A couple of weeks ago, we asked your opinion on rain information quality. But, what is actually our position on this matter?
In a nutshell, there is no bad answers. It all depends on the necessary level of accuracy your application needs.
SkyEcho primary focuses on short-term rain insights, at regional level, and at hyperlocal (100m – 1 min) resolution . This is particularly important for the monitoring of local rain extremes (cloudbursts). Cities and local activities are notably vulnerable due to population and infrastructure density. Many smart city solutions are becoming extremely powerful to reduce local risks by ingesting, in real-time, hyperlocal data for different applications (new post regarding applications shall follow).
But are the available hyperlocal rain data good enough for cities? Our short answer is NO:
- We already collaborate with partners experiencing lack of rain quality issue in their operational rain management solutions. Also large research projects are currently being granted to improve the detection and monitoring of local rain storms.
- From our own experience, the conventional C-band radar network, which is often considered as the backbone for the rain observation strategy in Europe, is not well adapted for hyperlocal rain extremes – the scale is too coarse to detect local variability. Rain INTENSITY can be strongly biased, with potentially large consequences on rain water amount prediction.
- Although rain gauges are often used as complementary information to correct for error bias, they suffer from limited probability of spatial detection due to their low density representation (only 17.3% of hourly heavy precipitation events that occurred in Germany from 2001 to 2018 were properly captured by the rain gauge station network according to a study from Katharina Lengfeld et al., 2020).
SkyEcho’ solution is based on the use of advanced X-band radar network technology which offers a good opportunity to complement the existing surveillance network (see the image below where rain intensity maps are compared over the Rotterdam area).