MET 360: Radar Meteorlogy




GEOG 306 or MET 300.

Course Description

Principles of acquiring and interpreting atmospheric data from Doppler and polarimetric radars. Applications of radar in detection of mesoscale and microscale phenomena in operational meteorology and research.

Since its initial development during World War II, radar science has matured and is now the primary tool employed by meteorologists to detect and assess mesoscale and microscale phenomena. Radar imagery is ubiquitous and can be found not only in private and government forecast offices, but in local television weather reports, on the internet, and even on our smart phones. Radar provides a visual image of what the weather is doing now and what we can expect in the near future. It is an integral part of the diagnosis, analysis, and prognosis stages of the forecast process, as well as in mesoscale research. This course is designed to examine the history and fundamentals of radar, explain how modern weather radars operate and what they show, and how to interpret radar data. We focus on the application of conventional, Doppler, and polarimetric radars to discover meteorological attributes associated with convective storms, tropical cyclones, boundaries, stratiform events, and nonmeteorological targets (e.g., birds, military chaff, wind farms, etc.).

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the principles behind radar measurements, including conventional, Doppler, and polarimetric quantities
  • Obtain broad knowledge of WSR-88D/TDWR systems, products, and algorithms and ability to critically evaluate radar data
  • Develop a foundation to use radar data operatibe able to communicate effectively information derived from weather radars to scientists and the publiconally and/or for research projects
  • Be able to communicate effectively information derived from weather radars to scientists and the public

Course Format

Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory.