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Evaluation of the Hurricane Research Division Doppler Radar Analysis Software Using Synthetic Data

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, and Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, Miami, Florida
  • | 2 Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, Miami, Florida
  • | 3 Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, and Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

The Hurricane Research Division Doppler radar analysis software provides three-dimensional analyses of the three wind components in tropical cyclones. Although this software has been used for over a decade, there has never been a complete and in-depth evaluation of the resulting analyses. The goal here is to provide an evaluation that will permit the best use of the analyses, but also to improve the software. To evaluate the software, analyses are produced from simulated radar data acquired from an output of a Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model nature run and are compared against the model “truth” wind fields. Comparisons of the three components of the wind show that the software provides analyses of good quality. The tangential wind is best retrieved, exhibiting an overall small mean error of 0.5 m s−1 at most levels and a root-mean-square error less than 2 m s−1. The retrieval of the radial wind is also quite accurate, exhibiting comparable errors, although the accuracy of the tangential wind is generally better. Some degradation of the retrieval quality is observed at higher altitude, mainly due to sparser distribution of data in the model. The vertical component of the wind appears to be the most challenging to retrieve, but the software still provides acceptable results. The tropical cyclone mean azimuthal structure and wavenumber structure are found to be very well captured. Sources of errors inherent to airborne Doppler measurements and the effects of some of the simplifications used in the simulation methodology are also discussed.

Corresponding author address: Sylvie Lorsolo, Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, 4301 Rickenbacker Cswy., Miami, FL 33149-1097. E-mail: sylvie.lorsolo@noaa.gov

Abstract

The Hurricane Research Division Doppler radar analysis software provides three-dimensional analyses of the three wind components in tropical cyclones. Although this software has been used for over a decade, there has never been a complete and in-depth evaluation of the resulting analyses. The goal here is to provide an evaluation that will permit the best use of the analyses, but also to improve the software. To evaluate the software, analyses are produced from simulated radar data acquired from an output of a Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model nature run and are compared against the model “truth” wind fields. Comparisons of the three components of the wind show that the software provides analyses of good quality. The tangential wind is best retrieved, exhibiting an overall small mean error of 0.5 m s−1 at most levels and a root-mean-square error less than 2 m s−1. The retrieval of the radial wind is also quite accurate, exhibiting comparable errors, although the accuracy of the tangential wind is generally better. Some degradation of the retrieval quality is observed at higher altitude, mainly due to sparser distribution of data in the model. The vertical component of the wind appears to be the most challenging to retrieve, but the software still provides acceptable results. The tropical cyclone mean azimuthal structure and wavenumber structure are found to be very well captured. Sources of errors inherent to airborne Doppler measurements and the effects of some of the simplifications used in the simulation methodology are also discussed.

Corresponding author address: Sylvie Lorsolo, Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, 4301 Rickenbacker Cswy., Miami, FL 33149-1097. E-mail: sylvie.lorsolo@noaa.gov
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