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Better precipitation forecasts up to several hours in advance

Radar rainfall nowcasting is increasingly used for short-term rainfall predictions. The method is expected to outperform rainfall forecasts from conventional weather models up to several hours in advance. The performance and dependence on environmental characteristics of the present nowcasting algorithms are, however, not always well known. In this study, four nowcasting algorithms are tested for a large sample of 1,533 rainfall events for twelve catchment and polder areas in the Netherlands. The results show that there is a clear dependence of nowcast skill on event duration, season, catchment size, and location. Also, the nowcasting algorithm choice makes a difference. The next step is to test the added value of rainfall nowcasting in increasing the discharge predictability for the same 1,533 events and twelve catchments in an operational setting. For more information, click on the link to the Deltares news item or access the AGU online library for the full study.