High-resolution radar data and products over the Continental United States

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Wednesday, 1 February 2006: 10:30 AM
High-resolution radar data and products over the Continental United States
A411 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Valliappa Lakshmanan, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and T. M. Smith, K. Cooper, J. J. Levit, G. J. Stumpf, and D. R. Bright

Presentation PDF (382.0 kB)

The Warning Decision Support System -- Integrated Information (WDSS-II) is capable of ingesting WSR-88D data in real-time from all of the available Continental United States (CONUS) radars and combining the information with data from the RUC2 model, lightning detection network, and GOES satellite imagery to create severe weather diagnostic products. These products include parameters such as the probability of severe hail (POSH), reflectivity composite, echo tops, vertical integrated liquid (VIL), storm cell tracking, rotation tracks and short-term forecast fields. Since these products are computed from data from multiple radars and other sensors, they are of better quality than their single-radar counterparts. Also, these products are available as latitude-longitude grids covering large spatial areas. Consequently, they are also much easier for researchers and end-users to work with.

In this paper, we describe two possible architectures -- networking, hardware and software -- to suit different decision-support needs: (1) a single-machine architecture where end users change, in real-time, their domain of interest and start receiving data and products corresponding to that domain in a matter of minutes (2) a networked architecture, where the WDSS-II system operates on data from the entire CONUS. The first architecture was tested at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) during spring and fall 2004 and the second architecture will be tested at the SPC in fall 2005. With a fixed domain, the first architecture was used to supply grids to the AWIPS of selected National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (NWS WFOs) starting spring 2005.

In the CONUS-wide real-time system that we describe here, the radar products are rapidly updated every 2 minutes from elevation scans as they arrive from any radar in the country. The resulting products are at a resolution of approximately 1km x 1km x 1km. These products can be disseminated as GeoTiff, NetCDF and/or Grib2 files for easy incorporation into other decision-support and visualization systems.