85 An Overview of Forecasts and Convection-Allowing Model Guidance during VORTEX-SE Year 1 Field Operations

Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Ryan Wade, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and A. W. Lyza, D. M. Conrad, B. Goudeau, C. A. Lisauckis, and B. M. Lund

Year 1 of the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment - Southeast (VORTEX-SE) field campaign in north Alabama presented significant challenges with respect to forecasting severe convection and deciding on “go” or “no-go” for intensive observation periods (IOPs).  As part of the ATS 454 / 554 Mesoscale Forecasting class, University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) students, in collaboration with UAH faculty and forecasters at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Huntsville, provided extended ( > 7 days), short-term (3-7 days), and IOP-term (0-2 day) forecasts for the field campaign.  Gulf Coast mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) inhibiting return flow, cool air wedging from the east and northeast limiting instability, and rapid changes in numerical model guidance after IOP declaration (particularly convection-allowing models) are just a few of the challenges faced during year 1 of the field project.  The lessons learned from the year 1 challenges represent an opportunity to provide better forecast guidance for year 2 of the field campaign.  An overview of forecasts and forecast challenges for each IOP, student involvement in project forecasting, lessons learned from year 1, and an evaluation of CAM performance for each IOP will be discussed.

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