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CSU-CHILL dual-polarization data collected in a hail-producing severe thunderstorm on 8 June 2012. Reflectivity data (upper left panel) contains the overhanging echo structure associated with strong updrafts. The existence of this updraft is confirmed by the vigorous low level convergence/upper level divergence radial velocity patterns in the upper right panel. The presence of tumbling hailstones in the intense echo core region is indicated by the near 0 dB differential reflectivity levels (lower left panel), and by enhanced linear depolarization ratio (LDR) values (lower right panel). Two-inch diameter hailstones were reported near the time of this RHI sweep.


Basic Overview


The Colorado State University (CSU) CHILL radar is a state-of- the-art dual-polarization, dual-wavelength Doppler weather radar based in northeastern Colorado. The radar was originally a joint development of the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois; thus the “CHILL” portion of the facility’s name.


The radar employs a unique dual-offset Gregorian antenna that achieves very high polarization purity with minimal off-axis (sidelobe) radiation. The antenna and radar system are capable of simultaneous operation at wavelengths of 11 and 3 centime- ters; the resultant main beamwidths are 1.0º


and 0.33º , respec-


tively, providing unprecedented resolution at X-band. This dual- wavelength configuration allows the collection of detailed obser- vations of the evolution of clouds and precipitation. System con- trol is done with a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to interactively define data acquisition parameters (e.g., antenna scanning definitions). Both the control GUI and real-time data display capabilities are supported at remote locations via the Internet.


Typical Research Applications


The CSU-CHILL radar is typically used to make observations of precipitation development and evolution, and to classify hydrometeor types and heavy rainfall. It also participates in networked operations to support multiple Doppler wind retrievals and lightning mapping, and is used for customized data collection and distribution for educational applications.


Contact


Scientific Director Dr. Steven Rutledge


rutledge@atmos.colostate.edu 970.491.8283


Facility Manager Mr. Patrick Kennedy pat@chill.colostate.edu 970.491.6248


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