Four-dimensional Stormcell Investigator (FSI)

Storm cell investigator image -- click to enlarge


In the pre-WSR-88D era, many radar consoles allowed operational meteorologists to manually control the radar beam, including the capabilities to view vertical cross-sections.  These radar display and control capabilities allowed research and operational meteorologists to amass expertise in the horizontal and vertical structure and evolution of severe storms, and allowed for the development of the first operational guidelines for diagnosing base radar data in identifying supercell storms ( aka the “Lemon Technique”).  The WSR-88D operates using automated volume coverage patterns, and display techniques to convert elevation scan data into vertical cross-sections is not very user friendly.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) developed a 3D and 4D base radar display application for its Warning Decision Support System – Integrated Information (WDSSII).  This technology allows users to create and manipulate dynamic cross-sections (both vertical and at constant altitude), such that one can “slice and dice” storms and view these data in three-dimensions and across time.  This project has been imported into AWIPS.

What is FSI?


FSI components

See the FSI “in action”

Read more about the FSI

Who is developing the FSI?

The FSI project is a collaboration between the NWS’s Meteorological Development Laboratory in Silver Spring, MD, the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK, the Warning Decision Training Branch, also in Norman, OK, and the Global Systems Division

Points of Contact

Greg Stumpf, Team Lead, CIMMS and NWS/MDL, Norman, OK, 405-366-0477

Dr. Stephan B. Smith, NWS, 301-713-1768 ext 160

Mike Magsig, NWS/WDTB, Norman, OK, 405-573-3415

Tom Filiaggi, NWS/MDL, Boulder, CO, 303-497-6578