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A Technique for Detecting a Tropical Cyclone Center Using a Doppler Radar

Vincent T. WoodNOAA, Environmental Research Laboratories, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

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Abstract

A ground-based Doppler radar technique is developed for detecting a tropical cyclone center position. Accurate determination of the cyclone center position, based on Doppler velocity measurements, will become essential for the issuance of hurricane advisories, forecasts, and warnings once a network of WSR-88D Doppler radars is deployed on the United States coastlines, islands, and military bases during the 1990s. This will allow high-resolution detection and tracking of hurricanes nearing land for the first time.

Simulated Doppler velocity data, which were reconstructed from wind field data collected by reconnaissance aircraft during Hurricanes Alicia (1983) and Gloria (1985), were used to test the concept of using ground-based Doppler radar data to estimate cyclone center location. The center range and azimuth estimates of a hurricane signature were calculated from the simulated coastal Doppler radar velocity data. Preliminary results indicate that the technique performed well for estimating center locations from the radar measurements compared with storm center positions determined from in situ aircraft measurements.

Abstract

A ground-based Doppler radar technique is developed for detecting a tropical cyclone center position. Accurate determination of the cyclone center position, based on Doppler velocity measurements, will become essential for the issuance of hurricane advisories, forecasts, and warnings once a network of WSR-88D Doppler radars is deployed on the United States coastlines, islands, and military bases during the 1990s. This will allow high-resolution detection and tracking of hurricanes nearing land for the first time.

Simulated Doppler velocity data, which were reconstructed from wind field data collected by reconnaissance aircraft during Hurricanes Alicia (1983) and Gloria (1985), were used to test the concept of using ground-based Doppler radar data to estimate cyclone center location. The center range and azimuth estimates of a hurricane signature were calculated from the simulated coastal Doppler radar velocity data. Preliminary results indicate that the technique performed well for estimating center locations from the radar measurements compared with storm center positions determined from in situ aircraft measurements.

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