Urban precipitation downscaling using deep learning: a smart city application over Austin, Texas, USA

Manmeet Singh, Nachiketa Acharya, Sajad Jamshidi, Junfeng Jiao, Zong-Liang Yang, Marc Coudert, Zach Baumer, Dev Niyogi

Urban downscaling is a link to transfer the knowledge from coarser climate information to city scale assessments. These high-resolution assessments need multiyear climatology of past data and future projections, which are complex and computationally expensive to generate using traditional numerical weather prediction models. The city of Austin, Texas, USA has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. Systematic planning for the future requires the availability of fine resolution city-scale datasets. In this study, we demonstrate a novel approach generating a general purpose operator using deep learning to perform urban downscaling. The algorithm employs an iterative super-resolution convolutional neural network (Iterative SRCNN) over the city of Austin, Texas, USA. We show the development of a high-resolution gridded precipitation product (300 m) from a coarse (10 km) satellite-based product (JAXA GsMAP). High resolution gridded datasets of precipitation offer insights into the spatial distribution of heavy to low precipitation events in the past. The algorithm shows improvement in the mean peak-signal-to-noise-ratio and mutual information to generate high resolution gridded product of size 300 m X 300 m relative to the cubic interpolation baseline. Our results have implications for developing high-resolution gridded-precipitation urban datasets and the future planning of smart cities for other cities and other climatic variables.

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