Monday, 11 August 2003: 10:45 AM
Quantitative applications of broadcast media weather radar data
This paper explores a collaborative effort between the University of Missouri – Columbia, KRCG-TV and the Premier Marketing Group that owns and operates a weather radar in Mid-Missouri. Columbia is a city of approximate population 100000 located almost equidistant between the St. Louis (KLSX) and Kansas City (Pleasant Hill – KEAX) NWS WSR-88D radars. The use of a locally situated radar allows for a number of potential advantages over radars located at range, even when those radars are superior in other ways. In particular the radar can reveal precipitation features at higher resolution and lower levels than the NWS radars, as well as low-level boundaries that serve to enhance severe weather development. This should allow the use of the radar data for improved severe weather warning, cold season precipitation observation and warm season precipitation estimation. These observations are of potential benefit to the local transport and agricultural communities, as well as the general population. In combination with NWS radar data exploration can be made of low level evaporation effects and the accuracy of rain and snowfall estimation at long range. The possibility of using RHI scans in severe weather situations is explored.
This paper discusses the format of the collaboration currently underway, how the project is expected to benefit both the media group and the University and the particular applications of the radar data that will be examined. The benefits to the media group and University relate to their mission of community support, while there are educational benefits to students in the atmospheric science program. These objectives should be applicable to many radar installations across the USA.