Articles | Volume 373
12 May 2016
 | 12 May 2016

The value of weather radar data for the estimation of design storms – an analysis for the Hannover region

Uwe Haberlandt and Christian Berndt

Abstract. Pure radar rainfall, station rainfall and radar-station merging products are analysed regarding extreme rainfall frequencies with durations from 5 min to 6 h and return periods from 1 year to 30 years. Partial duration series of the extremes are derived from the data and probability distributions are fitted. The performance of the design rainfall estimates is assessed based on cross validations for observed station points, which are used as reference. For design rainfall estimation using the pure radar data, the pixel value at the station location is taken; for the merging products, spatial interpolation methods are applied. The results show, that pure radar data are not suitable for the estimation of extremes. They usually lead to an overestimation compared to the observations, which is opposite to the usual behaviour of the radar rainfall. The merging products between radar and station data on the other hand lead usually to an underestimation. They can only outperform the station observations for longer durations. The main problem for a good estimation of extremes seems to be the poor radar data quality.