Automatic Digital Radar Reflectivity Analysis of a Tornadic Storm

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  • 1 Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories
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Abstract

The advantages of a new radar digital processing device (called STRADAP) are demonstrated by a case study of the tornado storm which struck Charlton, Mass., on 12 October 1962. STRADAP furnishes patterns of echo height and maximum radar reflectivity in digital form, with a linear resolution of 5 sq n mi and with only a small time delay.

During the development of the Charlton storm, before. the appearance of the tornado, the STRADAP print-outs showed a substantial increase both in echo reflectivity and in the area of the storm echo exceeding 40,000 ft. Other severe weather phenomena, such as strong winds, heavy rain and lightning were also correlated fairly closely with the STRADAP patterns.

This study demonstrates the capability of STRADAP to depict, virtually in real time, the temporal and spatial development of storms, thereby indicating its potential as a valuable observing and short range forecasting tool. In addition, the digital patterns may he transmitted within 15 sec, permitting an integrated display of storm activity for the whole of the United States to be updated every 30 min.

Abstract

The advantages of a new radar digital processing device (called STRADAP) are demonstrated by a case study of the tornado storm which struck Charlton, Mass., on 12 October 1962. STRADAP furnishes patterns of echo height and maximum radar reflectivity in digital form, with a linear resolution of 5 sq n mi and with only a small time delay.

During the development of the Charlton storm, before. the appearance of the tornado, the STRADAP print-outs showed a substantial increase both in echo reflectivity and in the area of the storm echo exceeding 40,000 ft. Other severe weather phenomena, such as strong winds, heavy rain and lightning were also correlated fairly closely with the STRADAP patterns.

This study demonstrates the capability of STRADAP to depict, virtually in real time, the temporal and spatial development of storms, thereby indicating its potential as a valuable observing and short range forecasting tool. In addition, the digital patterns may he transmitted within 15 sec, permitting an integrated display of storm activity for the whole of the United States to be updated every 30 min.

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