Improving Quantitative Precipitation Estimation in Complex Terrain Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Data

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/293749
Title:
Improving Quantitative Precipitation Estimation in Complex Terrain Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Data
Author:
Minjarez-Sosa, Carlos Manuel
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 01-May-2014
Abstract:
Thunderstorms that occur in areas of complex terrain are a major severe weather hazard in the intermountain western U.S. Short-term quantitative estimation (QPE) of precipitation in complex terrain is a pressing need to better forecast flash flooding. Currently available techniques for QPE, that utilize a combination of rain gauge and weather radar information, may underestimate precipitation in areas where gauges do not exist or there is radar beam blockage. These are typically very mountainous and remote areas, that are quite vulnerable to flash flooding because of the steep topography. Lightning has been one of the novel ways suggested by the scientific community as an alternative to estimate precipitation over regions that experience convective precipitation, especially those continental areas with complex topography where the precipitation sensor measurements are scarce. This dissertation investigates the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning and precipitation associated with convection with the purpose of estimating precipitation- mainly over areas of complex terrain which have precipitation sensor coverage problems (e.g. Southern Arizona).The results of this research are presented in two papers. The first, entitled Toward Development of Improved QPE in Complex Terrain Using Cloud-to-Ground Lighting Data: A case Study for the 2005 Monsoon in Southern Arizona, was published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology in December 2012. This initial study explores the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning occurrences and multi-sensor gridded precipitation over southern Arizona. QPE is performed using a least squares approach for several time resolutions (seasonal -June, July and August-, 24 hourly and hourly) and for a 8 km grid size. The paper also presents problems that arise when the time resolution is increased, such as the spatial misplacing of discrete lightning events with gridded precipitation and the need to define a "diurnal day" that is synchronized with the diurnal cycle of convection. The second manuscript (unpublished), entitled An Improved QPE Over Complex Terrain by Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Occurrences, provides a new method to retrieve lightning-derived precipitation at 5 minutes and 5 Km time and space resolutions. A stationary model that employs spatio-temporal neighboring (Space and Time Invariant model -STI) improves upon the least squares method in the first paper. By applying a Kalman filter to the STI model, lightning-precipitation is retrieved by a dynamic model that changes in time. The results for seasonal and 5 minutes time resolution show that the dynamic model improves the retrievals derived by the STI model.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Lightning; Monsoon; Precipitation; Southwest; Atmospheric Sciences; Complex Terrain
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Atmospheric Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Castro, Christopher L.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleImproving Quantitative Precipitation Estimation in Complex Terrain Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Dataen_US
dc.creatorMinjarez-Sosa, Carlos Manuelen_US
dc.contributor.authorMinjarez-Sosa, Carlos Manuelen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease after 01-May-2014en_US
dc.description.abstractThunderstorms that occur in areas of complex terrain are a major severe weather hazard in the intermountain western U.S. Short-term quantitative estimation (QPE) of precipitation in complex terrain is a pressing need to better forecast flash flooding. Currently available techniques for QPE, that utilize a combination of rain gauge and weather radar information, may underestimate precipitation in areas where gauges do not exist or there is radar beam blockage. These are typically very mountainous and remote areas, that are quite vulnerable to flash flooding because of the steep topography. Lightning has been one of the novel ways suggested by the scientific community as an alternative to estimate precipitation over regions that experience convective precipitation, especially those continental areas with complex topography where the precipitation sensor measurements are scarce. This dissertation investigates the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning and precipitation associated with convection with the purpose of estimating precipitation- mainly over areas of complex terrain which have precipitation sensor coverage problems (e.g. Southern Arizona).The results of this research are presented in two papers. The first, entitled Toward Development of Improved QPE in Complex Terrain Using Cloud-to-Ground Lighting Data: A case Study for the 2005 Monsoon in Southern Arizona, was published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology in December 2012. This initial study explores the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning occurrences and multi-sensor gridded precipitation over southern Arizona. QPE is performed using a least squares approach for several time resolutions (seasonal -June, July and August-, 24 hourly and hourly) and for a 8 km grid size. The paper also presents problems that arise when the time resolution is increased, such as the spatial misplacing of discrete lightning events with gridded precipitation and the need to define a "diurnal day" that is synchronized with the diurnal cycle of convection. The second manuscript (unpublished), entitled An Improved QPE Over Complex Terrain by Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Occurrences, provides a new method to retrieve lightning-derived precipitation at 5 minutes and 5 Km time and space resolutions. A stationary model that employs spatio-temporal neighboring (Space and Time Invariant model -STI) improves upon the least squares method in the first paper. By applying a Kalman filter to the STI model, lightning-precipitation is retrieved by a dynamic model that changes in time. The results for seasonal and 5 minutes time resolution show that the dynamic model improves the retrievals derived by the STI model.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectLightningen_US
dc.subjectMonsoonen_US
dc.subjectPrecipitationen_US
dc.subjectSouthwesten_US
dc.subjectAtmospheric Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectComplex Terrainen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAtmospheric Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCastro, Christopher L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKrider, E. Phillipen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCummins, Keneth L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRichardson, Randallen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBennett, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCastro, Christopher L.en_US
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