S179 Effects of changing land use on simulated convective systems in the Florida panhandle

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Francesca M. Lappin, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; and H. E. Fuelberg

Land uses in Florida are rapidly changing from their natural state to accommodate the States' growing population. These changes include an increase in cropland or metropolitan coverage. Previous studies have shown that moisture and temperature gradients associated with gradients in land use can influence convection. However, the studies disagree about the extent to which variability in land use influences the structure of convective systems. This study models the structural changes of a preexisting quasi-linear convective system due to altering the land surface over which it is passing. The simulations employ the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model on a squall line in the Florida panhandle. The Florida panhandle was chosen for study because of its proximity to a strongly curved coastline, and the observed tendency for squall lines to bifurcate around the Tallahassee, Florida region. The experiment evaluates changes in the storm when the land use type is switched. Based on the dominant wind regime, the land surface upwind of the flow is altered, from its natural state of forested regions, to either Urban and Built Up or Croplands. The land use classification being used is the MODIS IGBP 21-category, which is determined yearly by satellite. The WRF output parameters that are analyzed include radar reflectivity, water vapor content, CAPE, and sensible heat fluxes. Results could impact how the region is forecast and lead to more informed decisions about changes to the land use.

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