S54 Updating the KSC/CCAFS Warm-Season Convective Wind Climatology

Sunday, 23 January 2011
Katie Laro, MetStat, Inc., Fort Collins, CO

This summer, my project has been to update the Kennedy Space Center (KSC)/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Warm-Season Convective Wind Climatology by adding information for years, 2008 and 2009, which expands the coverage from 1995 through 2009. This work initially involves identifying specific convective periods, where thunderstorms and/or other convective showers were present in the area, by reviewing radar and surface-based observations. Next, the 5-minute peak wind observations for these periods from 36 KSC/CCAFS weather towers, located in the region, were collected, quality controlled and analyzed for various characteristics, such wind speeds, heights at which peak winds were recorded, time of peak wind speeds, tower which recorded the peak wind speed, and direction from which the winds were coming. Numerous radar files were also acquired and analyzed to update the radar characteristics part of the entire climatology. Some results were further confirmation that the higher convective winds most often come from linear shaped storms and interactions with linear boundaries. Another facet, included in the study, was investigating the overall low level flow regimes on a given day for both convective and non convective days. Flow regimes are classified by the position of the subtropical ridge axis relative to Florida. The results show that there was a solid correlation between flow regimes and convective events.

By adding more years of data to the overall study, it makes the results more robust and useful. The climatology is used in training of weather forecasters at CCAFS and enhances their ability to forecast convective winds, which can affect KSC/CCAFS range operations.

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