Basic Principles of Weather Radar Polarimetry and its Operational Applications (CANCELLED)

Basic Principles of Weather Radar Polarimetry and its Operational Applications (CANCELLED)

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Date: 13 September 2015

Location: National Weather Center, Univ. of Oklahoma, 120 David L Boren Blvd., Norman, OK


Dual-polarization radar is becoming a standard for the operational weather radar networks. The upgrade of the U.S. WSR-88D radars to dual polarization has further solidified the appeal of this technology so that many manufacturers of weather surveillance radars make exclusively dual polarization models. Hence, similar modernization of research and operational weather radars is underway throughout the world. This new technology is still not used to its full potential because the majority of users (both on the research and operational sides) are not fully familiar with the tremendous opportunities it provides.

The goal of this course is to expose potential users of dual-polarization technology to the interpretation of polarimetric radar information, recognition of data quality issues, and use of algorithms for data processing, radar echo classification, and quantitative precipitation estimation. In addition, the cloud modeling community will learn about possible inclusion of polarimetric radar data into the storm-scale numerical weather prediction models.

The short course will cover an introduction to the basic principles of polarimetric weather radar measurements, definition of polarimetric radar variables, and their physical interpretation. The radar data quality issues as well as observational errors and artifacts will be discussed as part of the course. Most recent research and operational algorithms for hydrometeor classification and quantitative precipitation estimation will be described in details. One of the focuses of the course will be on polarimetric “fingerprints” or signatures associated with various microphysical processes in clouds and precipitation and use of these for diagnosing and predicting adverse weather phenomena.  The course will include an on-site demonstration of various polarimeric radar products generated by polarimetric WSR-88D radars and visualized using a web-based multi-radar / multi-sensor (MRMS) platform and the facilities available for meteorological training at the U.S. NOAA Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB) in the National Weather Center in Norman.

A luncheon and two coffee breaks will be provided during the short course. The participants are expected to use their own laptops for the course. Internet access will be available for this course. Shuttle service will be provided to/from the Embassy Suites and the NWC.

Instructors: Dusan Zrnic (National Severe Storms Laboratory) and Alexander Ryzhkov (University of Oklahoma). They will be joined by John Krause (University of Oklahoma) and Jamie Boettcher (Warning Decision Training Branch).

Information: Please contact D. Zrnic (120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072, tel. 405-325-6570, email: or A. Ryzhkov (tel. 405-325-6224, email: