92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 4:45 PM
Radar Input to Tornado Warnings: Where We've Been and Where We Might Go
Room 252/253 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Donald W. Burgess, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and G. J. Stumpf

During the 1970's, operational radar input to tornado warnings was limited, and tornado warnings had poor verification skill scores (POD=~.2, FAR=~.9, and Lead Time=~2 minutes). Doppler radar research during the 1970's and the successful Joint Doppler Operational Project (JDOP) during the late 1970's led to prediction that a new Doppler operational radar network (NEXRAD) would help produce significantly better tornado warning skill scores (POD=~.7, FAR=~.5, and Lead Time=12 minutes). The current network of WSR-88D radars has contributed to tornado warning skill scores that match or exceed expectations for POD and Lead Time, but not FAR, which continues at ~.75. A few possible reasons for the continued high tornado warning FAR will be mentioned. Possible future enhancements to radar input to tornado warnings such as addition of boundary layer (AKA gap-filler) radars, new phased array technology, and assimilation of radar data into storm-scale numerical models will be discussed. Finally, comments about possible changes to tornado warning construction, practice, and dissemination, based in part on new radar enhancements and other technology improvements will be made.

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