142 Impacts of UAS Data on Thunderstorm Forecasts for the 28 June 2016 PRECIP Event

Thursday, 25 October 2018
Stowe & Atrium rooms (Stoweflake Mountain Resort )
George Limpert, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and A. Houston

Unmanned aircraft can collect observations in areas not readily sampled by other platforms, such as the ability to conduct low-altitude transects across structures like fronts. However, the utility of these observations to improve model forecasts of thunderstorms and storm environments has not yet been determined. The 28 June 2016 intensive observing period for the Program for Research on Elevated Convection with Intense Precipitation (PRECIP) included an unmanned aircraft, with the specific goal of collecting data near and across air mass boundaries. Aircraft and surface data were collected in the Nebraska Panhandle during the afternoon, prior to initiation of thunderstorms over southeast Wyoming and before an intense overnight MCS. Although no air mass boundary was present in the area, a north-south and an east-west flight of approximately 60 km were conducted. Data denial experiments are being conducted to measure the value of aircraft observations of the planetary boundary layer for nowcasting thunderstorm activity. These observing system experiments are being conducted in a 1 km nest using HRRR initial and lateral boundary conditions, with verification focused on thunderstorm coverage, location, and strength.
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