Hail Remote Sensing

Developing remote sensing methods to quantify hail fall across varied spatial scales in Australia

Lead researcher: Jordan Brook

Remote sensing tools such as radar and weather satellites are used ubiquitously for estimating the extent and intensity of hail fall. However, despite the widespread use and importance of these methods, there remains a significant amount of uncertainty when linking atmospheric observations of hailstorms to the intensity, extent and duration of hail fall on the ground. Initial work has shown that it is possible to increase the accuracy of hail fall predictions by estimating hail trajectories and modelling hail microphysics, using a newly developed, radar-based model named 'HailTrack' (Brook et. al.; 2021). This project aims to improve and widen the applicability of HailTrack to the Australian radar archive in order to provide real-time hail nowcasts for operational weather services and to develop a national radar-based hail climatology. In addition, the project will explore the use of geostationary weather satellite observations to identify hail fall outside of radar coverage. Application of this new understanding may lead to a step change in the ability to predict hail fall at the surface, heralding new opportunities for mitigating this meteorological hazard’s impacts.