Evaluation of a new X-band weather radar for operational use in south Sweden

Water Sci Technol. 2020 Apr;81(8):1623-1635. doi: 10.2166/wst.2020.066.


The performance of a new type of X-band weather radar (WR) for Sweden during a pilot run is studied. Compared to the conventional C-band WRs, the X-band WR covers a smaller area but with a higher spatiotemporal resolution, making it suitable for urban hydrological applications. Rainfall estimations from different elevation angles of the radar (levels) are compared at one-minute and single-event timescales with the observations of several rain gauges at different ranges using hyetographs. In general, the estimations aligned well with observations and the best match appeared for ranges as long as 5-10 km. Seemingly, radar estimations suffered from overshooting of lower lying showers by higher level scans in longer ranges (19-30 km) and from the reflectivity contamination due to moving objects in short ranges (<1 km). Also, the effective range of the radar dropped sharply for the moments when a cloudburst was located over the radar. Although various sources of error could affect the X-band WR rainfall estimates, higher resolution spatiotemporal rainfall monitoring for wider areas will benefit from an integration of data from a network of X-band WRs.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Radar*
  • Rain
  • Sweden
  • Weather