The NEXRAD operational system consisting of a network of WSR-88D radars is now operational within the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam. This technology has been enthusiastically received by weather forecasters in all regions and climatic regimes of the country. Improvements in short-term weather forecasting and nowcasting have resulted, but the potential for further improvement is also great. Many of the advantages of the system are associated with its quantitative and precise digital data, but problems related to accuracy of precipitation estimation, contamination of Doppler radar products by ground clutter, and the range folding of velocity data all deserve attention. These problems and others are being addressed by the Operational Support Facility of the triagencies: the National Weather Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense. Further improvements to the system, in both hardware and software, will greatly enhance its capabilities for the future. These improvements are likely to include new open-system signal and data processing architectures that will greatly expand the ability of the system to produce a wide range of better and more sophisticated weather products. In addition, new capabilities such as polarization diversity may also be added. At the same time, it is appropriate to look forward into the future and, within a decade, to begin planning for the successor to NEXRAD.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 18, 2000
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