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Studies of the Substructure of Severe Convective Storms Using a Mobile 3-mm-Wavelength Doppler Radar

Howard B. Bluestein
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Andrew L. Pazmany
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John C. Galloway
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Robert E. McIntosh
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An experiment whose objective was to determine the wind and reflectivity substructure of severe convective storms is detailed. A 3-mm-wavelength (95 GHz) pulsed Doppler radar was installed in a van and operated in the Southern Plains of the United States during May and early June of 1993 and 1994. Using a narrow-beam antenna with computer-controlled scanning and positioning the van several kilometers from targets in severe thunderstorms, the authors were able to achieve 30-m spatial resolution and also obtain video documentation. A dual-polarization pulse-pair technique was used to realize a maximum unambiguous velocity of ±80 m s−1. Analyses of data collected in a mesocyclone near the intersection of two squall lines, in a low-precipitation storm, and in a hook echo in a supercell are discussed. A strategy to achieve 10-m spatial resolution and obtain analyses of the internal structure of tornadoes is proposed.

*School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

+Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Howard B. Bluestein, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 100 E. Boyd, Room 1310, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail: hblue@metgem.gcn.uoknor.edu

An experiment whose objective was to determine the wind and reflectivity substructure of severe convective storms is detailed. A 3-mm-wavelength (95 GHz) pulsed Doppler radar was installed in a van and operated in the Southern Plains of the United States during May and early June of 1993 and 1994. Using a narrow-beam antenna with computer-controlled scanning and positioning the van several kilometers from targets in severe thunderstorms, the authors were able to achieve 30-m spatial resolution and also obtain video documentation. A dual-polarization pulse-pair technique was used to realize a maximum unambiguous velocity of ±80 m s−1. Analyses of data collected in a mesocyclone near the intersection of two squall lines, in a low-precipitation storm, and in a hook echo in a supercell are discussed. A strategy to achieve 10-m spatial resolution and obtain analyses of the internal structure of tornadoes is proposed.

*School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

+Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Howard B. Bluestein, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 100 E. Boyd, Room 1310, Norman, OK 73019. E-mail: hblue@metgem.gcn.uoknor.edu
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