Main contents


Quality and fusion of surface weather stations and dual-polarization radar measurements

Keywords: Data fusion, Measurement qualtity, Weather radar, Weather stations

One of the current trends in weather forecasting is nowcasting, i.e. doing short term and local forecasts with a time frame of a couple of hours and a spatial accuracy of a few kilometers. Nowcasting requires more dense measurement network of surface weather, along with remote sensing methods (Doppler radars, weather satellites etc.). For research purposes, Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Vaisala have developed their own weather measurement network, Helsinki Testbed, which includes Vaisala weather transmitters, WXT510s.

PIPO-project utilizes the Helsinki Testbed data to reach its three main objectives. The first two objectives consider the measurement quality of dual-polarization weather radar and mesoscale surface weather station network, respectively. The third objective is about data fusion of different types of weather measurements.

FMI's Doppler radar in Korppoo,
(© Finnish Meteorological Institute).

The goals for the radar measurement quality -part are

  • Development of quality estimate of doppler measurements for squall (thunder gusts) identification
  • Influence of polarimetric phenomena probabilities on the measurement quality
  • Development of a quality algebra for a multiple radar fusion while suffering from rain attenuation and measurement geometry.

The surface weather station quality -part of PIPO is concentrating on

  • Identification of different types of measurement errors
  • Quality control of rain and wind measurements
  • Development of surface weather station quality control based on the fault history
  • Development of performance induces for weather stations
  • Development of operation and maintenance functions

Vaisala WXT510 weather transmitter
(© Vaisala Oyj).

The data fusion of weather measurements in PIPO is considers

  • Identification of squalls from measurements of surface weather stations
  • Determination of characteristics and estimation life span of convective cells
  • Development of quality weighted data fusion of measurements
  • Harmonization of radar and surface station quality variables

The measurment quality parts aim to enhance the accuracy of the measurements and indicate the measurement quality more closely than in before.

Due to the variety and complexity of weather phenomena, PIPO is specially concentrated on convective thunders, which can be distinctly found by different measurement sources. The project will develop expert system -type rules for squall identification based on the surface measurements with aiming for squall warning system. PIPO will also develop algorithms for estimation and prediction of life cycle of convective thunder cells.

PIPO is a subproject of Tekes -funded Aula -project. In PIPO, the research partner is Finnish Meteorological Institute and the industrial partner is Vaisala.

Project leader: Heikki Koivo
Other researchers: Vesa Hasu, Pekka Rossi, Taru Laamanen
In cooperation with: Ilmatieteen laitos, Vaisala
Research contribution: 2007-01-01 ... 2009-02-28


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