Quantization analysis of weather radar data with synthetic rainfall

MJ Hammond, D Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Quantization is a process by where continuous signals are transformed into discrete values. It is an important part of the signal processing involved in using weather radar. Technological advances have made it easier to increase the number of quantization levels, as witnessed by the replacement of a 3 bit system by an 8 bit system by the UK Meteorological Office. Research has been conducted in the past demonstrating the error statistics of quantized rainfall, although these studies have used real radar data. The novelty of this study is in using synthetic rain, generated with a Poisson cluster model to represent hourly rainfall, and subsequently disaggregated using a fractal cascade to a fine 5 min time scale. The advantage of this approach is the length of time series that can be generated far outweighs the limited duration of historical rainfall series, especially at such fine time scales. This provides sufficient rainfall data, especially high intensity rainfall, to say something statistically significant about the error statistics. The models are parameterised for different months and also for a non-seasonal set. Rainfall is then generated for a summer case, a winter case, and for the non-seasonal case. It is discovered that the error distribution varies significantly as the parameters change for 3 bit rainfall. This error distribution is relatively constant for 8 bit data, within its working range (up to 126 mm/h). At a fine time scale, such high intensity events are not uncommon. This knowledge is useful when investigating historical radar data at lower quantization levels, for the purpose of flood frequency analysis, and remains relevant, especially, if as some studies have shown, the occurrence of high intensity storms is likely to increase.
Translated title of the contributionQuantization analysis of weather radar data with synthetic rainfall
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367 - 377
Number of pages11
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Volume22 (3)
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Springer

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