Accession Number : ADA119072

Title :   Use of Geostationary Satellite Imagery to Estimate Convective Precipitation Over Complex Terrain in the Western United States.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,


Personal Author(s) : Urbanski,David Paul

Report Date : AUG 1982

Pagination or Media Count : 81

Abstract : The primary objective of this study was to develop a technique that used geosynchronous satellite images to estimate local convective precipitation in the complex terrain of the Intermountain West. This technique is a modification of previous methods that were developed for moist tropical air masses over the central United States where orographic influences are generally not important. Visible and enhanced infrared satellite images were compared with more than 870 hourly precipitation measurements over the states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, for several of the summer months between 1978 and 1981. Two methods of modifying the precipitation estimation technique to account for the dry environment of this region were carried out and compared. An orographic enhancement factor was developed to include the effects of rugged mountainous terrain. Rainfall estimates produced by this technique are presented and compared with previous methods. The results showed improvement in precipitation estimates from GOES enhanced infrared imagery when terrain influences were included. This technique may be useful for real-time estimates of convective precipitation amounts and has potential for application to flash flood forecasting in the western United States.

Descriptors :   *Rainfall, *Aerial photography, Synchronous satellites, Infrared photography, Terrain, Mountains, Rain, Convection(Atmospheric), Estimates, Theses

Subject Categories : Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE