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Publication Abstract

Rainfall Prediction - Measurement Systems and Rainfall Design Information for Urban Areas Changnon, Stanley A., Jr., Floyd A. Huff, John L. Vogel, David A. Brunkow, and Donald W. Staggs, 1980  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS C-146    Full Text Available

Most major American cities have some existing form of precipitation measurements, usually involving some type of recording raingages. In a few cities where the management of storm and/or combined sewer systems is or has become difficult, if not critical, these gages are linked to a central office so that real-time rainfall information is available to controllers. In those metropolitan areas where management requires advance notice of rainfall, particularly moderate to heavy rains, some form of rainfall forecasting is made available. This may include special attention to National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts (routine or special), the use of NWS radar-rainfall maps, and/or the purchase of rainfall forecasts from private industry.

After intensive interaction with the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago (MSDGC) and awareness of the Chicago storm-sewer operational need, we concluded that a new form of rainfall prediction and monitoring system dedicated to MSDGC (and to other similar urban interests) water management was a viable and optimal approach. A specialized service was now possible by using modern weather radar and joint computer systems, which offered desirable accuracy, and was likely cost-beneficial. The demonstration project conducted by the Water Survey and MSDGC in 1979 proved the general potential of the radar rainfall system designed and developed by the Water Survey.

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