Significant Paper: Automated Detection of Polarimeteric Tornadic Debris Signatures using A Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm


Automated Detection of Polarimeteric Tornadic Debris Signatures using A Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm

Journal: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Publication Date: Online 7/2/2015

Authors: Snyder, Jeffrey C., Ryzhkov, Alexander.

Important conclusions: 
Since debris lofted by tornadoes has scattering characteristics that are distinct from those of hydrometeors, the additional information provided by polarimetric weather radars can aid in identifying debris from tornadoes.  The polarimetric tornadic debris signature (TDS) provides what is nearly “ground truth” that a tornado is ongoing (or had recently occurred).This paper presents a modification to the existing hydrometeor classification algorithm used with the Weather Surveillance Radar – 1988 Doppler network in the U.S. to include a Tornado Debris Signature (TDS) category. Examples of automated TDS classification are provided for several recent cases observed in the United States.


As we continue to refine the algorithm, we think that it my prove very useful to operational meteorologists. Emergency responders may also find value in the product given the association between TDSs and damaging tornadoes.
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