87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 3:30 PM
A continuous field approach to using GIS to model weather RADAR terrain occultation
217A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Dustin Howard, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and M. Yuan
Poster PDF (447.6 kB)
In “Weather Radar Terrain Occultation Modeling using GIS,” Shipley, et al. (2005) demonstrated that a Geographic Information System provides an excellent tool to “estimate the effects of terrain and manmade obstacles on radar beam propagation, and their resulting impact on radar coverage over regions of interest.” Shipley's model of RADAR coverage estimates radar beam occultation in a “cell by cell” basis. These cells are arranged in a radial pattern which best represents radar data collection. The height of the centroids of the radial cells is compared to a sample of terrain heights. This research proposes an alternate technique. Using ArcGIS and a raster data structure, we model a continuous beam surface. The height of this beam surface is calculated and compared to elevation data, highlighting any areas of occultation. An adjusted viewshed analysis generates an initial coverage for each beam angle. The result is a raster surface which is easily modeled in a GIS or other 3D environment which support raster data structures.

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