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L. Borowska
,
A. Ryzhkov
,
D. Zrnić
,
C. Simmer
, and
R. Palmer

Abstract

Presented are quantitative estimates of specific attenuation and specific differential attenuation of 5-cm-wavelength radiation (C band) obtained by comparison with measurements at 10-cm wavelength (S band), which are much less affected by attenuation. The data originated from two almost-collocated radars in central Oklahoma. To avoid biases in estimates, the slopes with respect to range of differences in reflectivities and differential reflectivities are assumed to represent the specific attenuations. Observations on a day with no reports of hail on the ground and on a day with large hail are contrasted. A simple one-dimensional model of melting hail is used to qualify these observations. Examples of volumetric fields of the polarimetric variables obtained at the two wavelengths are presented to illustrate that much can be learned about size, orientation, and phase of hydrometeors over volumes that play a role in precipitation formation.

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B. L. Cheong
,
R. D. Palmer
, and
M. Xue

Abstract

A three-dimensional radar simulator capable of generating simulated raw time series data for a weather radar has been designed and implemented. The characteristics of the radar signals (amplitude, phase) are derived from the atmospheric fields from a high-resolution numerical weather model, although actual measured fields could be used. A field of thousands of scatterers is populated within the field of view of the virtual radar. Reflectivity characteristics of the targets are determined from well-known parameterization schemes. Doppler characteristics are derived by forcing the discrete scatterers to move with the three-dimensional wind field. Conventional moment-generating radar simulators use atmospheric conditions and a set of weighting functions to produce theoretical moment maps, which allow for the study of radar characteristics and limitations given particular configurations. In contrast to these radar simulators, the algorithm presented here is capable of producing sample-to-sample time series data that are collected by a radar system of virtually any design. Thus, this new radar simulator allows for the test and analysis of advanced topics, such as phased array antennas, clutter mitigation schemes, waveform design studies, and spectral-based methods. Limited examples exemplifying the usefulness and flexibility of the simulator will be provided.

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Brian R. Corner
,
Robert D. Palmer
, and
Miguel F. Larsen

Abstract

A new, inexpensive radiosonde transmitter and receiver system has been developed for measuring wind field inhomogeneities in the planetary boundary layer using multiple simultaneously launched balloons. The radiosondes use a narrowband-frequency-modulated carrier signal to transmit atmospheric pressure and temperature information to a surface receiver. The pressure and temperature data transmitted by the radiosondes allow their height above the surface to be ascertained. In addition, the radiosondes can be tracked with a photographic camera system to provide the azimuth and elevation angles of the radiosondes during their ascent, so that their three-dimensional horizontal position can be determined. By tracking the spatial separation of the radiosondes over time, horizontal gradients can be derived. The system hardware and results from preliminary tests are described.

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D. L. Hartmann
,
R. Buizza
, and
T. N. Palmer

Abstract

The scale dependence of rapidly growing perturbations is investigated by studying the dominant singular vectors of T21 and T42 versions of the ECMWF model, which show the most linear energy growth in a 3-day period. A spectral filter is applied to the optimization process to determine which spatial scales are most effective in promoting energy growth. When the initial perturbation is confined to the top half of the total spherical harmonic wavenumber spectrum (high wavenumber end), the growth rates and final structures of the disturbances are changed very little from the case in which all wavenumbers are included. These results indicate that synoptic waves that become fully developed in a period of three days can arise from initial perturbations that are entirely contained at subsynoptic scales. Rapid growth is associated with initial perturbations that consist of smaller spatial scales concentrated near the effective steering level. The linear evolution of these initial perturbations in a highly complex basic flow leads to disturbances of synoptic scale that extend through most of the depth of the troposphere. Growth rates are approximately doubled when the model resolution is increased from T21 to T42, which is consistent with greater growth being associated with smaller spatial scales. When the initial perturbation is confined to the lower half of the total wavenumber spectrum, which describes the larger horizontal scales, the growth rates are significantly reduced and the initial and final structures are very different from the case in which all wavenumbers are included. These low wavenumber perturbations tend to be more barotropic in structure and in growth characteristics. As expected from their linear growth rates, when the low-wavenumber perturbations are inserted in the T63 forecast model, they grow more slowly and result in less forecast dispersion than the high wavenumber perturbations.

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D. L. Hartmann
,
T. N. Palmer
, and
R. Buizza

Abstract

The linear structures that produce the most in situ energy growth in the lower stratosphere for realistic wintertime flows are investigated using T21 and T42 calculations with the ECMWF 19-level forecast model. Significant growth is found for relatively large scale structures that grow by propagating from the outer edges of the vortex into the strong jet features of the lower-stratospheric flow. The growth is greater when the polar vortex is more asymmetric and contains localized jet structures. If the linear structures are properly phased, they can induce strong nonlinear interactions with the polar vortex, both for Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere flow conditions, even when the initial amplitudes are small. Large extensions from the main polar vortex that are peeled off during wave-breaking events give rise to a separate class of rapidly growing disturbances that may hasten the mixing of these vortex extensions.

