An Operative X-band Mini-radar Network to Monitor Rainfall Events with High Time and Space Resolution

S. Bertoldo, C. Lucianaz, M. Allegretti, O. Rorato, A. Prato, G. Perona


The increasing frequency of extreme and very localized precipitation events have been causing landslides, floods and casualties, especially in Sicily, due to its complex orography, and to the presence of densely inhabited areas just at the mouth of small basins. In order to monitor such phenomena with the needed high resolution in time and space, an experimental network of X-band mini-radars, exclusively devoted to monitor rain, has been installed in some parts of Sicily since November 2010. The network is made up by 4 mini weather radars able to acquire a rain map every minute (or even at shorter intervals) with a radial space resolution better than 100 m within a range of up to 30 km. Their low cost and the easiness of installation make such radars ideal for monitoring small areas or even just limited angular sectors, since it is more convenient to install more than one instrument instead of choosing special site locations or spending for installation support. The raw data are immediately processed in real time by the software installed on each radar unit, Cartesian maps are locally produced, compressed and transmitted via GPRS to a server where ad hoc products for the users are prepared and made available on a web site. A few examples of final products and some comparisons with rain gauges are presented.


X band radar; radar meteorology; high time resolution; high space resolution; rainfall events

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