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Proceedings Paper

Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) observation of atmospheric flow over complex terrain during tropical cyclone passages
Author(s): Chi Ming Shun; Sharon Sum Yee Lau
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Paper Abstract

To facilitate warning of low-level wind shear associated with convective storms, a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TWDR) was installed about 12 km to the northeast of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The HKIA is located just off the northern shore of an island known as Lantau. The HKIA lies on the lee side of the complex terrain of Lantau when winds come from the east through the southwest. With the commissioning of the TDWR in 1997, interesting high-resolution radar data were collected in strong southerly flows during tropical cyclone passages. These data sets reveal the complex low-level atmospheric flow in the vicinity of the HKIA, including streaks of low-speed flow, reverse flows, small-scale vortices and high-speed gap flows. Animation sequences of the radar images suggest existence of von Karman vortex streets and vortex shedding in the wake regions. These phenomena could induce strong shear regions which led to significant low-level wind shear for landing/departing aircraft. Analysis of on-board flight data for a wind shear event experienced by a landing aircraft in strong southeasterly flow revealed that terrain- induced features with horizontal scale less than 1 km brought significant air speed changes to the aircraft over a short duration of time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4152, Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment II, (21 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.410622
Show Author Affiliations
Chi Ming Shun, Hong Kong Observatory (China)
Sharon Sum Yee Lau, Hong Kong Observatory (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4152:
Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment II
Thomas T. Wilheit; Harunobu Masuko; Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, Editor(s)

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