5.3 Severe-storm data collected in the Southern Plains by three mobile Doppler radars during the spring, 2007 and 2008

Monday, 27 October 2008: 8:15 PM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Howard B. Bluestein, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and I. PopStefanija, V. Venkatesh, P. S. Tsai, R. L. Tanamachi, M. M. French, J. C. Snyder, J. Houser, D. T. Dawson II, C. Baldi, B. Seeger, S. J. Frasier, J. Knorr, and R. Bluth

During the spring of 2007 and 2008, three very different mobile Doppler radars were used to probe severe convective storms and tornadoes in the Southern Plains.

a. The most novel was the MWR-05XP, a former military, phased-array radar, first used in 2007 in a mode which allowed for volumetric collection over a full 360 deg of azimuth and up to 20 deg elevation angle, every 42 s. In 2008, a new sector scan mode was tested, in which volumetric data were collected over 60 deg azimuth sectors and up to 20 deg elevation angle, every 7 – 10 s. In this mode, data were collected in numerous supercells and in some tornadoes and squall lines.

b. The UMass X-Pol, which has been used in previous years, and had an improved data-processing system, collected volumetric data in many supercells and in some tornadoes.

c. The UMass W-band radar, which has also been used in previous years, had significantly different hardware and software configurations from those used in previous seasons. The radar did not make use of polarimetric data (PDPP – polarization diversity pulse-pair processing) as in the past; instead, standard multiple PRT techniques were used to extend the maximum unambiguous velocity to ± 40 m/s. New PPI and RHI displays were also available. Data were collected in a hook echo, a surging gust front, and through the edge of a left-moving member of a splitting supercell.

The nature of the datasets collected and the scientific questions to be addressed by the analysis of them will be highlighted. The improvements to the radars to be completed in advance of their use in VORTEX-II will be discussed.

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