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New Rainfall Estimation Products from ARM Radar Network
Published: June 12, 2014
Posted: August 20, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility recently added state-of-the-art scanning dual-polarized X- and C-band weather radars to its sites. These systems were designed for improved observation of cloud and precipitation evolution, dynamic and microphysical processes, and rainfall amount. High-quality rainfall accumulation maps are an important variable used to provide initial conditions for numerical model simulations and to evaluate the ability of models to capture the lifecycle of convective cloud systems. In this study, a team of DOE-funded scientists developed an initial set of rainfall products, including rainfall accumulation maps, from the new ARM radar systems and evaluated them using intensive field observations from a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration/DOE field campaign at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. The field campaign observations enabled quantification of the uncertainty on the radar-derived data products. These results provide confidence in ARM radar rainfall estimates when similar systems are deployed to remote global locations. The new rainfall data products are available to the community through the ARM archive ( and will be used for process studies and evaluation of high-resolution climate model simulations.

Reference: Giangrande, S., S. Collis, A. Theisen, and A. Tokay. 2014. “Precipitation Estimation from the ARM Distributed Radar Network During the MC3E Campaign,” Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, DOI:10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0321.1. (Reference link)

Contact: Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105, Sally McFarlane, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0943
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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