Radar-Based Volumetric Precipitation Nowcasting: A 3D Convolutional Neural Network with UNet Architecture
Pavlik, P., Rozinajova, V., Bou Ezzeddine, A.
In recent years – like in many other domains – deep learning models have found their place in the domain of precipitation nowcasting. Many of these models are based on the U-Net architecture, which was originally developed for biomedical segmentation, but is also useful for the generation of short-term forecasts and therefore applicable in the weather nowcasting domain. The existing U-Net-based models use sequential radar data mapped into a 2-dimensional Cartesian grid as input and output. We propose to incorporate a third – vertical – dimension to better predict precipitation phenomena such as convective rainfall and present our results here. We compare the nowcasting performance of two comparable U-Net models trained on two-dimensional and three-dimensional radar observation data. We show that using volumetric data results in a small, but significant reduction in prediction error.