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University of Technology of Compiègne, France

Vischel T.,University Grenoble1 | Quantin G.,University Grenoble1 | Lebel T.,University Grenoble1 | Viarre J.,French National Center for Space Studies | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hydrometeorology | Year: 2011

High-resolution rain fields are a prerequisite to many hydrometeorological studies. For some applications, the required resolution may be as fine as 1 km in space and 5 min in time. At these scales, rainfall is strongly intermittent, variable in space, and correlated in time because of the propagation of the rainy systems. This paper compares two interpolation approaches to generate high-resolution rain fields from rain gauge measurements: (i) a classic interpolation technique that consists in interpolating independently the rain intensities at each time step (Eulerian kriging) and (ii) a simple dynamic interpolation technique that incorporates the propagation of the rainy systems (Lagrangian kriging). For this latter approach, three propagation models are tested. The different interpolation techniques are evaluated over three climatically contrasted areas in West Africa where a multiyear 5-min rainfall dataset has been collected during the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) campaigns. The dynamic interpolation technique is shown to perform better than the classic approach for a majority of the rainy events. The performances of the three propagation models differ from one another, depending on the evaluation criteria used. One of them provides a satisfactory time of arrival of rainfall but slightly smooths the rain intensities. The two others reproduce well the rain intensities, but the time of arrival of the rain is sometimes delayed. The choice of an appropriate propagation algorithm will thus depend on the operational objectives underlying the rain field generation. © 2011 American Meteorological Society. Source

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