Project Information
RAPID: An Improved Understanding of Mesoscale Wind and Precipitation Variability in the Ross Island Region Based on Radar Observations
Short Title:
Ross Island Region Radar Observations
Start Date:
End Date:
The Ross Island region of Antarctica is a topographically complex region that results in large variations in the mesoscale high wind and precipitation features across the region. The goals of this project are to increase the understanding of the three-dimensional structure of these mesoscale meteorology features. This project will leverage observations from the scanning X-band radar installed during the AWARE field campaign in 2016 and the installation of an EWR Radar Systems X-band scanning radar (E700XD) to be deployed during the 2019-20 field season. Intellectual Merit: The focus of the science will be on questions investigating the structure and forcing of mesoscale wind and precipitation features in the vicinity of McMurdo Station. In addition to the data from the X-band scanning radars, observations from surface-based automatic weather stations, radiosonde launches from McMurdo Station, the suite of AWARE observations, and archived forecasts from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System will be used to provide verification and additional insights into the structure of these mesoscale features. The science questions to be addressed in this study are: - What are the signatures of the mesoscale high wind features that are detectable by a scanning X-band, Doppler radar that can be used to aid in operational forecasting and to increase lead time of high wind event warnings for improved safety and logistics in the Ross Island region? - How does the orientation of the mesoscale high wind events play a role in the determining the severity of the impacts of the high winds at logistically significant locations across the Ross Island region? - What is the distribution of precipitation across the Ross Island region? Are there local topographic features that result in banding of precipitation across the region? - What is the accuracy of AMPS in forecasting mesoscale precipitation and wind features across the Ross Island region during the main body season? Broader Impacts: The benefits of this project will extend beyond that of addressing the science questions and into improvements and increased data resources for the logistics, operational forecasting and research communities. - Provide increased understanding and in-depth analysis of the mesoscale wind and precipitation features detectable using radar observations to be transferred to the NIWC forecasters resulting in increased awareness and training. - With the comparison of the capabilities of the AWARE radar to that of the EWR Radar Systems E700XD the USAP can make an informed decision for the future purchase of a similar or different radar system for long-term deployment and use in forecasting for the region. - Develop a robust and coordinated data archive of the EWR Radar Systems E700XD during the 2019-20 deployment to be shared and used by future research investigations. - Provide insight, tools, and an outline for additional studies based on the remote sensing dataset collected during the AWARE project.
Person Role
Cassano, John Investigator and contact
Seefeldt, Mark Co-Investigator
Kingsmill, David Co-Investigator
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 2001430
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
Product Level:
0 (raw data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
AMRDC Radar Data for Phoenix Airfield (NZFX), 2019 None exist
Platforms and Instruments

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