US Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Monthly Weather Review Volume 140 (April 2012); DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-11-00112.1


Copyright 2012 American Meteorological Society


A comparative analysis of a supercell hailstorm using simultaneous observations with S-band and C-band polarimetric radars supported by abundant ground-truth reports is presented in this study. The storm occurred on 16 May 2010 and produced a swath of extremely damaging hail across a large portion of the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, metro area. Hail sizes over 10 cm in diameter and hail drifts upward of 1.5 m in height were reported. Both S-band (KOUN) and C-band [University of Oklahoma Polarimetric Radar for Innovations in Meteorology and Engineering (OU-PRIME)] polarimetric radars in Norman, Oklahoma, sampled the storm at ranges less than 60 km, so that high-resolution dual-wavelength polarimetric data were obtained. At C band, this analysis mostly presents raw Z and ZDR (due to problems with differential phase resulting from an incorrect censoring threshold in the examined case) while taking into account the possibility of attenuation in the interpretation of these data. Among the issues investigated in the study are the relation of hail size measured at the surface to the polarimetric signatures at both wavelengths, the difference between polarimetric signatures at the two wavelengths of hail aloft and near the surface (where melting hail is mixed with rain), and the three-body scatter spike (TBSS) signature associated with large hail.