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VORTRAC - A Utitility to Deduce Central Pressure and Radius of maximum wind of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones Using WSR-88D data

Wen-Chau Lee# Paul Harasti* Michael Bell#

  • #

    National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307-3000

    • *

      Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA 93943-5502

This paper gives a progress report on the development of the Vortex Objective Radar Tracking and Circulation (VORTRAC) package for the JHT. Using the level II coastal WSR-88D data, VORTRAC tracks intensity (central pressure) and radius of maximum wind of landfalling tropical cyclones retrieved from the ground-based velocity track display technique (GBVTD) and the hurricane volume velocity processing method (HVVP). The VORTRAC work has been focused on (1) the design and implementation of a user interface using the Qt tool kit, and (2) integration of the radar quality control and processing algorithms.

Over the past year, several implementations and improvements have been completed. The VORTRAC software package developed for this project now has the capability to read both archived NCDC and real-time LDM level II radar data formats. The central pressure and radius of maximum wind retrievals were also integrated into the package, as well as performance enhancements to the GBVTD and HVVP implementations. Following suggestions received during a visit to TPC, the graphical user interface was improved in order to display additional important information for the Hurricane Specialists, including the ability to preset the storm motion and direction prior to a storm entering radar range. Memory allocation has also been improved, allowing for longer run times, and numerous bug fixes have increased the stability and robustness of the software package. Some of these new features and results from previous landfalling storms will be presented at the conference.

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