85th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 13 January 2005: 1:30 PM
The Time-Integrated Random Access NEXRAD Database (TIRAND): description and opportunity
John N. McHenry, Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems, Raleigh, NC; and W. T. Smith
The United States Department of Commerce announced on April 13, 2004 that the National Weather Service would begin distributing NEXRAD Level II data through a state-of-the-art Education and Research Consortium (ERC) MetaPop located in their mission-critical facility in Asheville, North Carolina.

The new ERC capability will retransmit the Level II data to the private sector as well as education and research institutions, bringing dramatic improvement to the process of utilizing the nation's weather radar data. The ERC will also provide back-up data service to the National Weather Service and select research universities.

Through a partnership between Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems (BAMS) and the ERC, these services will include both real-time and archived data made available through cooperation with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina.

The framework for providing these data is called the Time-Integrated Random-Access NEXRAD database (TIRAND). The TIRAND system is designed to acquire and index the real-time NEXRAD data feed as well as retrieve approximiately 10 years of historical radar data (approximately 8-10 terabytes) from the NCDC archive, making it available via an online, storage-area network capability. In TIRAND, radar data is sent from approximately 150 radar sites to NCDC where the TIRAND first acquires the data. TIRAND is architected as a loosely-coupled distributed system where the Data Acquisition system connects to the real-time feed (and/or historical data) and generates an XML database as well as storing the data. The Ingest System API accepts requests from remote clients for services. The Admin service provides the system administrator data useful for performance optimization of the database. The NEXRAD products service provides end-users with NEXRAD products based initially on five search criteria., and the Product Generation Framework provides for integration of proprietary applications which process these products into commercial value-add products.

This system will be provide a much more robust approach to analysis and quantification of precipitation events over a broad range of space and time-scales, allowing for forensic, current, and predictive improvements. This type of technology will aid in the deployment of advanced decision-support systems supporting operational technologies in a wide-variety of hydrologically-sensitive economic sectors. A description of TIRAND--and examples of some of the opportunities it provides--will be the centerpiece of the talk.

Supplementary URL: