Salt Lake City, Utah Storm Tutorial
The following tutorial was designed to investigate warning decision making issues associated with a challenging event in the Salt Lake City, UT county warning area (CWA). A review of this event is useful to illustrate the difficulty and importance of attaining situational awareness in a warning environment characterized by rapidly changing conditions. Other issues discussed in this module include limitations associated with mountain-top radars, boundary detection, radar sampling and quality control, use of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) data, and applications of algorithm and near-storm environment output. The main sections of this tutorial are the instructions, environmental data, environmental discussion, the radar viewer, and the summary.
When you are ready to begin the tutorial, select the "Environmental Data" button. The environmental data section contains soundings, surface maps, satellite imagery, numerical model output from the RUC initialization fields, and objective analysis fields. Peruse the links provided and become familiar with the "big picture".
After reviewing the environmental data section, move down the page to the environmental discussion section. The environmental discussion section provides an overview of important features in the environment of this case. Links are provided in the overview to support description in the text. Upon finishing the environmental discussion section, click on the "Image Viewer" button to begin analysis of the radar data.
When you click on the "Image Viewer" button, a Java applet will appear in a new window along with a link to the "Instructions for OTB Image Viewer." Read the Image Viewer instructions, and load in the data. The radar viewer can take as little as two minutes or as long as twenty minutes to load all of the associated files. A break is recommended at this point.
After the data has been loaded, the radar viewer allows the user to peruse WSR-88D products in a static or animated manner. Images are available from the Salt Lake City (Promontory Point), Utah radar (KMTX) for nine volume scans that cover the period prior to, during, and after tornadogenesis. Use the buttons along the top of the viewer to access one of the following radar products:
CREF - Composite Reflectivity
In both four-panel images, the 0.5° panel is in the upper left, the l.5° panel is in the upper right, the 2.4° panel is in the lower left, and the 3.4° panel is in the lower right.
In addition to viewing images, the applet also provides the user with numerous questions about the event. The questions, which are all multiple choice, can be accessed by clicking on the question number menu at the bottom left-hand side of the viewer window. There is at least one question for each volume scan. For each question, a question window pops open upon selecting a question number. To submit an answer, click on the appropriate answer circle, A-D. To exit the question and answer windows, click on the "OK" or "Cancel" buttons at the bottom of the windows. Upon completion of all questions, click on the "Tutorial Summary" button to conclude the tutorial.
Other notes about the tutorial:
Please send any questions or comments to Andy Wood: