GNSS atmospheric water vapor monitoring is not yet routinely performed in Italy, particularly at the regional scale. However, in order to support the activities of regional environmental protection agencies, there is a widespread need to improve forecasting of heavy rainfall events. Localized convective rain forecasts are often misplaced in space and/or time, causing inefficiencies in risk mitigation activities. Water vapor information can be used to improve these forecasts. In collaboration with the environmental protection agencies of the Lombardy and Piedmont regions in northern Italy, we have collected and processed GNSS and weather station datasets for two heavy rain events: one which was spatially widespread, and another which was limited to few square kilometers. The time variations in water vapor derived from a regional GNSS network with inter-station distances on the order of 50 km were analyzed, and the relationship between the time variations and the evolution of the rain events was evaluated. Results showed a signature associated with the passage of the widespread rain front over each GNSS station within the area of interest. There was a peak in the precipitable water vapor value when the heavier precipitation area surrounded the station, followed by a steep decrease (5–10 mm in about 1 h) as the rainclouds moved past the station. The smaller-scale event, a convective storm a few kilometers in extent, was not detected by the regional GNSS network, but strong fluctuations in water vapor were detected by a low-cost station located near the area of interest.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Detection of water vapor time variations associated with heavy rain in northern Italy by geodetic and low-cost GNSS receivers

BARINDELLI, STEFANO;Venuti, Giovanna;
2018

Abstract

GNSS atmospheric water vapor monitoring is not yet routinely performed in Italy, particularly at the regional scale. However, in order to support the activities of regional environmental protection agencies, there is a widespread need to improve forecasting of heavy rainfall events. Localized convective rain forecasts are often misplaced in space and/or time, causing inefficiencies in risk mitigation activities. Water vapor information can be used to improve these forecasts. In collaboration with the environmental protection agencies of the Lombardy and Piedmont regions in northern Italy, we have collected and processed GNSS and weather station datasets for two heavy rain events: one which was spatially widespread, and another which was limited to few square kilometers. The time variations in water vapor derived from a regional GNSS network with inter-station distances on the order of 50 km were analyzed, and the relationship between the time variations and the evolution of the rain events was evaluated. Results showed a signature associated with the passage of the widespread rain front over each GNSS station within the area of interest. There was a peak in the precipitable water vapor value when the heavier precipitation area surrounded the station, followed by a steep decrease (5–10 mm in about 1 h) as the rainclouds moved past the station. The smaller-scale event, a convective storm a few kilometers in extent, was not detected by the regional GNSS network, but strong fluctuations in water vapor were detected by a low-cost station located near the area of interest.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].
GNSS meteorology; Intense rainfall; PWV variations; Geology; Space and Planetary Science
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1069376
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