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Doppler weather radars with fast scanning rates must estimate spectral moments based on a small number of echo samples. This paper concerns the estimation of mean Doppler velocity in a coherent radar using a short complex time series. Specific results are presented based on 16 samples. A wide range of signal-to-noise ratios are considered, and attention is given to ease of implementation. It is shown that FFT estimators fare poorly in low SNR and/or high spectrum-width situations. Several variants of a vector pulse-pair processor are postulated and an algorithm is developed for the resolution of phase angle ambiguity. This processor is found to be better than conventional processors at very low SNR values. A feasible approximation to the maximum entropy estimator is derived as well as a technique utilizing the maximization of the periodogram. It is found that a vector pulse-pair processor operating with four lags for clear air observation and a single lag (pulse-pair mode) for storm observation may be a good way to estimate Doppler velocities over the entire gamut of weather phenomena.