2002 Annual

Wednesday, 16 January 2002
A New Convective Sounding Analysis Program for AWIPS
Matthew J. Bunkers, NOAA/NWSFO, Rapid City, SD
Poster PDF (132.3 kB)
Sounding analysis of kinematic and thermodynamic data (both observed and model-derived) is a critical component of convective storm forecasting. The Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) has the ability to display both skewT-logP diagrams and hodographs, but not all of the pertinent parameters for convective storm forecasting are readily available. Moreover, it is a slow process to get recent research (e.g., 0-1-km storm-relative helicity, vorticity generation potential) incorporated into future AWIPS builds. Finally, the display of the vertical wind shear distribution (via the hodograph) is undesirable for effectively anticipating convective storm model.

A local application has been developed that will calculate these needed parameters for convective storm forecasting. For example, instability parameters are simultaneously output for the surface-based, mixed-layer, and most-unstable parcels using the virtual temperature correction, which allows for easy inter-comparison of the lifting methods. Also, climatological precipitable water values are incorporated into the program to assess heavy rain potential. The kinematic data are output to a file which can then be used in an advanced hodograph spreadsheet to view various shear parameters and forecast storm motions. This program utilizes the latest research on storm environments (e.g. Rasmussen and Blanchard 1998) and supercell motion (Bunkers et al. 2000) to produce output which better facilitates making a convective storm forecast. Future plans call for a graphical user interface to generate skewT-logP diagrams and hodographs.

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