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Improved WSR-88D Scanning Strategies for Convective Storms

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  • 1 National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 2 System Technology Associates, Inc., Norman, Oklahoma
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Abstract

The Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) is an important operational and research tool for detecting and monitoring convective storms. Two scanning strategies, or volume coverage patterns, VCP 11 and 21, are used in storm situations. Users find that these original VCPs do not always provide the vertical or temporal resolution that is desired. To help solve these resolution problems, a procedure is proposed for developing optimized and flexible VCPs. A VCP is optimized when the maximum height uncertainty (expressed in percent of true height) is essentially the same at all ranges and for all heights of storm features. A VCP becomes flexible when the volume scan terminates and recycles after it tilts above all radar return or reaches a specified elevation angle. Two sample VCPs, which are optimized and flexible, are presented, and simulated radar data show that they perform better than the current VCPs.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Rodger A. Brown, National Severe Storms Laboratory, 1313 Halley Circle, Norman, OK 73069.

Email: brown@nssl.noaa.gov

Abstract

The Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) is an important operational and research tool for detecting and monitoring convective storms. Two scanning strategies, or volume coverage patterns, VCP 11 and 21, are used in storm situations. Users find that these original VCPs do not always provide the vertical or temporal resolution that is desired. To help solve these resolution problems, a procedure is proposed for developing optimized and flexible VCPs. A VCP is optimized when the maximum height uncertainty (expressed in percent of true height) is essentially the same at all ranges and for all heights of storm features. A VCP becomes flexible when the volume scan terminates and recycles after it tilts above all radar return or reaches a specified elevation angle. Two sample VCPs, which are optimized and flexible, are presented, and simulated radar data show that they perform better than the current VCPs.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Rodger A. Brown, National Severe Storms Laboratory, 1313 Halley Circle, Norman, OK 73069.

Email: brown@nssl.noaa.gov

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