Forecasters typically use calculated fields such as CAPE and CIN to monitor convective potential. Analyses from LAPS and RUC (Rapid Update Cycle) are two of the more widely used schemes that have been available on AWIPS for a number of years to examine convective potential. Several more recently developed analyses will be used in this study and compared, including LAPS at both 5 km (LAPS currently on AWIPS is at a horizontal resolution varying from 10 to 5 km), and a new 1 km horizontal resolution, a scheme known as STMAS (for Space and Time Multiscale Analysis System) at 5 km horizontal resolution, and analyses from the HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model, a 3 km horizontal resolution variant of the RUC Rapid Refresh model that is run hourly out to 15 h (only analyses will be used in this study)). All of these will be compared to the NCEP RTMA (Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis) that is now available on AWIPS at 5 km resolution.
We will focus on examining cases with well-defined boundaries, such as the DCVZ, but also other stationary and moving boundaries. The two main fields that will be subjectively compared will be surface convergence and vorticity, since these have been related to the potential for non-supercell tornado development in previous studies. The main question to be addressed will be whether trends in these fields using the analysis schemes noted above that are available in real-time are useful aids to forecasting convective initiation and non-supercell tornado potential. With the variety of schemes used we can examine issues such as the importance of horizontal resolution as well as different analysis methods. The various schemes are now available online in real-time and some are available on AWIPS. We intend to make all of them available on AWIPS so that forecasters at the Boulder WFO will be able to evaluate them in real-time during the summer of 2010.
Szoke, E.J., M.L. Weisman, J.M. Brown, F. Caracena and T.W. Schlatter, 1984: A subsynoptic analysis of the Denver tornadoes of 3 June 1981. Mon. Wea. Rev., 112, 790-808.
Baumgardt, D.A., and K. Cook, 2006: Preliminary evaluation of a parameter to forecast environments conducive to non-mesocyclone tornadogenesis. 23rd Conference on Severe Local Storms, St. Louis, Paper 12.1.