Sunday, 11 January 2009
An updated warm season convective wind climatology for the Florida Spaceport
Phoenix Convention Center
The previous warm season (May-September) convective wind climatology for the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) areas was updated with data for 2006 and 2007 to extend the climatology over 13 years (1995-2007). Data from the KSC/CCAFS Mesonet, NEXRAD radar data from KMLB, and surface and upper air data for the region were used to identify and classify the additional convective wind periods and daily flow regimes. The methodologies developed from earlier studies (Loconto 2006; Cummings et al. 2007; and Dinon et al. 2008) were used to quality control the tower peak wind data and identify individual convective wind events. High quality manual surface observations from the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility (KTTS) were extremely useful in this identification. Archived KMLB radar data were obtained from the National Climate Data Center and overlaid with the CCAFS/KSC tower peak wind data to confirm the presence and extent of convection and peak winds associated with it. Convective events with strong synoptic forcing were eliminated by analyzing archived sea level pressure and surface wind gust analysis. Flow regimes were determined for the entire warm season (including the days without convection) using a method established by Lericos et al (2002).
Five minute peak wind data from 36 weather towers on and around CCAFS/KSC were used to identify peak wind gusts and classify an event as warning level (peak gust ≥ 35kts) or non-warning level (peak gust < 35kts). Events were further analyzed for boundary interactions, cell type, cell strength, group direction, cell direction and location of max peak wind using a method developed by Dinon et al. (2007). The objective was to determine empirical relationships between warning level and non warning level convective events. Results show the importance of flow regime, sea breeze front and other boundary interactions in generating most warning level events.