First Observations of Tracking Clouds Using Scanning Cloud Radars
Tracking clouds using scanning cloud radars can help document the temporal evolution of cloud properties well before large-drop formation (weather radar “first echo”). In this seminar, two-dimensional along-wind range–height observations of a population of shallow cumuli (with and without precipitation) from a 35-GHz scanning cloud radar at the Southern Great Plains, Oklahoma will be presented. Observations from scanning precipitation radars provide the larger-scale context of the cloud field and highlight the advantages of the cloud radar to detect numerous small non-precipitating cloud elements. A new Cloud Identification and Tracking Algorithm (CITA) was developed to track cloud elements. Following CITA, the temporal evolution of cloud-element properties (number, size, and maximum reflectivity) and their connection with the environment will be presented. The advantages and disadvantages of cloud tracking will also be discussed.