Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1359-1380, 2017
http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/21/1359/2017/
doi:10.5194/hess-21-1359-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
07 Mar 2017
Weather radar rainfall data in urban hydrology
Søren Thorndahl1, Thomas Einfalt2, Patrick Willems3, Jesper Ellerbæk Nielsen1, Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis4, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen5, Michael R. Rasmussen1, and Peter Molnar6 1Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Aalborg, 9220, Denmark
2hydro & meteo GmbH & Co KG, 23552 Lübeck, Germany
3Department of Civil Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven, 3001, Belgium
4Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628 CN, the Netherlands
5Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, 2800, Denmark
6Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zurich, Zurich, 8093, Switzerland
Abstract. Application of weather radar data in urban hydrological applications has evolved significantly during the past decade as an alternative to traditional rainfall observations with rain gauges. Advances in radar hardware, data processing, numerical models, and emerging fields within urban hydrology necessitate an updated review of the state of the art in such radar rainfall data and applications. Three key areas with significant advances over the past decade have been identified: (1) temporal and spatial resolution of rainfall data required for different types of hydrological applications, (2) rainfall estimation, radar data adjustment and data quality, and (3) nowcasting of radar rainfall and real-time applications. Based on these three fields of research, the paper provides recommendations based on an updated overview of shortcomings, gains, and novel developments in relation to urban hydrological applications. The paper also reviews how the focus in urban hydrology research has shifted over the last decade to fields such as climate change impacts, resilience of urban areas to hydrological extremes, and online prediction/warning systems. It is discussed how radar rainfall data can add value to the aforementioned emerging fields in current and future applications, but also to the analysis of integrated water systems.

Citation: Thorndahl, S., Einfalt, T., Willems, P., Nielsen, J. E., ten Veldhuis, M.-C., Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K., Rasmussen, M. R., and Molnar, P.: Weather radar rainfall data in urban hydrology, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1359-1380, doi:10.5194/hess-21-1359-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
This paper reviews how weather radar data can be used in urban hydrological applications. It focuses on three areas of research: (1) temporal and spatial resolution of rainfall data, (2) rainfall estimation, radar data adjustment and data quality, and (3) nowcasting of radar rainfall and real-time applications. Moreover, the paper provides examples of urban hydrological applications which can benefit from radar rainfall data in comparison to tradition rain gauge measurements of rainfall.
This paper reviews how weather radar data can be used in urban hydrological applications. It...
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