Radar Rainfall Estimates for Great Lakes Hydrologic Models

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


This study evaluates potential biases in radar rainfall data being considered for use in hydrologic models for Great Lakes forecasting. Precipitation estimates from Weather Surveillance Radar — 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) are input to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Large Basin Runoff Model (GLERL-LBRM), and results from this model with both radar (MAPX) precipitation estimates and Thiessen-weighted rain gage (MAP) data are compared to observed flows. Case study results are presented for several watersheds in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Long-term goals are to recalibrate the existing lumped-parameter models based on MAPX data, develop more distributed hydrologic models, and utilize radar precipitation data to estimate precipitation over the lakes and in watersheds with sparse rain gage networks.

Publication Title

World Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2003