November 6, 2015
Project Location: 
Melbourne, FL
Project Description: 
Florida DOW Experiment and Weather Study(F-DEWS)

Principle InvestigatorDr. Steven M. Lazarus
WhereDepartment of Marine and Environmental Systems, Florida Institute of Technology 
When: September 2015
Facility: CSWR Doppler on Wheels
Summary ReportF-DEWS Final Report


Educational Objectives & Training

F-DEWS coincided with weeks 3 and 4 of our fall semester at Florida Institute of Technology with the main focus on the Atmospheric Remote Sensing course (MET4233/MET5233) with 13 undergraduate and two graduate students. Students from Synoptic Meteorology (MET3401), Weather Briefing (MET1999), Marine and Environmental Systems and Physics/Space Sciences also actively participated.  Four graduate students registered for a graduate level special topics course “Doppler-On-Wheels” (ENS5903, see Appendix G) – bringing the total participation to 36  students.  The  first  two  weeks  of  MET4233/5233  were  spent  covering  Doppler  basics (Rinehart Chapters 1-5) and included two homework assignments. The course, which normally begins with a dose of radiative transfer, was flipped to introduce radar first. The DOW student training (see Appendix B) began in earnest 31 August 2015 and continued through the following Monday (7 September 2015).  The training sessions, conducted by CSWR technician Alycia Gilliland, took place in the DOW-7 with 3-4 students per 1.5 h session. 38 students/faculty were trained during these sessions.

For the duration of the DOW-7 visit (12 days), two students (one graduate and one undergraduate) were scheduled to visit the Melbourne National Weather Service for one hour. These slots were limited to the undergraduates enrolled in MET4233/5233. Appendix C details the formal agreement with the NWS, the participating “briefers” (and schedule), a discussion of the elements associated with the weather of interest (as proposed these include: Sea and Lagoon breeze, deep convection/convective initiation, coastal showers/shallow convection, and tropical cyclones), and a “debriefing worksheet”.  Following the briefing each day, a worksheet was completed by the undergraduate student and a secondary discussion was conducted when the students returned to campus (Fig. 1). The scanned briefing worksheet was then posted to a special DOW-7 list serve along with a mission status statement (go, no-go). For IOP days, a tentative meeting time was set.

As per the Special Topics course syllabus, team projects were assigned and are due at the end of the fall semester. The four graduate students have each been paired with three undergraduates and have since begun to coordinate research within these subgroups. Topics include:

  • Lightning flash density compared to storm structure
  • Investigation of the Dual-Pol Differential Phase Products (ΦDP and KDP) and Lightning.
  • Initiation and evolution of an Eastern Central Florida gust front
  • A comparison of Z-R relationships using the Doppler on Wheels, the WSR 88D, and In- Situ gauge data

30% of the Special Topics grade requires completion of a project poster. Undergraduates on these “poster teams” will be supervised on ‘mini-research’ topics associated with the graduate projects above. The undergraduate students will submit a short data report (no more than 2 pages) that clearly describes their contribution to the graduate work. The other topic/poster subjects (from the two graduate students enrolled in MET5233) are:

  • Examination of the DOW-7 Dual-Pol output to assist with Hydrometeor Classification
  • Lightning polarity in relation to thunderstorm evolution
Fig. 1a: Dr. Josh Wurman (CSWR) with FIT graduate students and Dr. Lazarus. 
Fig. 1b: NWS forecaster Scott Kelly and FIT students.

Students in MET4233/5233 and ENS5903 were required to participate in at least 2 IOPs. However, many students engaged in more than two.

In addition to the training seminars, Josh Wurman and Karen Kosiba travelled to FIT and presented a lecture in a special ‘seminar’ course to graduating physics seniors (20 students) and then later the same day presented a campus/community seminar in front of an audience of around 100 (see Fig. 2). 

Fig. 2a. Dr. Wurman presents an early morning lecture to “Senior Seminar” – a special course for graduating physics seniors. 
Fig. 2b. Dr. Karen Kosiba talks to FIT Marine and Environmental Systems students (Oceanography, Meteorology, Environmental Science, and Ocean Engineering) along with the greater FIT community.



Appendix G


Florida Institute of Technology College of Engineering



Course:             MET 5903 Doppler On Wheels! (Special 3 credits) Fall 2015 Only

Instructor:         Dr. Steven Lazarus Pre-Requisites: Instructor Permission Location:    Link 325 (Synoptic Lab)

Class meets:      Tue/Thurs 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. FROM Aug. 17 – Sep 18 (IS thereafter)

Office Hours:   T/TH 10:30-11:30 a.m. (or by appointment)

Grading:  IOP participation 40%, Undergraduate student supervision 30%, FINAL project 30%

A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%), D (60-69%), F (<60%)

Class participation: THE DOW RADAR WILL BE IN TOWN 31 AUG – 11 SEP! 40% OF YOUR GRADE WILL COME FROM PARTAKING IN IOPs. This includes DOW deployment, LIDAR deployment and soundings as needed. 30% of the course grade involves interaction/pairing/collaboration/shared responsibilities with undergraduate students. This includes:  visits  to  the  National  Weather  Service;  coordinated  briefings;  mission  summary reports; data processing; etc.  The remaining 30% requires completion of a project poster on a topic that will depend on the data collected during the IOPs. There will be “poster teams” in which 2-3 undergraduate students will be assigned to a graduate student for intermittent supervision on mini-research topics related to your project. These undergraduate students shall submit a short data report (no more than 2 pages) that clearly describes their contribution to your work.

CRN: 99775;   Textbooks: NONE

Course Objectives:  The course is designed fulfill, in part, the requisites associated with a graduate degree in meteorology –including basic research and pedagogy. At the end of the course, students will have:

1. honed their data collection (e.g., sampling strategies) and processing skills

2. developed an understanding of the physical principles and limitations associated with Doppler radar

3. an improved understanding of the operational aspects and nuances of Doppler radar deployment

4. better insight on the nature and evolution of small scale atmospheric phenomena

Topics  Covered: Physical principles of radar, radar deployment strategies, basic radar applications,radar data processing, viewing, and interpretation.