Session 11B.2 The TTUKa Mobile Doppler Radar: Coordinated Radar and In Situ Measurements of Supercell Thunderstorms During Project VORTEX2

Thursday, 8 October 2009: 10:45 AM
Room 18 (Williamsburg Marriott)
Christopher C. Weiss, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Presentation PDF (937.9 kB)

During the Spring of 2009, one of two newly-constructed Texas Tech Ka-band (TTUKa) mobile Doppler radars was unveiled for the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2). The TTUKa radars operate at a very-high frequency (35 GHz), permitting a narrow angular beamwidth (0.49 deg) and, therefore, fine azimuthal and vertical resolution of atmospheric phenomena (~25 m at 3 km range). Pulse compression methods are used to achieve greater sensitivity through longer pulse widths without sacrificing range resolution (~30 m).

The primary goal of the TTUKa during VORTEX2 is to resolve the horizontal and vertical structure of tornado cyclones, including asymmetries and high-wavenumber flow in the azimuthal profile, secondary circulations normal to the tornado vortex, and the shallow boundary-layer inflow of the tornado, especially near the corner-flow region. Furthermore, the TTUKa is tasked with mapping pre-tornadic vertical vorticity maxima, associated with both the low-level mesocyclone and adjacent storm-scale boundaries. Dual- and triple-Doppler analyses will be possible in coordination with the UMass W-band tornado radar and the Rapid-scan Doppler on Wheels.

This presentation will focus on an introduction of the TTUKa radar, examples of data obtained during VORTEX2, and analyses derived from coordination with other VORTEX2 platforms. Special attention will be paid to periods of overlap between the TTUKa and in situ measurements, including the Texas Tech StickNet array and mobile mesonet observations.

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