As the NWS gains experience with the dual polarization WSR-88D, it is apparent that much more operational benefit can be realized by transitioning enhanced signal processing techniques and radar meteorological science into operations. Research and development is progressing to improve the bias, variance, and coverage area of the base data estimates; the performance of ground clutter filtering; and with radar meteorological algorithms to identify hail severity, tornado debris, convective updrafts, winter precipitation types, and to improve the estimation of rainfall accumulation.
In addition to WSR-88D efforts, the NWS integrated weather data from several FAA radar systems for NWS operational use. Data from all 45 Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) units are used to generate WSR-88D type products to provide supplemental low-altitude coverage and tornado detection, as well as to enhance WSR-88D back-up operations.
This paper updates the status of radar product improvement projects, describes recent science and technology enhancements to the WSR-88D, and explores the expanding opportunities for development and implementation of new radar science and techniques intended to use WSR-88D and FAA weather radar data.