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Nowcasting for a high-resolution weather radar network




Ruzanski, Evan, author
Chandrasekar, V., advisor
Jayasumana, Anura P., committee member
Mielke, Paul W., committee member
Notaros, Branislav M., committee member

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Short-term prediction (nowcasting) of high-impact weather events can lead to significant improvement in warnings and advisories and is of great practical importance. Nowcasting using weather radar reflectivity data has been shown to be particularly useful. The Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) radar network provides high-resolution reflectivity data amenable to producing valuable nowcasts. The high-resolution nature of CASA data requires the use of an efficient nowcasting approach, which necessitated the development of the Dynamic Adaptive Radar Tracking of Storms (DARTS) and sinc kernel-based advection nowcasting methodology. This methodology was implemented operationally in the CASA Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS) system in a robust and efficient manner necessitated by the high-resolution nature of CASA data and distributed nature of the environment in which the nowcasting system operates. Nowcasts up to 10 min to support emergency manager decision-making and 1-5 min to steer the CASA radar nodes to better observe the advecting storm patterns for forecasters and researchers are currently provided by this system. Results of nowcasting performance during the 2009 CASA IP experiment are presented. Additionally, currently state-of-the-art scale-based filtering methods were adapted and evaluated for use in the CASA DCAS to provide a scale-based analysis of nowcasting. DARTS was also incorporated in the Weather Support to Deicing Decision Making system to provide more accurate and efficient snow water equivalent nowcasts for aircraft deicing decision support relative to the radar-based nowcasting method currently used in the operational system. Results of an evaluation using data collected from 2007-2008 by the Weather Service Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) located near Denver, Colorado, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research Marshall Test Site near Boulder, Colorado, are presented. DARTS was also used to study the short-term predictability of precipitation patterns depicted by high-resolution reflectivity data observed at microalpha (0.2-2 km) to mesobeta (20-200 km) scales by the CASA radar network. Additionally, DARTS was used to investigate the performance of nowcasting rainfall fields derived from specific differential phase estimates, which have been shown to provide more accurate and robust rainfall estimates compared to those made from radar reflectivity data.


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weather radar
Nowcasting (Meteorology)
weather forecasting
Meteorological satellites
Weather forecasting
specific differential phase
Weather radar networks


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