Poster Session P5.3 The utility of three-dimensional radar displays in severe weather warning operations

Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Pre-Convene Space (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Daniel Nietfeld, NOAA, Valley, NE

Handout (3.0 MB)

Traditional methods of interrogating severe thunderstorms using radar data have primarily utilized two-dimensional displays. The two-dimensional displays were either a quasi-horizontal plane of x-y coordinates (north vs. south), or a vertical plane of x-z coordinates (horizontal distance from the radar vs. height above ground). Using these displays, meteorologists have been able to assess the vertical and horizontal structure of thunderstorms by viewing multiple images of either: each elevation angle of the RADAR, or multiple vertical cross sections through the storms.

Recently, software and hardware advances have allowed for the display of RADAR data in three-dimensions, using an earth-centered coordinate system. This enables the software to display the complete vertical and horizontal distribution of RADAR data within one image, of which the viewing perspective can be altered by the user.

This paper examines the utility of three-dimensional RADAR displays for the purpose of interrogating the severity of thunderstorms and making associated warning decisions. The background for the conclusions in the paper come from experiments with three-dimensional displays in an operational NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO Omaha-Valley, Nebraska), as well as in an operational television station, during the 2006 convective season.

This work is an extension of an earlier project to determine the utility of using three-dimensional displays of synoptic and mesoscale model data in an operational setting. Parallels from that study will be drawn, and extended to the storm-scale.

It was found that there is significant utility in some modes of three-dimensional RADAR displays for interrogating thunderstorms. These display modes will be examined and described in the presentation and paper.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner