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Carrie Langston
,
Jian Zhang
, and
Kenneth Howard

Abstract

Communities and many industries are affected by severe weather and have a need for real-time accurate Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) data spanning several regions. To fulfill this need the National Severe Storms Laboratory has developed a Four-Dimensional Dynamic Grid (4DDG) to accurately represent discontinuous radar reflectivity data over a continuous 4D domain. The objective is to create a seamless, rapidly updating radar mosaic that is well suited for use by forecasters in addition to advance radar applications such as qualitative precipitation estimates. Several challenges are associated with creating a 3D radar mosaic given the nature of radar data and the spherical coordinates of radar observations. The 4DDG uses spatial and temporal weighting schemes to overcome these challenges, with the intention of applying minimal smoothing to the radar data. Previous multiple radar mosaics functioned in two or three dimensions using a variety of established weighting schemes. The 4DDG has the advantage of temporal weighting to smooth radar observations over time. Using an exponentially decaying weighting scheme, this paper will examine different weather scenarios and show the effects of temporal smoothing using different time scales. Specifically, case examples of the 4DDG approach involving a rapidly evolving convective event and a slowly developing stratiform weather regime are considered.

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Jian Zhang
,
Carrie Langston
, and
Kenneth Howard

Abstract

The occurrence of a bright band, a layer of enhanced reflectivity due to melting of aggregated snow, increases uncertainties in radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE). The height of the brightband layer is an indication of 0°C isotherm and can be useful in identifying areas of potential icing for aviation and in the data assimilation for numerical weather prediction (NWP). Extensive analysis of vertical profiles of reflectivity (VPRs) derived from the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) base level data showed that the brightband signature could be easily identified from the VPRs. As a result, an automated brightband identification (BBID) scheme has been developed. The BBID algorithm can determine from a volume scan mean VPR and a background freezing level height from a numerical weather prediction model whether a bright band exists and the height of the brightband layer. The paper presents a description of the BBID scheme and evaluation results from a large dataset from WSR-88D radars in different geographical regions and seasons.

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Lin Tang
,
Jian Zhang
,
Micheal Simpson
,
Ami Arthur
,
Heather Grams
,
Yadong Wang
, and
Carrie Langston

Abstract

The Multi-Radar-Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system was transitioned into operations at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in the fall of 2014. It provides high-quality and high-resolution severe weather and precipitation products for meteorology, hydrology, and aviation applications. Among processing modules, the radar data quality control (QC) plays a critical role in effectively identifying and removing various nonhydrometeor radar echoes for accurate quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE). Since its initial implementation in 2014, the radar QC has undergone continuous refinements and enhancements to ensure its robust performance across seasons and all regions in the continental United States and southern Canada. These updates include 1) improved melting-layer delineation, 2) clearance of wind farm contamination, 3) mitigation of corrupt data impacts due to hardware issues, 4) mitigation of sun spikes, and 5) mitigation of residual ground/lake/sea clutter due to sidelobe effects and anomalous propagation. This paper provides an overview of the MRMS radar data QC enhancements since 2014.

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