895 West Central Florida Warm Season Waterspouts

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Charles H. Paxton, NOAA/NWS, Ruskin, FL; and B. A. Mroczka, A. McKaughan, and C. Kryston

Southwest Florida from the Tampa Bay area south to Fort Myers has an abundance of waterspouts, and many transition into damaging tornadoes as they move onshore. Most waterspouts are sighted during the warm season, when the area is convectively active. During the cool season, stronger, more persistent radar indications of waterspouts are apparent, but are often too far from land or obscured by clouds to be seen. This research examines warm season waterspouts from April through October from 1995-2015 and explores when, where, and how they form. The waterspouts that are reported are usually within 20 km of shore and reports are more likely near the more densely populated areas. Warm season waterspouts are often narrow and may not be visible on radar – particularly at greater distances. Most warm season waterspouts occur during the afternoon and early evening along sea breeze or outflow boundaries, but some form during the morning particularly along the land breeze boundary. For this research, soundings were recreated using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis Data with 25 mb vertical resolution. The soundings were stratified into similar wind and thermodynamic profiles and representative cases were gathered to gain insight into forecasting development a day or two in advance.

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