Progress in atmospheric vortex structures deduced from single Doppler radar observations

AMS Citation:
Lee, W. -chau, and B. J. -D. Jou, 2008: Progress in atmospheric vortex structures deduced from single Doppler radar observations. Recent Progress in Atmospheric Sciences: Applications to the Asia-Pacific Region, doi:10.1142/9789812818911_0016.
Resource Type:article
Title:Progress in atmospheric vortex structures deduced from single Doppler radar observations
Abstract: Doppler radars have played a critical role in observing atmospheric vortices including tornados, mesocyclones, and tropical cyclones. The detection of the dipole signature of a mesocyclone by pulsed Doppler weather radars in the 1960s led to an era of intense research on atmospheric vortices. Our understanding of the internal structures of atmospheric vortices was primarily derived from a limited number of airborne and ground-based dual-Doppler datasets. The advancement of single Doppler wind retrieval (SDWR) algorithms since 1990 [e.g. the velocity track display (VTD) technique] has provided an alternate avenue for deducing realistic and physically plausible two- and three-dimensional structures of atmospheric vortices from the wealth of data collected by operational and mobile Doppler radars. This article reviews the advancement in single Doppler radar observations of atmospheric vortices in the following areas: (1) single Doppler radar signature of atmospheric vortices, (2) SDWR algorithms, in particular the VTD family of algorithms, (3) objective vortex center-finding algorithms, and (4) vortex structures and dynamics derived from the VTD algorithms. A new paradigm that improves the VTD algorithm, displaying and representing the atmospheric vortices in VdD/RT space, is presented. The VTD algorithm cannot retrieve the full components of the divergent wind which may be improved by either implementing physical constraints on the VTD closure assumptions or combining high temporal resolution data with a mesoscale vorticity method. For all practical perspectives, SDWR algorithms remain the primary tool for analyzing atmospheric vortices in both operational forecasts and research purposes in the foreseeable future.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2008 World Scientific Publishing Co.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7sq9127
Publisher's Version: 10.1142/9789812818911_0016
  • Wen-chau Lee - NCAR/UCAR
  • Ben Jong-Dao Jou
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