The goal of this Guide is to introduce the use of pattern recognition techniques for interpreting single Doppler velocity data. It is hoped that the use of simulated flow fields has helped to bring out the basic features that one may find somewhat masked in actual data.

The initial challenge for the reader is to understand why the Doppler velocity patterns in this Guide appear as they do. One must remember that storms will not always be located to the north of the radar. It also is important to recognize that the presence of Doppler components of storm motion and environmental wind in the data do not affect the overall Doppler velocity patterns.

The ultimate challenge, however, is to use the understanding gained from mastering this Guide to interpret the more complicated Doppler velocity patterns found in the real world. Proper interpretation of Doppler velocity patterns should result in a better understanding of atmospheric processes. For the forecaster, proper interpretation of Doppler velocity patterns should manifest itself through the issuance of more timely and accurate warnings and short-term forecasts.

Good Luck!


First Edition of the Guide (1987):

We appreciate the contributions made by our colleagues at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the NEXRAD Operational Support Facility, and the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman. Don Burgess, who is a long-time supporter and interpreter of single Doppler radar data, assisted us with the planning of this Guide. Recognizing the critical need for training in Doppler velocity interpretation, Ken Wilk has actively supported the Guide's preparation. Tim O'Bannon modified computer programs that made possible the color Doppler velocity displays used here. Joe Kendall provided valuable comments through his position as the Training Activities Meteorologist for the WSFO. Ruth Miller typed the manuscript and Joan Kimpel provided graphic arts support. This Guide was funded through a Memorandum of Understanding between the NEXRAD Joint System Program Office and the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Second Edition of the Guide (2007):

All of the color figures and associated flow fields in this edition of the Guide were prepared by the second author using NCAR Graphics. The color scales used herein are based on those developed by Cynthia Brewer (Pennsylvania State University) to be color blind friendly (http://ColorBrewer.org). Figures 1.2.1, 1.2.2, and 2.1.1 were prepared by Joan O'Bannon. We appreciate the comments and suggestions by Jami Boettcher (National Weather Service's Warning Decision Training Branch), Donald Burgess (Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma), Pat Kennedy (Colorado State University), and Jennifer Palucki and John Pike (NWS Forecast Office, Oklahoma City/Norman).