RAC Course Outline


The course outline and lesson material for the FY20 Radar Applications Course (RAC) is hosted here. The AWIPS Fundamentals course is a pre-requisite for RAC. For more information, see the AWIPS Fundamentals VLab RAC home page.


IMPORTANT: Some RAC lesson PDFs listed below are very large and require some time to load!



This lesson provides an overview of the course to students and local facilitators. Each section of the course will be touched.


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Introduction to the WSR-88D System

This lesson is an overview of all of the main components and subcomponents of the WSR-88D system. In order to effectively operate the system and produce the best quality data, it is important to understand the basics of these six components and how data flows through the entire system. 


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Principles of Radar

This topic consists of 24 lessons that cover a variety of scientific principles about how Doppler radar in general, and the WSR-88D in particular, work. These lessons will cover many technical details of how the WSR-88D collects data, quality controls it, and processes it into base and derived products.


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Velocity Interpretation

This topic consists of two lessons on the proper interpretation of radial Doppler velocity patterns. These lessons will present how to interpret Doppler velocity patterns under uniform, non-uniform, ambiguous, and meteorologically complex conditions. 


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Base and Derived Products

This topic will present the suite of Base and Derived Products and their applications. Also presented will be relevant information on the algorithms that generate the various products and displays.


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Winter Weather Applications

This topic covers winter weather precipitation type analysis and how to account for errors in the Snow Accumulation Algorithm (SAA).


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Convective Storm Structure and Evolution

This topic describes some important thermodynamic and kinematic parameters developed to evaluate convective severe weather potential. The instruction also treats the fundamental relationships between shear and instability with respect to convective storm type, focusing both on recent observations and numerical simulations of storms. Next are typical environments of weakly sheared and strongly sheared convection, recognition and interpretation of severe storm signatures, and how severe weather signatures are manifested by particular severe weather hazards.


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Flash Floods

This topic introduces the fundamental concepts behind flash flood meteorology and hydrology. Additionally, it discusses the products and tools available in AWIPS-2 that can be useful for flash flood decision-making.


Click here to view lesson PDF.

Storm-Based Warning Fundamentals

This topic provides the fundamental knowledge and skills required to issue effective storm-based warnings. Training includes skills for basic proficiency in using some AWIPS storm interrogation applications such as WarnGen, and recommended strategies for polygon creation and placement. 


Click here to view lesson PDF.