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D. Bodine
,
P. L. Heinselman
,
B. L. Cheong
,
R. D. Palmer
, and
D. Michaud

Abstract

A case study illustrating the impact of moisture variability on convection initiation in a synoptically active environment without strong moisture gradients is presented. The preconvective environment on 30 April 2007 nearly satisfied the three conditions for convection initiation: moisture, instability, and a low-level lifting mechanism. However, a sounding analysis showed that a low-level inversion layer and high LFC would prevent convection initiation because the convective updraft velocities required to overcome the convective inhibition (CIN) were much higher than updraft velocities typically observed in convergence zones. Radar refractivity retrievals from the Twin Lakes, Oklahoma (KTLX), Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) showed a moisture pool contributing up to a 2°C increase in dewpoint temperature where the initial storm-scale convergence was observed. The analysis of the storm-relative wind field revealed that the developing storm ingested the higher moisture associated with the moisture pool. Sounding analyses showed that the moisture pool reduced or nearly eliminated CIN, lowered the LFC by about 500 m, and increased CAPE by 2.5 times. Thus, these small-scale moisture changes increased the likelihood of convection initiation within the moisture pool by creating a more favorable thermodynamic environment. The results suggest that refractivity data could improve convection initiation forecasts by assessing moisture variability at finer scales than the current observation network.

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P. L. Heinselman
,
B. L. Cheong
,
R. D. Palmer
,
D. Bodine
, and
K. Hondl

Abstract

The 2007 and 2008 spring refractivity experiments at KTLX investigated the potential utility of high-resolution, near-surface refractivity measurements to operational forecasting. During these experiments, forecasters at the Norman, Oklahoma, National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWSFO) assessed refractivity and scan-to-scan refractivity change fields retrieved from the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler weather radar near Oklahoma City—Twin Lakes, Oklahoma (KTLX). Both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods were used to analyze the 41 responses from seven forecasters to a questionnaire designed to measure the impact of refractivity fields on forecast operations. The analysis revealed that forecasts benefited from the refractivity fields on 25% of the days included in the evaluation. In each of these cases, the refractivity fields provided complementary information that somewhat enhanced the forecasters’ capability to analyze the near-surface environment and boosted their confidence in moisture trends. A case in point was the ability to track a retreating dryline after its location was obscured by a weak reflectivity bloom caused by biological scatterers. Forecasters unanimously agreed, however, that the impact of this complementary information on their forecasts was too insignificant to justify its addition as an operational dataset. The applicability of these findings to other NWSFOs may be limited to locations with similar weather situations and access to surface data networks like the Oklahoma Mesonet.

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B. M. Isom
,
R. D. Palmer
,
G. S. Secrest
,
R. D. Rhoton
,
D. Saxion
,
T. L. Allmon
,
J. Reed
,
T. Crum
, and
R. Vogt

Abstract

The wind power industry has seen tremendous growth over the past decade and with it has come the need for clutter mitigation techniques for nearby radar systems. Wind turbines can impart upon these radars a unique type of interference that is not removed with conventional clutter-filtering methods. Time series data from Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) stations near wind farms were collected and spectral analysis was used to investigate the detailed characteristics of wind turbine clutter. Techniques to mask wind turbine clutter were developed that utilize multiquadric interpolation in two and three dimensions and can be applied to both the spectral moments and spectral components. In an effort to improve performance, a nowcasting algorithm was incorporated into the interpolation scheme via a least mean squares criterion. The masking techniques described in this paper will be shown to reduce the impact of wind turbine clutter on weather radar systems at the expense of spatial resolution.

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R. D. Palmer
,
M. F. Larsen
,
C. J. Heinselman
, and
I. S. Mikkelsen

Abstract

First results from the implementation of frequency domain interferometry (FDI) using an L-band frequency of 1290 MHz are presented. To our knowledge, FDI has not previously been applied to such high-frequency measurements. The experiment was conducted in September 1991 using the radar facility located in Søndre Strømfjord, Greenland. The Søndre Strømfjord radar is typically used for incoherent scatter measurements in the ionosphere, but these are some of the first lower-atmospheric results, namely, 8.6–13.4 km, since the new data-taking system was implemented. At the time of the experiment, the steerability of the 32-m dish antenna was hampered because of a faulty elevation-scanning bearing. Therefore, the measurements were taken from an approximately vertical direction for the duration of the experiment. The spectra and the correlation functions obtained from the FDI data are compared to previous results at other frequencies. The data show the Søndre Strømfjord radar is providing reliable wind measurements in the lower atmosphere and that FDI can be implemented at L band.

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Jing Xu
,
M. W. Hoffman
,
B. L. Cheong
, and
R. D. Palmer

Abstract

A computationally simple cross-correlation model for multiple backscattering from a continuous wave (CW) noise radar is developed and verified with theoretical analysis and brute-force time-domain simulations. Based on this cross-correlation model, a modification of an existing numerical method originally developed by Holdsworth and Reid for spaced antenna (SA) pulsed radar is used to simulate the estimated cross correlation corresponding to atmospheric backscattering using a coherent CW noise radar. Subsequently, coherent radar imaging (CRI) processing comparisons between the CW noise radar and a conventional pulsed radar are presented that verify the potential of CW noise radar for atmospheric imaging.

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