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Jorge L. Salazar-Cerreño, V. Chandrasekar, Jorge M. Trabal, Paul Siquera, Rafael Medina, Eric Knapp, and David J. McLaughlin

Abstract

A novel analytical method is presented for evaluating the electrical performance of a radome for a dual-polarized phased-array antenna under rain conditions. Attenuation, reflections, and induced cross polarization are evaluated for different rainfall conditions and radome types. The authors present a model for estimating the drop size distribution on a radome surface based on skin surface material, area, inclination, and rainfall rate. Then, a multilayer radome model based on the transmission-line-equivalent circuit model is used to characterize the radome’s scattering parameters. Numerical results are compared with radar data obtained in the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) systems, and good agreement is found.

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Alessio Mancini, Jorge L. Salazar, Rodrigo M. Lebrón, and Boon Leng Cheong

Abstract

This paper presents a unique instrument for characterizing the impact of wet radomes in radar systems. The proposed technique enables full radio frequency (RF) characterization of the radome, by evaluating its performance under a variety of conditions, including dirtiness, wetness, ice formation, and varying temperature, and providing a potential solution for future wet radome calibration methods. The reflections generated from the wet radome surface, measured from a high-resolution probe, are combined with an estimation of water absorption as a function of the precipitation rain rate, to calculate the attenuation introduced by the wet radome. This instrument is a cost-effective solution that can be integrated into an existing or new radar system.

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Nazario D. Ramirez-Beltran, Jorge E. Gonzalez, Joan M. Castro, Moises Angeles, Eric W. Harmsen, and Cesar M. Salazar

Abstract

Hourly data collected from ground stations were used to study the maximum daytime heat index H i in the Mesoamerica and Caribbean Sea (MAC) region for a 35-yr period (1980–2014). Observations of H i revealed larger values during the rainy season and smaller values during the dry season. The H i climatology exhibits the largest values in Mesoamerica, followed by the Greater Antilles and then by the Lesser Antilles. The trend in H i indicates a notable increasing pattern of 0.05°C yr−1 (0.10°F yr−1), and the trends are more prominent in Mesoamerica than in Caribbean countries. This work also includes the analysis of heat index extreme events (HIEE). Usually the extreme values of the heat index are used for advising heat warning events, and it was found that 45 HIEEs occurred during the studied period. The average duration of HIEE was 2.4 days, and the average relative intensity (excess over the threshold) was 2.4°C (4.3°F). It was found that 82% of HIEE lasted 2 or 2.5 days and 80% exhibited relative intensity of 3°C (5.4°F) or less. It was also found that the frequency of extreme events has intensified since 1991, with the highest incidences occurring in 1995, 1998, 2005 and 2010, and these years coincide with the cool phase of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Therefore, the occurrences of HIEE in the MAC region appear to be at least partially influenced by ENSO episodes.

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Mark Weber, Kurt Hondl, Nusrat Yussouf, Youngsun Jung, Derek Stratman, Bryan Putnam, Xuguang Wang, Terry Schuur, Charles Kuster, Yixin Wen, Juanzhen Sun, Jeff Keeler, Zhuming Ying, John Cho, James Kurdzo, Sebastian Torres, Chris Curtis, David Schvartzman, Jami Boettcher, Feng Nai, Henry Thomas, Dusan Zrnić, Igor Ivić, Djordje Mirković, Caleb Fulton, Jorge Salazar, Guifu Zhang, Robert Palmer, Mark Yeary, Kevin Cooley, Michael Istok, and Mark Vincent

Abstract

This article summarizes research and risk reduction that will inform acquisition decisions regarding NOAA’s future national operational weather radar network. A key alternative being evaluated is polarimetric phased-array radar (PAR). Research indicates PAR can plausibly achieve fast, adaptive volumetric scanning, with associated benefits for severe-weather warning performance. We assess these benefits using storm observations and analyses, observing system simulation experiments, and real radar-data assimilation studies. Changes in the number and/or locations of radars in the future network could improve coverage at low altitude. Analysis of benefits that might be so realized indicates the possibility for additional improvement in severe-weather and flash-flood warning performance, with associated reduction in casualties. Simulations are used to evaluate techniques for rapid volumetric scanning and assess data quality characteristics of PAR. Finally, we describe progress in developing methods to compensate for polarimetric variable estimate biases introduced by electronic beam-steering. A research-to-operations (R2O) strategy for the PAR alternative for the WSR-88D replacement network is presented.

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