hour radar estimated precipitation accumulation is available from the Midland and Lubbock NEXRAD radars. The image shows the
radar estimated rainfall from the Lubbock and Midland radars. The color
contours on the image indicate the amount of rainfall in millimeters as
shown in the bar to the left of the page. The latest 24 hour radar
estimated rainfall is available here.
The rainfall in the target area is mainly convective during the
operational season and thus it is more localized and its spatial and temporal distribution as well as the intensity of rainfall is highly
variable. Therefore, it is essential to measure area rainfall on real time
as accurately as possible. Various methods of rainfall measurements are
available. These include rain gauge, rainfall recorder, radar and
satellite. Of these different measuring devices radar is useful and
advantageous in providing continuous, large area coverage and real-time
estimating of rainfall.
Radar is an
attractive alternative for the estimation of convective rainfall, because
it provides the equivalent of a very dense gauge network (one square
kilometer). Radar estimation of rainfall is, however, a complex
undertaking involving determination of the radar parameters, calibration
of the system, anomalous propagation of the radar beam, ground clutter and
“false rainfall”, concerns about beam filling and attenuation, and the
development of equations relating radar reflectivity (Z) to rainfall rate
(R), where radar reflectivity is proportional to the sixth power of the
droplet diameters in the radar beam.
NEXRAD is an
S-band (10 cm) radar that does not attenuate appreciably in heavy rain,
and they are operated continuously unless they are down for maintenance.
In addition, the NEXRAD radars have a clutter-removal algorithm that
eliminates most of the ground clutter and false rainfall produced during
periods of anomalous propagation.
data is now available through Weather Decision
Technologies (WDT). WDT receives instantaneous reflectivity data from the
NWS radar sites located in the United States. This product is
available from the Midland and Lubbock NWS NEXRAD sites and plans for
acquiring the DOD Canon Air Force base radar are being explored. The NEXRAD data
is run through TITAN
as a graphic user interface. WDT will customize the data to include a
superior radar estimated rainfall product and a DopplerCast™ feature which
is an accurate depiction model of future radar reflectivity.