National Weather Center Colloquium

Improved convective-scale prediction from the assimilation of rapid-scan phased array radar data

Dr. Louis Wicker
Research Meteorologist
NSSL /NOAA

11 February 2014, 4:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Reception at 3:30 PM

The past decade has seen the development of two major technologies that will help develop the capability for real-time prediction of severe convective storms. Since 2003, NSSL has been actively developing the multifunction phased array radar (MPAR), a potential next-generation operational weather radar system using phased array radar panels to enable complete radar volumes to be collected every 30-60 seconds. During the same period, data assimilation techniques have been extended to enable the assimilation of radar data for generating a convective-scale initial state. It was demonstrated that the assimilation of rapid-scan radar data from a splitting supercell storm using an Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) improved both analyses and ensemble forecasts relative to radar data collected using a conventional scan strategy. This presentation will focus on results from the 24 May 2011 El Reno tornadic storm during the initial spin-up and formation of the long-track tornado. MPAR volume scans were collected when the storm was within 100 km of Norman, OK. A large number of storm-scale assimilation experiments, conducted using EnKF, demonstrate the added benefit from rapid-scan observations during a series of 1-hour forecast periods. Explored experimental configurations indicate that the results are insensitive to small changes in the ensemble configuration and initial conditions. This work represents the first demonstration of the potential impact of actual MPAR data for storm-scale numerical weather prediction.

Speaker bio

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National Weather Center Colloquium Seminar Series website