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John M. Krause

Abstract

Discriminating between meteorological and nonmeteorological radar returns is necessary for a number of radar applications, including hydrometeor classification, quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE), and the computation of specific differential phase K DP. The algorithm proposed, MetSignal, uses polarimetric radar data and is simple by design, allowing users to adjust its performance based on the location’s specific needs. The MetSignal algorithm is a fuzzy logic technique with a few postprocessing rules and has been selected for implementation on the WSR-88D network in the United States.

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Kiel L. Ortega, John M. Krause, and Alexander V. Ryzhkov

Abstract

This study is the third part of a paper series investigating the polarimetric radar properties of melting hail and application of those properties for operational polarimetric hail detection and determination of its size. The results of theoretical simulations in Part I were used to develop a hail size discrimination algorithm (HSDA) described in Part II. The HSDA uses radar reflectivity Z, differential reflectivity Z DR, and cross-correlation coefficient ρhv along with melting-level height within a fuzzy-logic scheme to distinguish among three hail size classes: small hail (with diameter D < 2.5 cm), large hail (2.5 < D < 5.0 cm), and giant hail (D > 5.0 cm). The HSDA validation is performed using radar data collected by numerous WSR-88D sites and more than 3000 surface hail reports obtained from the Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment (SHAVE). The original HSDA version was modified in the process of validation, and the modified algorithm demonstrates probability of detection of 0.594, false-alarm ratio of 0.136, and resulting critical success index (CSI) equal to 0.543. The HSDA outperformed the current operational single-polarization hail detection algorithm, which only provides a single hail size estimate per storm and is characterized by CSI equal to 0.324. It is shown that HSDA is particularly sensitive to the quality of Z DR measurements, which might be affected by possible radar miscalibration and anomalously high differential attenuation.

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Scott E. Giangrande, John M. Krause, and Alexander V. Ryzhkov

Abstract

A new polarimetric melting layer detection algorithm (MLDA) is utilized to estimate the top (melting level) and bottom boundaries of the melting layer and is tailored for operational deployment. Melting layer designations from a polarimetric prototype of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) in central Oklahoma are validated using radiosonde and model temperature analysis. It is demonstrated that the MLDA estimates the top of the melting layer with a root-mean-square error of about 200 m within 60 km of the radar. There is evidence that the polarimetric radar might yield better spatial and temporal designation of the melting layer within the storm than that obtained from existing numerical model output and soundings.

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Kevin A. Scharfenberg, Daniel J. Miller, Terry J. Schuur, Paul T. Schlatter, Scott E. Giangrande, Valery M. Melnikov, Donald W. Burgess, David L. Andra Jr., Michael P. Foster, and John M. Krause

Abstract

To test the utility and added value of polarimetric radar products in an operational environment, data from the Norman, Oklahoma (KOUN), polarimetric Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) were delivered to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Norman as part of the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE). KOUN polarimetric base data and algorithms were used at the WFO during the decision-making and forecasting processes for severe convection, flash floods, and winter storms. The delivery included conventional WSR-88D radar products, base polarimetric radar variables, a polarimetric hydrometeor classification algorithm, and experimental polarimetric quantitative precipitation estimation algorithms. The JPOLE data collection, delivery, and operational demonstration are described, with examples of several forecast and warning decision-making successes. Polarimetric data aided WFO forecasters during several periods of heavy rain, numerous large-hail-producing thunderstorms, tornadic and nontornadic supercell thunderstorms, and a major winter storm. Upcoming opportunities and challenges associated with the emergence of polarimetric radar data in the operational community are also described.

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