AquariusRadar-- Weather Moderation with Microwave Energy
Radar Rain Shadow Map
Amelia Earhart Mystery Individual reporting station 8 year averages are mapped to show the narrow but very deep rain shadow created by the continous operation of a powerful radar in Northwest Florida. The Florida Department of Forestry data is edited to eliminate reports from unmanned stations (Grand Ridge reports only 3 years of data during a very dry period) and stations that report excessive "zeros". Of primary concern, zero monthly totals reported by Prosperity are discarded in the average arithmatic if nearby stations report normal rainfall for the month and the running average for the year is used for that month. The powerful radar coverage is thought to be 120 degrees and is outlined on the map by the dark lines running east and west along the coast. Scale is approximately 1" equals 12 miles
Georgia and Florida Test Proposal The principal feature of the map is the rain shadow chasm that runs from the powerful radar atop the Choctawhatchee Bay through the Prosperity reporting station in Holmes County and Northeastward to Alabama. Prosperity station received an average 18.5 inches of rain over the 8 year period, dramatically lower than Argyle in Walton County, which sets at the chasms edge and received 60+ inches annually over the 8 year period. The Prosperity annual average would be less than 15" if the DOF data were not edited to discard some of the reported zeros and use running averages for the year instead. Holmes County CoCoRaHS reporting stations FL-HS-1/2 and FL-HS-3 straddle the deepest part of the shadow canyon. While only one and half years of valid data is available, the reports confirm the slope of the western edge is very steep to the bottom, while the eastern side rises back towards normal at a much slower rate. This parallels the DOF data for Argyle(Walton) and Bonifay(Holmes).
Stormwater Abatement A second major feature is the generally drier conditions for the counties north and east of the surveillance radar. While upwind areas receive 60+ inches, the downwind counties never recover fully. With the exception of Wettappo, the Southeast downwind region has only 50 to 55 inches on average. The region Northeast has but 50 inches. This is a negative result of the inadvertant microwave heating of clouds by the radar. Georgia reseachers need to look closely at all available rainfall data to see if this is a contributing factor in Georgia's continuing drought problems. The author of this paper speculates that the lack of vertical developement in the area may create a water vapor "block" that affects wide downwind areas. This drier environment can be confirmed with radar data from numerous WSR-88 NexRad stations. Any investigator who likes can observe the weather modification by going to the NWS radar presentation Northwest Florida Radar at Red Bay(EVX) or the Tallahassee Radar as rain fronts pass through the area. The Fort Rucker WSR88 data provides additional coverage from a good vantage point. In the future, the CoCoRaHS station data will be increasingly important. CoCoRaHS stations directly on the deepest part of the shadow both north and south of Prosperity could help confirm the radar's weather modification effect.
Cloud Seeding Augmentation There are plentiful examples of anecdotal data to support the existance of the rain shadow: a large agricultural endeavor located in the red and pink areas of the shadow just north of Freeport has failed. The overhead view provided by satellite and aerial photos shows circular irrigation fields devoid of vegetation and bright white from fertilizer and irrigation salts. The crystal clear spring lakes of Washington and Northern Bay counties have been at record low levels for several decades. Large portions of Holmes and Jackson counties are open grass lands. Previously long leaf pine forest or farm land, the recent dry environment barely sustains ranching on the sandy soils. Silvaculture struggles. A major wild animal theme park planned along I-10 in the Bonifay area was scrubbed. Attracted by the low land prices, the developer considered water availability and found it lacking; the huge volumes of water for such an attraction is a major cost consideration. West, across the rainshadow chasm and further upwind into Okaloosa County, most streams are noted for abundant flow rates.
Hail Suppression Another feature are the low rainfall rates on the coast. The dry beaches from Panama City through Destin and Fort Walton to Navarre have made this the most popular tourist mecca of the Emerald Coast. Storm cells, in every stage of developement, approaching the coastline on the predominate SW/NE track are going to encounter increasing levels of microwave power. The rain making power of these cells is diminished by the stronger and continous microwave energy.
Ideal Candidate The last feature to discuss is the area of slightly increased rainfall >65 inches in the center of Okaloosa and Walton counties. This irregular and somewhat variable zone, shown here with straight lines, is generally bounded by Crestview on the West, DeFuniak Springs on the East and Gaskin at the NE corner. DoF reporting station Jackson Still is included in the boundry. A large portion of this area is on a military reservation without ground stations, but NexRad annual estimates exceed 75 inches in some years. This area is the result of the positive AquariusRadar mode where the average radar energy is continuous but at the just right level of microwave power. Not too hot and not too cold. Once the rain cell passes over the coastline, at the extreme lower left of the map and out of the radar's zone of coverage, rapid developement is initiated. This zone is known locally as the "Crestview Line"; towering thunderstorms are the result of the water transport from the Gulf where the radar's energy metered abundant moisture to the cloud in a slow growth phase without rain falling. The dynamic growth factors, including daytime heating in half the cases, now have abundant moisture for growth of an already substanial thunderstorm. The Crestview line are powerful thunderstorms and can extend from north of Eglin AFB all the way into southern Alabama at Enterprise and Northwest Dothan. AquariusRadar impact on storms is a "rob Peter to pay Paul" system so that the coastal area directly southeast of the area is drier. The results of a current rainfall study is at the bottom of the page with links to individual months of the year. email me with your comments
Frequent Questions?
Gulf of Mexico Operations California researchers should review the rainfall/snowfall data down wind of a similar powerful radar north of Sacramento to determine if any rain shadow exists there.
Southern California Operations This dramatic inadverdant modification of local weather by the microwave heating by this powerful radar is evidence that the impact of microwave heating is a quantifiable physical effect and not speculation. Water managers and government water researchers owe the public ( thier clients ) a comprehensive analysis of the AquariusRadar technology. Researchers for advanced programs at Homeland Security (HSARPA) interested in hurricane modification techniques should study the potential impact of this powerful radar upon storms Alberto(1994) and Opal (1995) which passed over the coast very close to the radar's location.
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