Weather radar network benefit model for flash flood casualty reduction
April 1, 2020
A monetized flash flood casualty reduction benefit model is constructed for application to meteorological radar networks. Geospatial regression analyses show that better radar coverage of the causative rainfall improves flash flood warning performance. Enhanced flash flood warning performance is shown to decrease casualty rates. Consequently, these two effects in combination allow a model to be formed that links radar coverage to flash flood casualty rates. When this model is applied to the present-day contiguous U.S. weather radar network, results yield a flash-flood-based benefit of $316 million (M) yr-1. The remaining benefit pools are more modest ($13M yr-1 for coverage improvement and $69M yr-1 maximum for all areas of radar quantitative precipitation estimation improvements), indicative of the existing weather radar network's effectiveness in supporting the flash flood warning decision process.