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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5702-5724; doi:10.3390/rs5115702

Optimizing Satellite-Based Precipitation Estimation for Nowcasting of Rainfall and Flash Flood Events over the South African Domain

South African Weather Service, Private Bag X097, Pretoria 001, South Africa
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

The South African Weather Service is mandated to issue warnings of hazardous weather events, including those related to heavy precipitation, in order to safeguard life and property. Flooding and flash flood events are common in South Africa. Frequent updates and real-time availability of precipitation data are crucial to support hydrometeorological warning services. Satellite rainfall estimation provides a very important data source for flash flood guidance systems as well as nowcasting of precipitation events for the data sparse regions of the African continent. Although low earth orbiting satellites with microwave instruments provide good quality rainfall estimates, their temporal and spatial resolution are not adequate for time-critical services. Precipitation estimation using geostationary satellites is less accurate, but provides excellent spatial coverage, is updated frequently and is available in real-time. This study compares different ways to use and combine satellite precipitation estimates and numerical weather prediction model fields over the South African domain in order to determine the optimal estimate of precipitation, which can also be applied in real-time to support flash flood guidance. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite; geostationary; numerical weather prediction model output; rainfall; rain gauges; real-time; flash flood guidance satellite; geostationary; numerical weather prediction model output; rainfall; rain gauges; real-time; flash flood guidance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

de Coning, E. Optimizing Satellite-Based Precipitation Estimation for Nowcasting of Rainfall and Flash Flood Events over the South African Domain. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 5702-5724.

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