Utility of Local Radar Data in the Warning Decision Making Process
Darden, Chris ; Coyne, Mike ; Palmgren, Chris ; McCloud, Stephen ; Schulz, Chris

A challenging aspect of warning operations across the Tennessee Valley and many portions of the Southeastern United States is the rapidly evolving nature of storms and the ability to provide adequate lead time for tornadoes not associated with large rotating supercells. In fact, a large percentage of tornado occurrences across the Tennessee Valley are associated with low topped supercells, squall lines, or QLCS type systems. These types of tornadoes are often quite difficult to detect with the current WSR-88D network of radars due to their relatively small spatial extent and rapid evolution.

Several such tornado events have unfolded across the Huntsville County Warning Area during the spring of 2009. However, through local partnerships, WFO Huntsville has real-time access to several media and private sector radars that provide added value and input to decision makers. Forecasters can view these data utilizing Gibson Ridge software and Baron Serviceā s Fastrac software. This presentation will show the utility of these additional datasets in the warning decision making process while focusing on an EF2 tornado the impacted the Huntsville metropolitan area on May 6, 2009.