Thunderstorm Identification, Tracking, Analysis, and Nowcasting (TITAN)

TITAN is a real-time algorithm for automated identification, tracking, and extrapolation based short-term forecasting of thunderstorms utilizing volume-scan weather radar data.  For each time step, defined by the radar scanning strategy, TITAN identifies a “storm” as a contiguous region exceeding tunable thresholds for reflectivity (e.g., 35 or 40 dBZ) and size (either area or volume).  A combinatorial optimization scheme is employed to match the storms at one time with those at the following time, with some geometric logic to deal with mergers and splits.  The short-term forecast of both position and size is based on a weighted linear fit to the storm track history data.

Besides identification and tracking of storm cells, TITAN also calculates a wide range of storm attributes, including echo area extent and volume, echo top, height of the maximum reflectivity, and storm motion (speed and direction), among many others more.  A detailed description of TITAN is provided by Dixon and Wiener (1993).