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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2457489, 16 pages
Research Article

Radar-Derived Quantitative Precipitation Estimation Based on Precipitation Classification

1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Arid Climatic Changing and Reducing Disaster of Gansu Province, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
2Gansu Province Environmental Monitoring Center, Lanzhou 730020, China

Received 30 June 2016; Accepted 13 October 2016

Academic Editor: Zhe Li

Copyright © 2016 Lili Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A method for improving radar-derived quantitative precipitation estimation is proposed. Tropical vertical profiles of reflectivity (VPRs) are first determined from multiple VPRs. Upon identifying a tropical VPR, the event can be further classified as either tropical-stratiform or tropical-convective rainfall by a fuzzy logic (FL) algorithm. Based on the precipitation-type fields, the reflectivity values are converted into rainfall rate using a Z-R relationship. In order to evaluate the performance of this rainfall classification scheme, three experiments were conducted using three months of data and two study cases. In Experiment I, the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) default Z-R relationship was applied. In Experiment II, the precipitation regime was separated into convective and stratiform rainfall using the FL algorithm, and corresponding Z-R relationships were used. In Experiment III, the precipitation regime was separated into convective, stratiform, and tropical rainfall, and the corresponding Z-R relationships were applied. The results show that the rainfall rates obtained from all three experiments match closely with the gauge observations, although Experiment II could solve the underestimation, when compared to Experiment I. Experiment III significantly reduced this underestimation and generated the most accurate radar estimates of rain rate among the three experiments.