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Potential Applications of a CONUS Sounding Climatology Developed at the Storm Prediction Center

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Thursday, 6 November 2014
Capitol Ballroom AB (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Jaret W. Rogers, SPC/NWS/NOAA, Norman, OK; and R. L. Thompson and P. T. Marsh
Manuscript (755.2 kB)

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) maintains an internal database of observational soundings from the contiguous United States (CONUS), dating back to the 1950s for many sites. This database has been the source of extensive development in both research and operational forecasting over the past several decades. However, a complete climatology of the available dataset was not developed until recently. The initial motivation for this work was to produce a web-based tool that can be used operationally by forecasters for assessing the historical context of recent sounding observations. The tool was published to the SPC website during the summer of 2014, and includes 68 base variables and derived parameters from routine (i.e., 0000 and 1200 UTC) historical soundings from every site in the CONUS. In addition to mandatory-level variables that are commonly referenced by operational forecasters, customized calculations from SPC NSHARP software were applied to include frequently used severe, fire, and winter weather forecasting parameters in the database.

A description of the development methodology and potential operational applications of the web-based tool will be provided. Additional uses for severe weather forecasting and research through exploiting this nationwide sounding climatology continue to be explored and will be discussed in further detail, including example plots of ongoing related work.

Supplementary URL: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundingclimo/