National Weather Center Colloquium

Of NOAA and Polarization: saga about how it happened

Dr. Dusan Zrnic

National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA

27 October 2015, 4:00 PM

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

This talk traces the events that lead to acceptance of the dual polarization technology by the National Weather Service (NWS). The understanding and thinking about this technology since circa the seventies are reviewed. The initial dilemma which polarization basis to favor is exposed, and the choice made by NSSL is explained. The unique capability to record time series data from several range locations was crucial for making further advances in the field. Cimarron radar provided data on which a way to separate the Doppler from polarimetric measurements was demonstrated. Moreover, two additional polarimetric variables were proposed and demonstrated on the data. Computation and display of these polarimetric variables in real time was accomplished in 1992. This enabled measurements that favorably influenced the fate of polarimetry. Buoyed by initial successes, NSSL began to advocate an alternative design for dual polarization radar. Thereafter, the pace of development and scientific understanding accelerated. Of utmost importance was the transfer of the KOUN radar from the NWS to NSSL. The Joint POLarization Experiment was conducted with the KOUN that provided convincing evidence of several benefits that amply justified the upgrade.

Speaker bio

National Weather Center Colloquium Seminar Series website