Operational Application of Meteorological Doppler Radar

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research , Boulder, Colo. 80307
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Single Doppler weather radar velocity and reflectivity fields have been obtained with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) 5 cm radars for a wide variety of weather situations. Among those weather features that can be identified by means of color displays are the vertical variation of wind with height in widespread precipitation, frontal boundaries, gust fronts, “downbursts,” tornadoes, hurricane winds, wind shears dangerous to aircraft, and winds in the boundary layer in clear air.

It is concluded that, even though a Doppler radar observes only the radial component of the wind, a wide variety of weather features of great importance to weather forecasters can easily be identified with a single radar. For operational applications a national network of Doppler radars seems justified. It is recommended, particularly in regions of the country where severe storms or high rainfall rates are relatively frequent, that these be 10 cm wavelength radars with a beam width of 1° and that automatic procedures for removing velocity and range ambiguities be incorporated.

1 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Single Doppler weather radar velocity and reflectivity fields have been obtained with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) 5 cm radars for a wide variety of weather situations. Among those weather features that can be identified by means of color displays are the vertical variation of wind with height in widespread precipitation, frontal boundaries, gust fronts, “downbursts,” tornadoes, hurricane winds, wind shears dangerous to aircraft, and winds in the boundary layer in clear air.

It is concluded that, even though a Doppler radar observes only the radial component of the wind, a wide variety of weather features of great importance to weather forecasters can easily be identified with a single radar. For operational applications a national network of Doppler radars seems justified. It is recommended, particularly in regions of the country where severe storms or high rainfall rates are relatively frequent, that these be 10 cm wavelength radars with a beam width of 1° and that automatic procedures for removing velocity and range ambiguities be incorporated.

1 The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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