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BiLateral Operational Storm-Scale Observation and Modeling (BLOSSOM)

BiLateral Operational Storm-Scale Observation and Modeling (BLOSSOM)

Over the past several decades, cloud-resolving models (CRMs) have been advanced and utilized for many applications, such as the study of mesoscale convective systems, cloud microphysics, cloud latent heating, and cloud radiative forcing, all of which have been used to support the development of satellite algorithms for the TRMM and GPM satellites (Tao et al. 2014). Yet, one of the long-standing uncertainties in CRMs is the spatial-temporal distribution of bulk hydrometeors, especially, mixed-phase and frozen precipitation. BLOSSOM envisions the following goals:
  • Establish a long-term super site to improve understanding of cloud-precipitation processes over the WFF site.
  • Provide routine storm-scale cloud-precipitation simulations as well as storm-scale measurements using ground-based polarimetric Doppler radar and in-situ data.
  • Provide routine meteorological forcing input to drive different CRM and single-column models (SCMs) for improvement of cloud microphysics and convection parameterization.
  • Collect PMM satellite data along with the CRM simulations and polarimetric radar observation for generating value-added BLOSSOM Bundled Data (BBuD) for the community.

NASA Polarimetric Radar (NPOL)

Radar imagery on this page was generated using PyART

Helmus, J.J. and Collis, S.M., 2016. The Python ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART), a Library forWorking with Weather Radar Data in the Python Programming Language. Journal of Open Research Software, 4(1), p.e25. DOI:

Latest NPOL Imagery

PPI Images RHI Images

Latest NPOL Radar Animations

Reflectivity [dBZ]Radial Velocity [m/s]Differential Reflectivity [dB]
CorellationDifferential Phase [deg]Specific Differential Phase [deg/km]

Click thumbnails to view animatewd gif!

Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) Data over Wallops Region

The Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) project utilizes an automated system that rapidly and intelligently integrates data from multiple radars and radar networks, surface observations, numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, and climatology to generate seamless, high spatio-temporal resolution mosaics.

Sample 30-minute MRMS Map Over Wallops Region

MRMS Inventory over Wallops Region

Daily Animation of 30-minute MRMS Maps

NPOL is NASA's premier weather radar. It is one of only two mobile S-band dual-polarization radars (the other being NCAR's SPOL). When not being deployed for PMM/GPM field campaigns, it is operated near NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Newark, MD.

NPOL has a wavelength of 10.65 cm, an operating frequency of 2700-2900 MHz, variable PRF of 500 and 1000 Hz with a 0.95 degree beam width. NPOL can operate with both horizontal and vertical polarization in both simultaneous and alternating modes. The radar has a prime-focus parabolic reflector which is 8.5 m in diameter and is housed on five sea-tainers. When readied for deployment, the entire radar and antenna system is stored within the five seatainers.

Latest NPOL image

NPOL Inventory over Wallops Region


KDOX Inventory over Wallops Region

NPOL Case Studies

Click here to take a look at several initial case studies.

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