Utilisation of ‘Aerostat’ Doppler Weather Radar in nowcasting of convective phenomena
Keywords:Aerostat, Radar meteorology, Nowcasting, Thunderstorms
‘Aerostat’ system is a part of the air defence radar network, adopted by the Indian Air Force. Many meteorological instruments have been integrated with this system, including Doppler Weather Radar (DWR). The ground-based DWR has a maximum range of 300 NM, however, it generally uses 150 NM range on scan mode. The scan mode images are provided at half an hour interval, which are being utilised very effectively for nowcasting of thunderstorms at various IAF bases. In the present study, utilisation of DWR images for nowcasting of thunderstorms / dust storms is discussed over NW India with the help of a few case studies during pre-monsoon and SW monsoon seasons of 2008. Further, products generated through operational meso-scale NWP model runs have been studied in order to obtain indications / guidance for expected convective activity over the area at least 24-36 hours in advance. Thus, short-range weather forecasts through NWP models can be used as an advance indication for careful monitoring of DWR images in near real time. It has been found that the DWR is a very good tool to track the movement of significant weather echoes around the airfields, which can be very helpful in issuing appropriate warnings / advisories with sufficient lead time. Meso-scale NWP models are capable of generating reliable indications for expected convective activity at least 24-36 hours in advance. The integration of both the inputs can increase the accuracy and reliability of location and time specific prediction of convective activity.
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