34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


Survey of applications of radar refractivity retrievals

David Bodine, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and P. L. Heinselman, R. D. Palmer, B. L. Cheong, and D. S. Michaud

Radar refractivity retrievals provide high-resolution near-surface moisture measurements compared to measurements provided by the current surface network. Radar refractivity retrievals have many applications, as moisture plays an important role in many atmospheric processes. Radar refractivity data can resolve small-scale moisture variations often important to convection initiation. In fact, one particular convection initiation case showed that moisture variability observed by refractivity was the “missing ingredient” in convection initiation. Another application of radar refractivity retrievals involves observing moisture variability along drylines. One specific case showed regularly spaced areas of enhanced moisture along the dryline, with a wavelength corresponding to misocyclones. Using refractivity data, characteristics of the boundary layer moisture field can be studied. A two-month study of boundary layer moisture fields showed that waves observed in the moisture field tracked with the mean boundary layer wind, and the peak wavelengths observed were between 10 and 20 km. An overview of the technique will be provided and several case studies illustrating applications of radar refractivity retrievals will be presented.

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Poster Session 6, Severe Weather and Mesoscale Meteorology
Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, President's Ballroom

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