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Assessment and Implications of NCEP Stage IV Quantitative Precipitation Estimates for Product Intercomparisons
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Assessment and Implications of NCEP Stage IV Quantitative Precipitation Estimates for Product Intercomparisons
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  • Description:
    The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) stage IV quantitative precipitation estimates (QPEs) are used in many studies for intercomparisons including those for satellite QPEs. An overview of the National Weather Service precipitation processing system is provided here so as to set the stage IV product in context and to provide users with some knowledge as to how it is developed. Then, an assessment of the stage IV product over the period 2002-12 is provided. The assessment shows that the stage IV product can be useful for conditional comparisons of moderate-to-heavy rainfall for select seasons and locations. When evaluating the product at the daily scale, there are many discontinuities due to the operational processing at the radar site as well as discontinuities due to the merging of data from different River Forecast Centers (RFCs) that use much different processing algorithms for generating their precipitation estimates. An assessment of the daily precipitation estimates is provided based on the cumulative distribution function for all of the daily estimates for each RFC by season. In addition it is found that the hourly estimates at certain RFCs suffer from lack of manual quality control and caution should be used.

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