Evaluation of NEXRAD accuracy across climate type
Mentor:James Sadd, Geology Department Chair, Occidental College
With data collected from the National Climatic Data Center and National Weather Service, ArcGIS computer modeling is being used to compare precipitation predictions of the Next Generation Radar, or NEXRAD, Doppler weather radar system against rain gauge measurements across varying climates over summer months of 2012 to help evaluate deviation in NEXRAD’s accuracy. This study examines areas surrounding Los Angeles (Subtropical-Mediterranean climate), Denver (semi-arid continental climate), Seattle (marine climate), and New Orleans (humid, subtropical climate). Rain gauge data collected from these cities is compared to monthly predictions given by NEXRAD in the corresponding areas. On going analysis is directed toward discovering any distinct patterns in NEXRAD’s accuracy, and how this might vary with climate zone. If NEXRAD consistently over or underestimates precipitation in a specific climate zone, this could be used in future precipitation predictions for improved accuracy and reliability.