HYDRO-NEXRAD Report: October 2009

Mohan Ramamurthy and Jeff Weber

This group's work supports the following funding proposal's six focus areas:

1. Broadening participation and expanding community services
2. Advancing data services
3. Developing and deploying useful tools
5. Providing leadership in cyberinfrastructure
6. Promoting diversity by expanding opportunities

1. Continued Provision of NEXRAD Level II Radar Data and Adaptation to Super Resolution Data

Unidata continues to supply the Universityof Iowawith a top-level feed for Level II radar data using the LDM/IDD. Originally, the data feed included only 10 radars of interest, but during the last year that number was expanded to include 40WSR-88D sites. Last year, the National Weather Service began a major upgrade to the resolution of the Level II radar data. The so-called "super resolution" (Build 10) data provides reflectivity data with 0.5 degree resolution in azimuth and 250 m resolution in range. The super resolution data present an important opportunity for the hydrologic community given the high variability of the runoff generation processes in urban environments. Unidata has already adapted its decoders and applications to ingest the super resolution data format and are currently working with the Iowa team to ensure that the HYDRO-NEXRAD system can use the higher resolution data feed. The UPC staff are in discussion with the Iowa University PIs to determine ways to upgrade the software and systems at Iowa University to be compatible with the new super resolution data.

2. Plans for the next 12 months:

During the no-cost extension period, Unidata will modify the existing radar decoders for the WSR-88D radar stream and re-implement new algorithms to work with super-resolution data and refine the manner in which data processing is done. The aforementioned changes will also require changes to the HYDRO NEXRAD feed that Unidata had developed a few years ago so that the data flowing to Universityof Iowaand other partner institutions can be ingested into applications and systems at those institutions. Additionally, we are in discussion with Universityof Iowa PIsto develop a capability for automatically generating and distributing basin-specific products to interested subscribers via the new HYDRO NEXRAD feed. These changes will also require a reimplementation of the MapServer at Unidata, applying the new algorithms to the radar feed. We also plan to expand the radar data ingested as well those inserted into the HYDRO NEXRAD feed to more radars in other river basins beyond the Iowaregion.

3. Next steps

Prof. Anton Kruger and his colleague, Satpreet Singh, will be visiting Unidata on 14 October to discuss project plans, tasks and priorities for the next year and flesh out the details of the above work and to discuss new efforts in the next phase of the project.