Incorporating mesoscale lightning climatologies into the NWS IFPS/GFE forecast routine along the Gulf Coast
Jessica R. Stroupe, NOAA/NWS, Lake Charles, LA and Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; and H. E. Fuelberg, A. I. Watson, K. G. Kuyper, S. K. Rinard, and M. C. Koziara
The Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) allows the National Weather Service (NWS) forecaster to prepare graphical depictions of present and predicted weather. The forecaster no longer types text for routinely scheduled products. Instead, the gridded environment in which the forecaster works contains various weather elements. He/she populates these grids with model data or information from other sources, such as locally developed studies or climatologies. Using the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFS), the central part of the IFPS, the forecaster edits the grids to reflect local experience and knowledge, providing valuable insight to the forecast. A set of “tools” allows the forecaster to interpolate, fill in other associated weather elements, check consistency among weather elements, publish grids to a national data base, generate graphical products for the web, and produce routinely scheduled text products for public, marine, and fire weather services.
Much of the summertime precipitation in Florida and along the northern Gulf Coast is associated with the interaction of the sea breeze and the synoptic scale flow. Detailed climatologies of cloud-to-ground lightning are being developed for these two geographic areas, as functions of low-level flow, time of day, and thermodynamic parameters computed from radiosonde data. These climatologies are being incorporated into the NWS IFPS/GFE system, providing assistance to the meteorologist faced with the challenge of making detailed forecasts of summertime convection along highly complex coastlines (i.e., bays, marshes, inlets, etc.). These climatologies can provide improved resolution, enabling more detailed forecasting of the times and locations of convective storm development.
This paper will describe the lightning climatologies and how they can be used in the IFPS/GFE environment. The procedures we will describe can serve as a model for other types of climatologies (temperature, precipitation, etc.) that could be utilized in other areas of the nation.
Extended Abstract (1.6M)
Session 8, IIPS and NWP Applications (ROOM 613/614)
Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Room 613/614
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