Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Summer Convection: Regional Activity and Patterns and Flights
An online interactive archival database of summer season convective initiation for the PHI CWA of the NWS was examined with regard to the development and distribution of severe storm reports. The intent was to improve forecast accuracy and response by providing more precise information on convective patterns, timing, and severity – particularly with regard to the major and regional airports in the region. Local storm reports were examined with regard to type (i.e. damaging wind, large hail, and/or tornado) as a function of convective day (event versus contaminate), 500 mb flow, and the prevailing surface synoptic weather regime. These were mapped through GIS in order to relate the occurrence, frequency, and patterns (in space and time) associated with convective initiation that included severe storm reports. These were then considered with regard to flight patterns and various terminals to assess the nature of impacts of convective activity whether severe or not. Further analysis of those days reporting severe storms included the use of composite re-analysis data so as to distinguish those atmospheric fields and/or characteristics that were associated with severe versus non-severe convective initiation and later severe or non-severe convection. Results may be used in considering planning and response to expected convective activity by airport from a regional perspective.