On nowcasting wind shear induced turbulence over Chennai air field






Doppler Weather Radar, Wind shear, Turbulence, Richardson number, Aviation, Three dimensional shear, Elevation shear, Vertical shear, Radial shear, Sea breeze


With the newly installed Doppler Weather Radar at Cyclone Detection  Radar station, Chennai during October 2001, it has been made possible to analyse the meteorological conditions conducive for the  wind shear induced turbulence experienced by the pilots in the approach runway at the time of landing and take-off. The radar has been put into operation w.e.f.  21 February, 2002. Wind shears reported during February – October 2002, have been critically analysed in this study. The three dimensional shear (3DS), a combination of radial, azimuthal and elevation shears, gives a first hand information atleast half an hour before the occurrence of shear induced moderate turbulence when its value exceeds 16mps/km. The 3DS of more than 20mps/km is normally associated with turbulence experienced by the pilots. With the availability of sophisticated and vast computing power, it is now possible to delineate the layer at which the shear is active within 3-5 minutes from the receipt of the radar measured volume data by quickly computing elevation / vertical / radial / azimuthal shear etc. However, to arrive at a meaningful conclusion on the threshold values of shears that are conducive for wind shear induced turbulence and to make use of this information to alert the pilots, feed back from the pilots to build a detailed data base is absolutely inevitable. Monitoring of passage of sea breeze front may also be useful to issue wind shear warnings. The time tested Richardson number has also been verified for its ‘outlook predictability’ of the shear induced turbulence around the airport, though it can not pinpoint the exact location and the time at which turbulence is active. It is hoped that with precise, accurate and timely in-flight report about the wind shear experienced by the pilots and based on the experience gained in analyzing such information, it will be possible to issue probable ‘wind shear alert / warning’ in the near future.




How to Cite

R. SURESH, “On nowcasting wind shear induced turbulence over Chennai air field”, MAUSAM, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 103–118, Jan. 2004.



Research Papers