Monday, 10 January 2005
Identifying the cause of WSR-88D ghost echoes
False radar echoes were being displayed on WSR-88D products from the Lubbock, TX Weather Forecast Office (WFO) during a severe weather outbreak. Technicians, engineers, and meteorologists at the Radar Operations Center (ROC) conducted an investigation to find the cause. Troubleshooting false echoes, later referred to as “ghost echoes,” proved to be an elusive exercise. Many theories and tests led to a seemingly illogical reason for ghost echoes. We had revealed a latent problem in all WSR-88Ds.
We explain steps we took to find the cause of ghost echoes. We discuss weather and radar operating conditions that produce ghost echoes and offer field operators a way to avoid the problem on their systems.