3.7 129 Warnings in 3 Months! How CASA High-Resolution Radars Helped Forecasters and Stakeholders during the Active 2019 Convective Storm Season in the Greater Dallas–Fort Worth Area

Monday, 13 January 2020: 3:15 PM
Ballroom East (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Brenda J. Philips, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA; and T. Ryan, E. Lyons, J. Dunn, T. Bradshaw, A. Bajaj, and V. Chandrasekar

After several quiet storm seasons, the greater Dallas Fort Worth area experienced a very active convective weather season in 2019. Between March–June 2019, the NWS Fort Worth forecast office issued a total of 129 severe thunderstorm, flash flood, and tornado warnings. Just 59 warnings were issued during the same period in 2018. Rather than one major event, the area experienced many small to medium-end events, including the May 29 tornado outbreak of 11 EF0-EF2 tornados, 80-90 mph damaging winds that toppled a construction crane, and flash floods that imperiled motorists. This talk will address how NWS forecasters used CASA radars to enhance Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) for emergency managers and the media. CASA is a unique network of dual-pol, multi-Doppler X-band radars that provides high-resolution, boundary layer observations. CASA radars enable close monitoring of potential tornadic rotation, while its Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) system provides accurate rainfall accumulation products on a neighborhood scale. CASA is operated through a unique public private partnership. The tornado outbreak and a flash flood case will be used to show the strengths and weaknesses of CASA radars, and how CASA complements the existing observational network and products.
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