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Robert J. Serafin and Thomas B. Sanford

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H. Thomas Rossby and Robert J. Serafin

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H. Thomas Rossby and Robert J. Serafin

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Thomas B. Sanford and Robert J. Serafin

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Robert J. Serafin and James W. Wilson

The NEXRAD operational system consisting of a network of WSR-88D radars is now operational within the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam. This technology has been enthusiastically received by weather forecasters in all regions and climatic regimes of the country. Improvements in short-term weather forecasting and nowcasting have resulted, but the potential for further improvement is also great. Many of the advantages of the system are associated with its quantitative and precise digital data, but problems related to accuracy of precipitation estimation, contamination of Doppler radar products by ground clutter, and the range folding of velocity data all deserve attention. These problems and others are being addressed by the Operational Support Facility of the triagencies: the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense. Further improvements to the system, in both hardware and software, will greatly enhance its capabilities for the future. These improvements are likely to include new open-system signal and data processing architectures that will greatly expand the ability of the system to produce a wide range of better and more sophisticated weather products. In addition, new capabilities such as polarization diversity may also be added. At the same time, it is appropriate to look forward into the future and, within a decade, to begin planning for the successor to NEXRAD.

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TRANSITION OF WEATHER RESEARCH TO OPERATIONS

Opportunities and Challenges

Robert J. Serafin, Alexander E. MacDonald, and Robert L. Gall

The National Weather Service (NWS) of the United States has recently completed its modernization phase. This comprehensive modernization has put into place new observing systems, both ground-based and in space. The modernization has also involved the consolidation of field forecast offices, the relocation of field offices, and changes in the staffing profiles of field offices. Finally, next generation supercomputing facilities, communications, and interactive systems have been installed. Taken together, these substantial investments have resulted in a new and flexible infrastructure that is producing significant improvements in NWS weather forecasts and warnings. Benefits can also be found in the value-added services provided by the private sector. Anticipated advances scientifically and technologically will provide abundant opportunities for further major improvements to weather services of the future. Accuracy and specificity will improve on all relevant time and space scales, and the world of information technology will ensure that weather forecasts are provided to all who need them expeditiously and reliably. The challenge to the NWS, and to all who provide weather services, is to ensure that the results of research are effectively, regularly, and cost-effectively transferred into the operational system. For this to happen, the research agenda must be properly structured and the community of researchers, forecasters, and users must work interactively and cooperatively.

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Robert J. Serafin, Richard A. Anthes, and Marie E. Boyko
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Richard E. Passarelli Jr., Robert J. Serafin, and Richard G. Strauch

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Peter S. Ray, Conrad L. Ziegler, William Bumgarner, and Robert J. Serafin

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The use of one, two, three or more Doppler radars has become increasingly common in research programs. The advantage in increasing the number of radars is in the increased area covered and the accuracy with which wind estimates may be obtained. Although multiple-radar systems can yield special quantitative insight, a great deal of information can still be determined in real time from a single radar. It should be noted that the interpretation of radial velocity estimates from a single radar are not always unambiguous. Color displays of single-Doppler radial velocity patterns aid in the real-time interpretation of the associated reflectivity fields and can reveal important features not evident in the reflectivity structures alone. Such a capability is of particular interest in the identification and study of severe storms. A display utilizing a 5 cm Doppler radar is used to illustrate the patterns seen from several tornadic storms that occurred in central Oklahoma on 20 May 1977. Interpretation of some complicated or ambiguous features is aided by including data from additional radars. Further explanations on such structure are given from an analysis based on a new dual-Doppler analysis technique for one of 16 tornadic storms that occurred on 20 May 1977.

Several alternative analysis schemes for two to four Doppler radars are also demonstrated and compared. These illustrate the major differences found in error propagation, use of information, and in difference quantities, such as divergence. It is shown that an analysis that specifies boundary values for w is not strongly dependent on the number of radars.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, Robert J. Serafin, Richard D. Rosen, James F. Kimpel, George L. Frederick Jr., Anne Thompson, Mary M. Glackin, Kenneth C. Spengler, and Ronald D. McPherson
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