Radar for hydrology: unfulfilled promise or unrecognized potential?
Hydrology requires accurate and reliable rainfall input. Because of the strong spatial and temporal variability of precipitation, estimation of spatially distributed rain rates is challenging. Despite the fact that weather radars provide high-resolution (but indirect) observations of precipitation, they are not used in hydrological applications as extensively as one could expect. The goal of the present review paper is to investigate this question and to provide a clear view of the opportunities (e.g., for flash floods, urban hydrology, rainfall spatial extremes) the limitations (e.g., complicated error structure, need for adjustment) and the challenges for the use of weather radar in hydrology (i.e., validation studies, precipitation forecasting, mountainous precipitation, error propagation in hydrological models).