The workplan of the second phase of the EUMETNET OPERA program (2004-2006) contains a work package 1.2 on "Quality information for radars and radar data". A consortium of four different National Meteorological Institutes has worked on this project and has addressed this complex project theme. In addition a wide European support for the outcome of the project has been obtained.
The increasing interest from the hydrological and NWP modeling communities in weather radar has initiated a change from mainly a qualitative use to a more quantitative use of radar data. For the traditional use in nowcasting mainly qualitative requirements have to be fulfilled, but for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) or assimilation in a NWP model stringent quantitative requirements are usually in force.
In the previous OPERA program, the project members have been responsible for a project on the "Definition of Product Quality Descriptors". In this project a review of the physical problems of the observation technique was performed, ways to account for inherent limitations in the technique like clutter and beam shadows were proposed, and a set of BUFR-descriptors to encode the recommended quality information were defined. Only global (static) quality descriptors, i.e., descriptors that are valid for all data in a product, have been dealt with in this project.
I Holleman, D Michelson, G Galli, U Germann, M Peura. Quality information for radars and radar data