25th Conference on International Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology


WSR-88D Dual Polarization Initial Operational Capabilities

Michael J. Istok, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and M. A. Fresch, S. D. Smith, Z. Jing, R. Murnan, A. V. Ryzhkov, J. Krause, M. H. Jain, J. T. Ferree, P. T. Schlatter, B. Klein, D. J. Stein, G. S. Cate, and R. E. Saffle

The NEXRAD tri-agencies (DOC, DOD, DOT) have determined that adding Dual Polarization capability to the WSR-88D would provide mission benefits including improved hail detection for severe thunderstorm warnings, improved rainfall estimation for flood and flash flood warnings, rain/snow discrimination for winter weather warnings and advisories, data retrieval from areas of partial beam blockage to improve services in mountainous terrain, and removal of non-weather artifacts such as birds and ground clutter to improve overall data quality for algorithms and numerical model input. Systems Engineering for the Dual Polarization upgrade to the Weather Surveillance Radar 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) is well underway.

System Specifications for the Dual Polarization upgrade were established and a contract was awarded in September 2007 to develop and deploy the Radar Data Acquisition (RDA) portion of the upgrade. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service's Office of Science and Technology (NWS/OST) has led a broad team of groups including the NWS's Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD); Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services (OCWWS); and Office of Operational Systems (OOS) and the Office of Atmospheric Research's (OAR's) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to implement changes to the Radar Product Generator (RPG) to ingest, process and distribute the Dual Polarization data and derived products. These efforts, which focused on the initial operating capability expected for the upgrade, have included establishing user requirements and product specifications, and developing and documenting algorithms and data processing software. The initial algorithms are based on prototype development at NSSL. The NWS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) program has implemented software changes to ingest, display, and manipulate the Dual Polarization products. The OCWWS Warning Decision Training Branch is developing training plans and materials for NWS forecasters. Formal system testing is scheduled to begin in October 2009, with field beta testing beginning in June 2010, and deployment beginning in October 2010.

This paper will describe the functional characteristics of the data generated by the Dual Polarization RDA, provide an overview of the RPG algorithms and products, and present examples showing new capabilities implemented on AWIPS to support Dual Polarization operational use.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.3M)

Session 15, Radar Applications - Session III - PART II
Thursday, 15 January 2009, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM, Room 121BC

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