NWC REU 2011
May 23 - July 29



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A Comparison of Wind Estimates From CASA and NEXRAD Radars During Severe Wind Events

Adam Taylor, Jerald A. Brotzge, and Frederick H. Carr


What is already known:

  • Severe wind events are not well detected with the current NEXRAD radars.
  • CASA radars provide an unprecedented dataset of low-altitude wind speed measurements of hydrometeors.
  • Aim to quantify the differences between estimations of surface winds from CASA and NEXRAD.

What this study adds:

  • Viewing angle was the most important source of error.
  • Dual Doppler and Profile correction is around 10% more accurate than best case NEXRAD and almost 25% better than all NEXRAD estimates.


The Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) Oklahoma test bed has proven the usefulness of a high-resolution, rapidly updating network of radars for a variety of applications. The aim of this project is to quantify the value of the CASA network for the detection of severe wind events. A comparison is made between the performance of Next Generation Doppler Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and CASA radial wind measurements in relation to Oklahoma Mesonet reports of high wind gusts. Two factors inhibit the accurate measurement of winds from weather radar: (1) The viewing angle of the radial velocity beam, and (2) the beam height above ground level. Results show that the CASA radar network performed better overall for detecting and analyzing high wind events within the test bed. CASA dual-Doppler data improved the measurement of winds by 7.27 m/s over all NEXRAD measurements.

Full Paper [PDF]