Articles | Volume 368
Proc. IAHS, 368, 89–95, 2015
Proc. IAHS, 368, 89–95, 2015

  06 May 2015

06 May 2015

Evaluation of radar-based precipitation estimates for flash flood forecasting in the Three Gorges Region

Z. Li1, D. Yang1, Y. Hong2, Y. Qi3, and Q. Cao4 Z. Li et al.
  • 1Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA
  • 3Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73072, USA
  • 4Enterprise Electronics Corporation, Norman, OK 73072, USA

Keywords: Weather radar, precipitation, distributed hydrological model, flood forecasting

Abstract. Spatial rainfall pattern plays a critical role in determining hydrological responses in mountainous areas, especially for natural disasters such as flash floods. In this study, to improve the skills of flood forecasting in the mountainous Three Gorges Region (TGR) of the Yangtze River, we developed a first version of a high-resolution (1 km) radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) consideration of many critical procedures, such as beam blockage analysis, ground-clutter filter, rain type identification and adaptive Z–R relations. A physically-based distributed hydrological model (GBHM) was established and further applied to evaluate the performance of radar-based QPE for regional flood forecasting, relative to the gauge-driven simulations. With two sets of input data (gauge and radar) collected during summer 2010, the applicability of the current radar-based QPE to rainstorm monitoring and flash flood forecasting in the TGR is quantitatively analysed and discussed.