Integrated display and analysis tool for multi-variable radar data

Dolan, Brenda A., author
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Doppler and polarimetric radars provide valuable information about the kinematics and microphysics of storms. However, radar products, such as Doppler­ derived wind vectors and hydrometeor identification, which assist with in-depth analysis of storms, have not been readily available in (near) real-time. The goal of this project is to develop and integrate radar algorithms currently used in post¬ processing with meteorological observations to develop a near real-time integrated display and analysis tool for use in nowcasting. This software has been linked to and is now available for real-time radar operations at the CSU-CHILL radar facility. This methodology was also developed for a network of four Doppler radars, including one polarimetric radar, along the Northern Colorado front range. The four radars include two National Weather Service WSR-88D radars (KFTG and KCYS) and two research radars (PAWNEE and CSU-CHILL) operated by Colorado State University. These four radars form three dual-Doppler pairs, in which the radial velocities can be synthesized to obtain three-dimensional wind vectors. The analysis also incorporates algorithms for hydrometeor identification and rainfall rate estimation using the polarimetric measurements from CSU-CHILL, as well as ram rate calculation using standard midlatitude Z-R relationships. The software was successfully tested at the CSU-CHILL radar facility during the summer of 2004 using data from three of the radars. CHILL data were available within 3 minutes after a volume scan, WSR-88D was displayed approximately 12 minutes after the start of a volume scan, therefore the dual-Doppler winds lagged by 13-15 minutes after the start of the first volume scan. Among other things, users have the ability to zoom in and out of interesting radar features, change the grid resolution and origin, create vertical cross sections, contour data, and archive data as they use the software in real-time. Despite the lag time, the tool helped diagnose areas of intense rainfall and possible hail, updrafts, and wind field features such as mesocyclones and convergence lines. Two case studies from June 2004 are used to demonstrate the utility of the software in this thesis. The software was found to be a valuable resource for assisting scientists with the real-time analysis and visualization of copious amounts of data from a network of multi-variable radars. This tool could be especially useful during large field experiments, especially those in which one research aircraft requires guidance from ground-based radars.
Fall 2004.
Also issued as author's thesis (M.S.) -- Colorado State University, 2005.
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Radar meteorology
Doppler radar
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