Research within weather radar

Data from weather radars are an important tool in order to capture precipitation which is a factor to deal with when calculate or make forecasts. At SMHI research within weather radar work a lot with forecast models and a lot of the work is international.

Radarstationer inom radarnätverket BALTRAD
The BALTRAD weather radar stations. Enlarge Image

Together with neighbouring countries to Sweden there is a weather radar network. This radar network cover the Baltic region and in the west also parts of the Norwegian sea.

The Swedish radar network is a part of Baltex Radar Network (BALTRAD) which is a cooperation between countries around the Baltic sea. BALTRAD is managed by BALTEX Radar Data Center. This center continuously produce and archive quality controlled radar data. The archive started 1999.

BALTEX Radar Data Center

Data quality

The quantification and characterization of uncertainty in weather radar measurements have become more and more important during the recent years. Both issues are covered by the COST concerted research action 731, COST Project 731

Especially in cold climates the operational use of radar data is a challenge. An inventory of major error sources has been conducted within the northern European cooperation and can be browsed online at the Nordic Weather Radar Network (NORDRAD). All Swedish weather radars are included in this Nordic network NORDRAD.

In 2005 the NORDMET Activity on Radar Applications (NORA) has been established. Its aim is to foster the Nordic development of common operational algorithms and software to create new radar products or improve existing ones for the quantitative use of radar data. Ongoing projects are devoted to the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR) correction and beam propagation.


Radar products are applied operationally to SMHI's Mesoscale Analysis (MESAN). The assimilation of radar reflectivities and Doppler winds in NWP models is currently under development in cooperation with the ALADIN consortium and the HIRLAM partners, respectively.

KNEP is a project at SMHI where radar data is used together with the HIRLAM model to make a precipitation produkt for nowcasting. This precipitation product works for up to six hours.