To determine the impact of natural environmental variability on convective storm dynamics, we first use Oklahoma City as a basis, retrieving the sounding from the climatology and performing an idealized simulation initiated with a thermal bubble. We then extract the soundings from adjacent grid boxes in the zonal and meridional directions and perform the same idealized simulations except that each point has three simulations: change in thermodynamics, change in shear, and change in both thermodynamics and shear; these simulations will allow us to determine how updraft velocity is expected to change for storms forming at different locations within a given region.
The key result is a deterministic relation between distance and updraft velocity. This relationship has two important implications. First, it provides an estimate of the potential variability in convective updraft strength across a given area, which is critical because numerical weather prediction models are plagued by issues related to the timing and location of convective initiation. The relationship allows for a more statistical approach to understanding the potential strength of convection on a given day and over a certain region. Second, the derived relationship can be used to determine the required change in other fields, e.g., aerosol loading, over identical distances such that the natural environmental thermodynamic and shear variability effects on updrafts are overcome by these secondary factors.