Optimizing the ITWS algorithm designed to remove anomalous propagation ground clutter from the ASR-9 precipitation product
A key product within the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) Initial Operating Capability (IOC) product suite removes anomalous propagation (AP) ground clutter from the ASR-9 precipitation product. This has been identified as a critical component of ITWS due to the frequent occurrence of AP when storms or outflows move over an ASR-9. Editing is accomplished by comparing the raw ASR-9 weather data to composite maps generated by the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) and the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). An editing template, containing regions of AP, is created based on the ASR-9 data collected at the middle of the composite volume scan to minimize the difference in update rates. The template is used to edit the ASR-9 scan immediately after the composite map and all subsequent scans until a new composite map is received. This algorithm has been shown to perform quite well, especially if the weather and AP returns are not co-located. During the 1994 Demonstration and Validation Operational Test and Evaluation in Memphis (MEM) and Orlando (MCO), the probability of editing AP (PEAP) in the absence of weather was 0.97 for level 2 and greater returns (Klingle-Wilson, 1995). The probability of editing weather (PEW) for those cases with weather only was quite low, i.e., 0.01. In order to minimize the removal of weather returns in those cases where the AP and weather are located in close proximity, the editing thresholds are quite conservative. This is reflected by the 1994 results which show a PEAP of 0.81 and a PEW of 0.02 for this class of event. Besides the conservative thresholds, another area of concern is the fact that the AP regions can expand or increase in intensity after the AP editing template is created. This rapid variation frequently occurs with convectively generated AP and can cause the performance of the algorithm to decrease with time until a new template is created. In this study, we will examine the algorithm failure mechanisms in detail to identify possible site-adaptable parameter changes that can be used to improve the performance for the mixed weather/AP events. This is especially germane since the parameter set was not re-evaluated after the TDWR composite map was incorporated in 1995. In the critical region over the airport during hazardous weather conditions, this radar updates more frequently than the NEXRAD. Since the parameters were designed to account for the NEXRAD volume update rate, they are probably too conservative for the current algorithm (which uses both composite maps).