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Texas Tech University: "Development of an improved method of quantitative precipitation forecasting in West Texas"

Final Report

Quantitative precipitation forecasting (QPF) is a two-phase challenge of forecasting the amount of precipitation over a specific area and forecasting the areal coverage of the precipitating system. The purpose of this project was to develop QPF techniques that can be used in the Texas Plains and Oklahoma Panhandle regions during heavy rainfall events associated only with mid-latitude systems (as opposed to remnants of tropical systems).

The research consisted of collecting past reports for heavy rainfall events and classifying each using existing synoptic and mesoscale classification schemes. Data for the storms were obtained from archived PC-GRIDDS data that were used for synoptic, mesoscale, and statistical analyses. The researchers looked for possible correlations between potential predictor variables and two response variables: maximum rainfall amounts and areal coverage of the events. The results were formed into a set of forecast guidelines for formulating heavy rainfall QPF’s for the study region.