NSSL leverages new technologies in winter weather experiment

21Jan 2012
Dual-pol radar data of a winter precipitation event in New York.

NSSL and collaborators will leverage new technology including dual-polarized radar observations and a precipitation reporting mobile device app to improve forecasts of winter weather during February and March.

The experiment will evaluate the performance of new algorithms that use dual-polarized radar data and determine what new tools could be developed to improve detection of precipitation type and amount in winter storms.

The group will assess a new technique that is a “first-guess” of precipitation type using dual-pol data and compare it to observations collected from the Precipitation Identification Near the Ground mobile app and the Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment phone calls. They plan to identify potential biases and regions of poor performance.

They will also look at quantitative precipitation estimation products that include dual-polarized information and compare them to current products to see if dual-polarized data improves the result.

The experiment is a collaboration between NSSL, the Storm Prediction Center, the Norman Weather Forecast Office, the National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Branch and the Radar Operations Center.

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NSSL Launches iPhone and Android Apps to collect precipitation reports from the public

Screenshot of the mPING app for iPhone

The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), in partnership with the University of Oklahoma and has launched an app where users can anonymously report precipitation from their iPhone or Android through the “mobile Precipitation Identification Near the Ground “mPING” app.  NSSL researchers will compare the reports with what radars detect and use the information to develop new radar and forecasting technologies and techniques to determine whether snow, rain, ice pellets, mixtures or hail is falling. NSSL hopes to build a valuable database of tens of thousands of observations from across the U.S.
The apps are available on iTunes or Google Play for use on both phones and tablets.

The reports can be viewed here in real-time:

Learn more at NSSL’s main PING page:  http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/projects/ping/

Link for iTunes mPING app

Link for Android app

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