S91 The Relationship between Convective Sea-Breezes and Atmospheric Instability Parameters

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Caroline Kolakoski, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Sea breezes (SB) are common in the Mobile Bay region during the warm season: May through October. Sea breezes can initiate strong and dangerous thunderstorms, but also provide approximately 25% of our total rainfall. The latter is important to agricultural activities in the region as well as water resource planning. While forecasters can predict when a given day may be conducive to thunderstorm formation, it is not possible to predict exactly when and where the thunderstorms will form that day. This research will aid in forecasting of potential thunderstorm formation more accurately.

In this project, Mobile County sea breezes during the years 2006, 2007, and 2010 will be studied. Using radar images from the Mobile Doppler Weather radar (KMOB WSR-88D), days where sea breezes did and did not spark thunderstorms, will be identified. Differences in atmospheric stability parameters between the two categories will be compared. Preliminary results for Cross Totals, Vertical Totals, Total Totals, and K Index indicate that convective SB days had averages that were closest to the thresholds, for thunderstorm formation, while days without a SB was the second closest and dry SB days were the least close. Other instability parameters will be explored next and presented at the conference.

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