Seventh Annual AMS Student Conference


Analyzing conventional and emerging radar technologies for the May 8th, 2007 central Oklahoma tornado case

Jared Rennie, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

Since the implementation of the NEXRAD WSR-88D Doppler radar, forecasters have been able to better detect small-scale phenomena within storms. Nevertheless, some phenomena, such as tornadic vortex signatures, still remain difficult to detect due to the time required to complete volumetric scanning and the effects of increasing range from the radar on sampling. Over the past few years new radar technologies have been developed in an attempt to address these issues. This research, performed at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, looks at both radars in operation (Oklahoma City's WSR-88D and FAA's Terminal Doppler Weather Radar) and radars used primarily for research (NSSL's Phased Array Radar and a network of CASA radars).

Using the WDSS-II graphic user interface and data from a mesoscale convective vortex on the evening of May 8th, 2007, small scale circulations were identified and horizontal shear was calculated to compare the radars ability to see the storm. Eight circulations were analyzed and results showed that the radars each had an advantage and disadvantage. The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar calculated shear well, but its range was small compared to the other radars (~90km). While the Phased Array and CASA radars had high resolution data every 30-60 seconds, relatively small areal coverage and limited operational periods of these experimental radars prevented a complete evaluation of these systems for the May 8, 2007 case.

Poster Session 1, Student Conference General Poster Session
Sunday, 20 January 2008, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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