Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 560668
Title Hydrological application of radar rainfall nowcasting in the Netherlands
Author(s) Heuvelink, Danny; Berenguer, Marc; Brauer, Claudia C.; Uijlenhoet, Remko
Source Environment International 136 (2020). - ISSN 0160-4120
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Flood forecasting - Radar rainfall nowcasting - Weather radar

Accurate and robust short-term rainfall forecasts (nowcasts) are useful in operational flood forecasting. However, the high temporal and spatial variability of rainfall fields make rainfall nowcasting a challenging endeavour. To cope with this variability, nowcasting techniques based on weather radar imagery have been proposed. Here, we employ radar rainfall nowcasting for discharge predictions in three lowland catchments in the Netherlands, with surface areas ranging from 6.5 to 957 km2. Deterministic (Lagrangian persistence) and probabilistic (SBMcast) nowcasting techniques are used to produce short-term rainfall forecasts (up to a few hours ahead), which are used as input for the hydrological model WALRUS. Rainfall forecasts were found to deteriorate with increasing lead time, often due to underestimation. Discharge could be forecasted 25–170 min earlier than without rainfall nowcasting, with the best performance for the largest catchment. When accounting for catchment response time, the best (but most variable) relative performance was found for the smallest catchment. Probabilistic nowcasting effectively accounted for the uncertainty associated with rainfall and discharge forecasts. The uncertainty in rainfall forecasts was found to be largest for the smaller catchments. The uncertainty in how much earlier the discharge could be forecasted (the gain in lead time) ranged from 15 to 50 min.

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