Doppler Weather Radar Research and Development
NSSL Project 8 – Investigation into the use of Phased Array Radar Technology for Improving Hazardous Weather Detection and Warnings:
Spring 2007 National Weather Radar Testbed Demonstration
Funding Type: CIMMS Task II
Assess the benefits and challenges of rapid update volumetric PAR moments (reflectivity, velocity, and spectrum width) to data interpretation and warning decision-making; emulate adaptable scanning; attain data sets for several research projects; and obtain high temporal and spatial resolution severe storm verification to support PAR application development and data analysis.
Here we focus on only one of the five experiments comprising the Spring 2007 NWRT PAR Demonstration, entitled “Real-time Evaluation of the PAR”. During this experiment, users of radar data (e.g., NWS forecasters, NWS trainers, and researchers) were introduced to PAR data (reflectivity, velocity, and spectrum width fields) for the first time. The experiment was conducted 15 April through 15 June 2007 and was concerned primarily with data collection within 150 km of the PAR prior to and during severe weather episodes. Two overarching goals of this specific experiment are to test the adaptable scanning capability of the PAR and to collect feedback from NWS forecasters on benefits and challenges of integrating PAR data into operations. Participants responded to a survey designed to address these goals. Preliminary results about benefits and challenges of interpreting PAR data in real-time have been compiled.
Compared to the lower-temporal resolution WSR-88D data (4.1 min vs. 1 min or less), respondents noted the following benefits of higher-temporal resolution PAR data:
- “Rapid changes in core depth/intensity easy to monitor”
- “[Ability to track] rapid evolution of updraft/BWER”
- “30 sec data great for [tracking] contracting/tightening couplets”
- “Features in velocity have temporal continuity in rapid scans, not as dramatic in 4-5 min 88D scans!”
Respondents also voiced some challenges, including difficulty in keeping abreast of multiple storms with one-minute volumetric updates and deciding where to point the antenna. Looking toward the future, forecasters noted that communication of information to emergency managers, media, and the public should be consistent with the temporal resolution of the data.