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Frank Roux and Frank D. Marks Jr.

Abstract

The authors present an improved version of the velocity track display (VTD) method, proposed by Lee et al., to deduce the primary vortex circulation in hurricanes from airborne Doppler radar data obtained during straightline legs through the storm center. VTD allows the derivation of one projection of the mean horizontal wind, the wavenumber 0, 1, and 2 components of the tangential wind and one projection of the radial wind, in a series of concentric rings centered on the storm circulation center. The extended VTD (EVTD) algorithm determines additional information through a combination of data collected during successive legs: the Cartesian components of the mean horizontal wind; the wavenumber 0, 1, and 2 components of the tangential wind; and the wavenumber 0 and 1 components of the radial wind.

Application of EVTD to airborne Doppler data collected on 17 September 1989 in Hurricane Hugo is discussed. Comparisons between the EVTD-derived winds, the flight-level measurements, and winds deduced from “pseudo-dual-Doppler” analyses show qualitatively good agreement. These results reveal the asymmetric structure of the storm and show that it was in a deepening stage, with increasing tangential wind, inflow, and upward velocity. Further applications are finally discussed.

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John F. Gamache, Frank D. Marks Jr., and Frank Roux

Abstract

Three different airborne Doppler radar sampling strategies were tested in Hurricane Gustav (1990) on 29 August 1990. The two new strategies were the fore-aft scanning technique (FAST) and airborne dual-platform Doppler sampling. FAST employs radar mans in cones pointing alternately fore and aft of the vertical plane that is perpendicular to the flight track. The airborne dual-platform sampling uses two Doppler radars, each aboard a separate aircraft. The Doppler radars scan strictly in the vertical plant normal to the flight track. The aircraft fly simultaneously along different, preferably perpendicular, tracks. The third strategy tested in Hurricane Gustav was single-platform sampling, which uses one Doppler radar on one aircraft that flies two consecutive, usually orthogonal, flight tracks. The antenna scans in the plane normal to the flight track. The third technique had been used previously in hurricanes and other disturbed weather.

The rms differences between the aircraft in situ winds and the Doppler winds derived near the aircraft by single-platform sampling, dual-platform sampling, and FAST are found to be 7.8, 5.1, and 2.5 m s−1, respectively. These results suggest that in hurricanes dual-platform flat-plane sampling and FAST both enable substantial improvements in the accuracy and temporal resolution of airborne Doppler wind fields over those obtained from single-platform, fiat-plane scanning. The FAST results should be applicable to dual-beam sampling, which began in 1991. The actual rms errors of Doppler winds far from the flight tracks, at levels well above flight level, and in highly sheared environments may be significantly higher than the above differences.

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Frank Roux, Fabrice Chane-Ming, Antoine Lasserre-Bigorry, and Olivier Nuissier

Abstract

Doppler radar observations of Tropical Cyclone Dina, as its eye passed at less than 100 km from the northern coast of La Réunion Island (21°S, 55.5°E) on 22 January 2002, are analyzed using the Ground-Based Extended Velocity Track Display (GB-EVTD) technique. This method is an extension of GB-VTD and it allows one to determine the full set of wavenumber-0 and -1 components of the tangential and radial winds in a tropical cyclone from a series of observations with a ground-based Doppler radar.

The results obtained for Dina reveal the presence of strong swirling winds (>65 m s−1) at 40–60-km radii from the storm center and below 3-km altitude. The observed changes in the location and intensity of the maximum winds, as well as the veering propagation of Dina, are shown to result probably from interaction between cyclonic winds and high topography of the island.

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Huaqing Cai, Wen-Chau Lee, Michael M. Bell, Cory A. Wolff, Xiaowen Tang, and Frank Roux

Abstract

Uncertainties in aircraft inertial navigation system and radar-pointing angles can have a large impact on the accuracy of airborne dual-Doppler analyses. The Testud et al. (THL) method has been routinely applied to data collected by airborne tail Doppler radars over flat and nonmoving terrain. The navigation correction method proposed in Georgis et al. (GRH) extended the THL method over complex terrain and moving ocean surfaces by using a variational formulation but its capability over ocean has yet to be tested. Recognizing the limitations of the THL method, Bosart et al. (BLW) proposed to derive ground speed, tilt, and drift errors by statistically comparing aircraft in situ wind with dual-Doppler wind at the flight level. When combined with the THL method, the BLW method can retrieve all navigation errors accurately; however, it can be applied only to flat surfaces, and it is rather difficult to automate. This paper presents a generalized navigation correction method (GNCM) based on the GRH method that will serve as a single algorithm for airborne tail Doppler radar navigation correction for all possible surface conditions. The GNCM includes all possible corrections in the cost function and implements a new closure assumption by taking advantage of an accurate aircraft ground speed derived from GPS technology. The GNCM is tested extensively using synthetic airborne Doppler radar data with known navigation errors and published datasets from previous field campaigns. Both tests show the GNCM is able to correct the navigation errors associated with airborne tail Doppler radar data with adequate accuracy.

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