6B.4 Updates to the NEXRAD Turbulence Detection Algorithm

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 9:15 AM
Room 12A (Austin Convention Center)
Gregory Meymaris, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. K. Williams, J. A. Craig, G. Blackburn, and F. McDonough

The NEXRAD Turbulence Detection Algorithm, which produces frequent measurements of in-cloud turbulence (eddy dissipation rate, EDR), will contribute to aviation safety and may facilitate a deeper understanding of storm dynamics. A number of algorithm updates have been made to accommodate changes to the NEXRAD data acquisition system since the first version of the NTDA was deployed in 2007, to improve the coverage and accuracy of the measurements. Examples of changes include adaptations for super-resolution, phase-coded, and dual-polarimetric data, improved spectrum width to EDR conversion, and better data quality control. A real-time, 3D mosaic has been developed to combine data from NEXRADs across the CONUS and create a snapshot of in-cloud EDR at 5-minute intervals. These turbulence grids are being incorporated into the Graphical Turbulence Guidance Nowcast product, allowing it to identify turbulent areas in clouds that may be largely benign. Moreover, the NTDA allows tracking of the evolution of turbulence within convective systems, revealing that the most severe turbulence is not always correlated with the strongest reflectivity and that the magnitude and distribution of turbulence both vary over the storm's lifecycle. It also permits the development of an upper-level convective turbulence climatology.

This research is in response to requirements and funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the FAA.

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