Velocity-Azimuth display analysis of doppler velocity for HIWRAP

Lin Tian, Gerald M. Heymsfield, Anthony C. Didlake, Stephen Guimond, Lihua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The velocity-azimuth display (VAD) analysis technique established for ground-based scanning radar is applied to the NASA High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP). The VAD technique provides a mean vertical profile of the horizontal winds for each complete conical scan of the HIWRAP radar. One advantage of this technique is that it has shown great value for data assimilation and for operational forecasts. Another advantage is that it is computationally inexpensive, which makes it suitable for real-time retrievals. The VAD analysis has been applied to the HIWRAP data collected during NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) mission. The traditional dual-Doppler analysis for deriving wind fields in the nadir plane is also presented and is compared with the VAD analysis. The results show that the along-track winds from the VAD technique and dual-Doppler analysis agree in general. The VAD horizontal winds capture the mean vortex structure of two tropical cyclones, and they are in general agreement with winds from nearby dropsondes. Several assumptions are made for the VAD technique. These assumptions include a stationary platform for each HIWRAP scan and constant vertical velocity of the hydrometeors along each complete scan. As a result, the VAD technique can produce appreciable errors in regions of deep convection such as the eyewall, whereas in stratiform regions the retrieval errors are minimal. Despite these errors, the VAD technique can still adequately capture the larger-scale structure of the hurricane vortex given a sufficient number of flight passes over the storm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1792-1808
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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