The Thurnham radar is a prototype of a potential operational C-Band dual-polarisation weather radar designed specifically for the measurement of rainfall. It is also designed to increase the radar coverage over London when operating as a conventional C-Band radar as a direct consequence of the Lewes floods of October 2000. Dual-polarisation processing is expected to provide improved estimation of rainfall rates, especially at higher intensities, in terms of clutter removal, attenuation correction and rainfall estimation. In this study, three hydrological models with different mathematical structures were selected to evaluate the impact that dual-polarisation technology could have on operational hydrology and recommendations provided on the further development of the dual-polarisation algorithms in the short term. The preliminary appraisal was focused on the Upper Medway Catchment (south of London, UK) using different precipitation inputs, including raingauge measurements, radar rainfall estimates from single-polarised algorithms (cartesian format) and five different dual-polarisation algorithms (polar format). The influence of the different rainfall inputs on the various hydrological models were compared using a extreme flood event to provide an initial evaluation of the performance of the Thurnham radar. Recommendations for applying dual-polarisation radar to real-time flood forecasting are discussed in detail.

This content is only available as a PDF.