Potential of radar data for flood forecasting and warning in lowland catchments in Ireland

M. B. Desta*, F. O'Loughlin, M. Bruen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


This paper describes the development of a radar rainfall forecasting method and its use for flood forecasting using a data stream from Met Eireann's radar at Dublin Airport. It is applied to four relatively flat catchments of different sizes on the eastern side of Ireland. The first objective was to determine the value of the radar precipitation information for hydrological applications in general, and the second was to assess if there is added value in applying Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting (QPF). A TREC-type procedure was used to generate QPF. The precipitation estimates are compared to contemporaneous raingauge measurements and the discharge estimates are compared to measured river flows. Preliminary results suggest that, with a 15-min radar cycle, this extends the acceptable performance by only an additional I h of lead time. While this is significant for the smaller catchments, it is less so for catchments with longer lag times.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWEATHER RADAR AND HYDROLOGY
EditorsRJ Moore, SJ Cole, AJ Illingworth
Place of PublicationWALLINGFORD
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences Publications
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-907161-26-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Symposium on Weather Radar and Hydrology - Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Apr 201121 Apr 2011

Publication series

NameIAHS Publication
ISSN (Print)0144-7815


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Weather Radar and Hydrology
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • radar
  • rainfall
  • flood forecasting
  • rainfall forecasting
  • QPF

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