• Applicability of Doppler weather radar based rainfall data for runoff estimation in Indian watersheds – A case study of Chennai basin

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    • Keywords


      Radar rainfall; calibration factor; runoff estimation; HEC-HMS model.

    • Abstract


      Traditionally, India has been vulnerable to various hazards such as floods, droughts and cyclones. About 8% of the total Indian landmass is prone to cyclones. A number of Doppler weather radars are installed in India and their products are utilized for weather predictions and detection of cyclones approaching the Indian coast. Radar-based hydrological studies in various countries have proven that computation of runoff using radar rainfall data could outperform rain gauge network measurements. There are no reported studies on their utilization for hydrological modelling and/or flood-related studies in Indian river basins. A comparison study between Doppler weather radar (DWR) derived rainfall data and the conventional rain gauge data was carried out with hourly inputs at one of the watersheds of Chennai basin, Tamil Nadu, India using HEC-HMS model. The model calibration and validation were performed by comparing the simulated outflow with the observed daily outflow data. The calibrated model was used to predict runoff from two post-monsoon cyclonic storm events with hourly inputs. It was noticed that the discrepancy in the runoff volume was small, but the difference in the peak flow was substantial. Additionally, there was a variation at the time to peak flow using daily and hourly inputs. The results show that the use of radar data may be optional for runoff volume estimation for the watersheds with sufficient rain gauge density, but highly desirable for peak flow and time to peak estimation. Therefore, the DWR derived rainfall data is a promising input for runoff estimation, especially in urban flood modelling.

    • Author Affiliations


      V S Josephine1 B V Mudgal1 S B Thampi2

      1. Centre for Water Resources, Anna University, Chennai 600 025, India
      2. Cyclone Detection Radar, India Meteorological Department, Chennai 600 001, India
    • Dates

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