Comparison of Methodologies for Detecting Convective Initiation Due to Differences in Land Use

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Alex M. Haberlie, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL; and W. S. Ashley and T. J. Pingel

Handout (1.0 MB)

Many urban precipitation studies have employed rain gauge data to examine the effect developed areas have on regional precipitation patterns. More recently, the superior temporal and spatial resolution of radar data has been used to further investigate urban influenced precipitation patterns. However, few studies have examined the effect cities have on individual convective cells. Initially, this study explores the utility of the NEXRAD Storm Cell Identification and Tracking (SCIT) algorithm to identify convective initiation events associated with areas of intensely developed land use. The resulting 10-year (2002-2012), warm-season convective initiation climatology suggests that the lowest regional convective initiation density is over Atlanta, Georgia. We postulate that this result could be due to the gap in volumetric coverage near the radar installation and may not be due to land use or other urban effects. Two alternative convective initiation climatologies are generated using SCIT data from a neighboring radar installation and output from a novel storm initiation detection algorithm using national mosaic radar data. Results show that these alternative methods can be used to mitigate the systematic error produced by a radar installation in close proximity to the study area.