicates a strong relationship between storm type (morphology) and severe weather, and such information can aid in the warning process. Furthermore, new adaptive sensing tools, such as the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere’s (CASA’s) weather radar, can make use of storm-type information in real time. Given the volume of weather radar data from those tools, manual classification of storms is not possible when dealing with real-time data streams. An automated system can more quickly and efficiently sort through real-time data streams and return value-added output in a form that can be more easily manipulated and understood. The method of storm classification in this paper combines two machine learning techniques: K-means clustering and decision trees. K-means segments the reflectivity data into clusters, and decision trees classify each cluster. The K means was used to separate isolated cells from linear systems. Each cell received labels such as “isolated pulse,” “isolated strong,” or “multicellular.” Linear systems were labeled as “trailing stratiform,” “leading stratiform,” and “parallel stratiform.” The classification scheme was tested using both simulated and observed storms. The simulated training and test datasets came from the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) simulated reflectivity data, and observed data were collected from composite reflectivity mosaics from the CASA Integrative Project One (IP1) network. The observations from the CASA network showed that the classification scheme is now ready for operational use.

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Yingkai Sha, David John Gagne II, Gregory West, and Roland Stull

Abstract

We present a novel approach for the automated quality control (QC) of precipitation for a sparse station observation network within the complex terrain of British Columbia, Canada. Our QC approach uses Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to classify bad observation values, incorporating a multi-classifier ensemble to achieve better QC performance. We train CNNs using human QC’d labels from 2016 to 2017 with gridded precipitation and elevation analyses as inputs. Based on the classification evaluation metrics, our QC approach shows reliable and robust performance across different geographical environments (e.g., coastal and inland mountains), with 0.927 Area Under Curve (AUC) and type I/type II error lower than 15%. Based on the saliency-map-based interpretation studies, we explain the success of CNN-based QC by showing that it can capture the precipitation patterns around, and upstream of the station locations. This automated QC approach is an option for eliminating bad observations for various applications, including the pre-processing of training datasets for machine learning. It can be used in conjunction with human QC to improve upon what could be accomplished with either method alone.

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