Probing Air Motion by Doppler Analysis of Radar Clear Air Returns

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  • 1 National Severe Storms Laboratory, ESSA, Norman, Okla.
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Abstract

A Doppler radar has been used in central Oklahoma to probe the motion of invisible targets usually referred to as “angels.” The large density targets detected on certain days suggests the presence of a dense atmospheric “plankton” drifting with the air. Uniform motion for all the targets in the area surveyed by the radar beam is confirmed by the systematic pattern of target radial motions as a function of radar beam azimuth. Target horizontal motion direction and speed are derived from the radial velocity-azimuth patterns and interpreted as horizontal wind. The small vertical motion of targets is also estimated from the data. This technique is applied to the analysis of wind variance and the study of a low-level jet.

Abstract

A Doppler radar has been used in central Oklahoma to probe the motion of invisible targets usually referred to as “angels.” The large density targets detected on certain days suggests the presence of a dense atmospheric “plankton” drifting with the air. Uniform motion for all the targets in the area surveyed by the radar beam is confirmed by the systematic pattern of target radial motions as a function of radar beam azimuth. Target horizontal motion direction and speed are derived from the radial velocity-azimuth patterns and interpreted as horizontal wind. The small vertical motion of targets is also estimated from the data. This technique is applied to the analysis of wind variance and the study of a low-level jet.

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