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

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Performance of WDT's Automated Tornado Track Product for the 27 April 2011 Southeast US Tornado Outbreak
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Benjamin C. Baranowski, Weather Decision Technologies, Inc., Norman, OK; and M. Gaffner, C. D. Goering, E. D. Mitchell, C. W. Porter, and P. L. Spencer

Weather Decision Technologies Inc. (WDT) specializes in transferring state-of-the-science meteorological algorithms and data from research to operations. This continues to be illustrated through WDTs use of the Warning Decision Support System, Interactive Information (WDSSII) radar analysis package. One of the many algorithms available in the WDSSII framework is a thunderstorm circulation detection algorithm. Beginning in April 2011, WDT implemented a real-time estimated tornado track product based upon that algorithm. High impact tornado events such as the Alabama tornado outbreak on 27 April provide an opportunity to evaluate the utility of the product in real time, and results from this case will be presented.

Early findings show the algorithm is susceptible to contamination from non-tornadic shear sources. This contamination leads to spurious identification of tornado tracks or distortion of actual tracks. WDT has implemented a number of quality control processes to reduce this contamination and continues to refine these processes. Also, the incorporation of dual-pol radar through WDT's POLARIS (Polarimetric Radar Identification System) products will further reduce the effects of contamination. The combination of radar enhancements and customer feedback will allow WDT to further refine and enhance this capability, making it another key component in WDT's suite of real-time weather decision support tools for its business and enterprise clients.

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