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An Improved Method for Estimating Radar Echo-Top Height

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 3 Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma
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Abstract

It is demonstrated that the traditional method, in widespread use on Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and other radar systems, to compute echo-top heights results in both under- and overestimates. It is proposed that echo tops be computed by interpolating between elevation scans that bracket the echo-top threshold. The traditional and proposed techniques are evaluated using simulated radar samples of a modeled thunderstorm and by sampling a high-resolution range–height indicator (RHI) of a real thunderstorm. It is shown that the proposed method results in smaller errors when higher-elevation scans are available.

Corresponding author address: V. Lakshmanan, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072. E-mail: lakshman@ou.edu

Abstract

It is demonstrated that the traditional method, in widespread use on Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and other radar systems, to compute echo-top heights results in both under- and overestimates. It is proposed that echo tops be computed by interpolating between elevation scans that bracket the echo-top threshold. The traditional and proposed techniques are evaluated using simulated radar samples of a modeled thunderstorm and by sampling a high-resolution range–height indicator (RHI) of a real thunderstorm. It is shown that the proposed method results in smaller errors when higher-elevation scans are available.

Corresponding author address: V. Lakshmanan, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072. E-mail: lakshman@ou.edu
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