Airborne radar platforms have played an increasingly important role in advancing our understanding of storms that are either too remote or occur too infrequently for ground-based radars. Recognizing this potential, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Centre de Recherche en Physique de l'Environnment Terrestre et Planetaire have designed and developed ELDORA (Electra Doppler Radar), a tail Doppler radar with the following unique capabilities: 1) increased accuracy and sensitivity by averaging more independent samples in the radar pulse volume, 2) higher spatial resolution in the along-track direction by using a faster rotation rate of the antenna, and 3) a large unambiguous velocity measuring interval by means of a dual pulse repetition frequency. Although the first field deployment of ELDORA occurred in 1993, it was not until VORTEX (Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment) that the system was operating up to its full capabilities. Examples of the radar's ability to detect clear-air phenomena are presented along with high-resolution images near severe local storms and tornadoes.
*Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
+National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.
#School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.