14.4 A Terrestrial Multi-Radar Echo Top Climatology of the Continental United States Derived from MYRORSS: 20002012

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 4:15 PM
Conference Center: Skagit 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Darrel M. Kingfield, OU/CIMMS & NOAA/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK; and K. L. Ortega and T. C. Meyer

Thunderstorm echo top identification has a wide range of applications from the diagnosis of severe hazard potential on the ground to aviation routing and safety procedures aloft. From a single radar perspective, the echo top height identification accuracy is dependent on the radar scanning strategy, location, and distance to the thunderstorm, yielding a variable detection efficiency in space and time. As a result, many past echo top climatologies have been derived from spaceborne satellite platforms which do not provide ubiquitous spatial and temporal coverage over the United States.

As part of the Multi-Year Reanalysis of Remotely Sensed Storms (MYRORSS) initiative, all available Weather Service Radar 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) reflectivity information from every radar site in the continental United States (CONUS) were quality controlled and provided distance-weighted contributions into a three-dimensional reflectivity cube at 1km spatial resolution, 0.25-1km vertical resolution up to 20km above mean sea level, every 5 minutes over a 12 year period (2000-2011). This blending of data from multiple radar sites mitigates many of the spatial limitations plaguing vertically derived analyses from individual radars and subsequently provides a temporally stable product that is more representative of the thunderstorm lifecycle.

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