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Assessment of the Geometric and Temporal Errors Associated with Airborne Doppler Radar Measurements of a Convective Storm

Peter S. RayDepartment of Meteorology and Supercomputer Computations Research Institute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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Mary StephensonControl Data Corporation and Supercomputer Computations Research Institute, Tallahassee, Florida

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Abstract

On 20 April 1984, the NOAA WP-3D aircraft, equipped with a Doppler radar in its tail, flew around a growing thunderstorm new Norman, Oklahoma. Doppler wind data was collected as the airplane flew six legs around the storm. During this time, the National Severe Storms laboratory (NSSL) dual-Doppler network collected data on the same storm. Different combinations of synthesis techniques were examined employing direct and pseudo-dual-Doppler observations from aircraft alone, and combinations of aircraft and ground-based Doppler radar. The effect of temporal resolution errors was assessed and related to uncertainties caused by geometric configuration. For this system, it was found that although the aircraft did provide useful data by extending the analysis to the region between the ground-based radars, the contribution was limited by the rapid evolution of the storm. Greater utility may generally be found for storms that evolve less rapidly.

Abstract

On 20 April 1984, the NOAA WP-3D aircraft, equipped with a Doppler radar in its tail, flew around a growing thunderstorm new Norman, Oklahoma. Doppler wind data was collected as the airplane flew six legs around the storm. During this time, the National Severe Storms laboratory (NSSL) dual-Doppler network collected data on the same storm. Different combinations of synthesis techniques were examined employing direct and pseudo-dual-Doppler observations from aircraft alone, and combinations of aircraft and ground-based Doppler radar. The effect of temporal resolution errors was assessed and related to uncertainties caused by geometric configuration. For this system, it was found that although the aircraft did provide useful data by extending the analysis to the region between the ground-based radars, the contribution was limited by the rapid evolution of the storm. Greater utility may generally be found for storms that evolve less rapidly.

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