11A.3 An Operational Assessment of Pre-Deployment Dual Polarization WSR-88D Radar Data

Wednesday, 28 September 2011: 9:30 AM
Monongahela Room (William Penn Hotel)
Stephen B. Cocks, Radar Operations Center, Norman, OK; and P. T. Schlatter and J. B. Boettcher
Manuscript (654.8 kB)

The Radar Operation Center and the Warning Decision Training Branch conducted an operational assessment on Pre-Deployment Weather Service Radar – 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) Dual Polarization (DP) data from the DP Operational Prototype radar in Norman, OK. The primary objective was to have field forecasters assess the potential utility of applying DP data to forecasting and warning operations. A group of 20 forecasters from the National Weather Service and the United States Air Force took part in the assessment. Prior to arriving in Norman, participants completed an on-line survey rating the effectiveness of the pre-DP upgrade WSR-88D in winter weather, flash flood, severe convection (e.g. hail and strong winds) and tornado warning operations. Participants also completed preliminary DP training prior to the assessment to provide them a foundation on the concepts of DP.

The assessment was conducted over a three day period. The first day of the assessment was devoted towards training the forecasters on how to best apply key DP base and derived products to the warning and forecast process. The second and third days of the operational assessment were devoted to DP case studies, where forecasters examined the DP data in AWIPS using detailed job sheets. On the last half of the third and final day of the assessment, forecasters completed a post-assessment survey containing the same questions as the pre-assessment survey with one key difference: forecasters were asked, based upon what they learned in the assessment, to rate the effectiveness of the DP WSR-88D in forecasting and warning operations. The assessment results from these surveys showed that forecasters believed the biggest potential increase in radar effectiveness were for winter weather and flash flood forecasting. Forecasters likewise listed what they perceive to be the top benefits and challenges to incorporating DP products into the warning and forecast process, and the top research and development areas. These results will be discussed in detail in our presentation.

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