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14-19 OCTOBER 2006

Broadcaster Workshop

Using COMET Modules as Educational and Continuing Education Opportunities.  Elizabeth Page, UCAR/COMET, Greensboro, NC.

No abstract available.

Watershed Education for Weather Broadcasters.  Matthew Kelsch, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO.    

     Weather broadcasters are front-line communicators for helping the public understand not only the weather, but also related weather impacts.  Weather has an impact on the environment in which we live, and an integral part of that environment are watersheds.  When it comes to the protection of the environment, an informed and educated public is essential.  This paper describes an effort that is the result of a partnership between the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF) and the COMET Program.  NEETF and COMET have developed a Broadcast Meteorology Website and a corresponding two-hour short course titled, “Watersheds: Connecting Weather to the Environment.”
     The Broadcast Meteorologist Community Website provides access to relevant online educational resources from the COMET Program and other sources.  The online watersheds course provides the broadcast meteorologist with education on what a watershed is, the characteristics of watershed systems, water sources and water quality within a watershed and watershed system, and finally, how weather events relate to the environmental health of a watershed and the actions that the public can take to protect watershed health.
     The watersheds course compliments an on-going effort by NEETF, called Earth Gauge, which is a program that currently provides environmental tips appropriate to the three-day forecast for 53 television markets reaching 130 million viewers. These tips are written and designed to allow weather broadcasters to integrate them into their on-air weather reports.  In a like fashion, the watersheds course has been designed to achieve two major goals: 1.) To convey scientifically sound information about watersheds and the relationship of weather to watershed health, and 2.) To do so in a way that models how such information may be communicated effectively to the public.  Another goal of the project was to design the materials in a way that broadcast meteorologists could readily borrow content from the course to use either on their station web sites or on the air.  This presentation will discuss design features of the course and demonstrate elements of it.

The Functionality of a New Radar Software Package: GRLevel2 Analyst Edition. Ted Keller, KOLR/KSFX-TV, Springfield, MO

     A new software application is now available to interpret National Weather Service 88D Level II radar data in real time.  GRLevel2 Analyst Edition (GR2AE) features a high quality volumetric display which allows you to interpret radar data in four dimensions. Several high resolution reflectivity-derived graphical products in addition to the standard Level II base data.
     GR2AE derives five 2D products from the Level II volume reflectivity: echo tops, vertically integrated liquid (VIL), VIL density (VILD), probability of severe hail (POSH) and maximum expected hail size (MEHS).  The user can also manually input storm motion vectors or use on-screen markers to estimate storm motion.  Through the use of shapefiles and placefiles, users can display a wide variety of geographic and meteorological parameters and data.
     This presentation will: 1) review GR2AE's features, 2) explore the use of GR2AE using real data and 3) discuss the usefulness of 3D rendering in identifying storm structure.  It will also explore how GR2AE can help television meteorologists make more informed decisions during severe weather episodes especially with regard to live cut-ins.   The idea of displaying GR2AE data on-air during such cut-ins will also be explored.

The First Operational Polarimetric Doppler Radar for Television Use.  James-Paul Dice, WHNT-TV, Huntsville, AL.

      WHNT-TV and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) jointly developed the first operational polarimetric Doppler radar for broadcast television.  The system went on-line November, 2003.  The system combines a 350kW transmitter with a Sigmet RVP-8 processor and RCP-8 antenna controller.  The radar is called ARMOR (Advanced Radar for Meteorological and Operational Research).
     ARMOR offers broadcast meteorologists the advanced capabilities including hydrometeor identification and rainfall mapping.  Since 2004, meteorologists at WHNT-TV have been using the radar to distinguish between rain and hail as well as detecting rain/snow lines during Winter weather events.  The radar operates both in a single elevation surveillance scan as well as a volume scan depending on the weather event.
     Polarimetric Doppler is the next step in weather radar technology.  The National Weather Service NEXRAD network is scheduled for an upgrade to polarimetric technology within the next five years.   WHNT is jointly developing value-added radar products with Huntsville-based Baron Services as well as UAH for the benefit of public safety.
    This presentation outlines the history and technology of the ARMOR radar system as well as its verification during several severe weather events.   
Performance of New Tornado Detection Algorithms: The 18 August 2005 Stoughton, Wisconsin Tornado.  Mike Beles, Weather Central, Inc.

This case study will examine the performance of new tornado detection algorithms during the 18 August 2005 Stoughton, Wisconsin F3 tornado. The data is displayed in the ESP:LIVE  storm-tracking system from Weather Central, Inc. (WCI) of Madison, Wis., and the algorithms were created by Weather Decisions Technologies (WDT) of Norman, Okla.. New parameters from these algorithms showed a readily apparent increase in the intensity of the rotation with this well-defined supercell. Advanced warning of the severity of the storm was possible due to analysis of new parameters such as the MesoCyclone Strength Index. In addition, variables such as mesocyclone base and depth are also examined to determine the 3D characteristics of the storm and how they evolved over time.

Cyclone Saturday: A Review of the Teamwork and Technology during the 12 November 2005 Iowa Tornadoes.  John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA and Daryl Herzmann, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

On 12 November 2005, a series of late season supercell storms moved across Central Iowa, striking three communities.  Due to a combination of timely NWS warnings, live webcam/stormchaser video and continuous media broadcasts, few injuries and only one death occured.  The event was also unique in that a NCAA college football game with 50,000 fans in Ames, Iowa was about to begin when a tornado passed within three miles of the stadium.  

The Use of Mesoscale Analysis.  Daniel McCarthy,  NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center. Norman, Ok.

No abstract available.

Introduction to Weather Radar Interpretation: Some Useful Insights for the TV Meteorologist. Richard Kane, NOAA/NWS Pittsburgh, PA.

Various aspects of weather radar usage and interpretation are presented which should be useful for TV meteorologists. Some of the radar characteristics and features addressed include such things as, basic radar principles, Volume Coverage Patterns (VCPs),  radar limitations, hail contamination and bright banding with respect to estimated radar rainfall, hail flares, tornadic versus downburst signatures, anomalous propagation (AP) and the differences in radar reflectivity and associated rainfall between tropical and mid-latitude precipitation echoes.

Walk In My Shoes: Unique Simulation Efforts at the 2006 National Severe Weather Workshop.  Elizabeth Quoetone, NOAA/NWS/WDTB Norman, OK. Daphne LaDue and Paul Schlatter, University of Oklahoma/CIMMS, Norman, OK, John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA and Dave Freeman, KSNW-TV, Wichita, KS.

     During severe weather operations, the effectiveness of the partnerships between the broadcast media, the NWS, and local emergency managers can have a big impact on how well severe weather information is conveyed to, and received from, the public.  Having a prior understanding of the challenges unique to each of these groups can greatly affect the quality of communications between these groups during the actual event.  
     With this in mind, a unique simulation was developed for participants in the 2006 National Severe Weather Workshop held in Oklahoma in March 2006. The primary goal of this simulation was to allow participants to develop an understanding of the duties their partners perform during severe weather, while developing a sense of the challenges that are faced by each group. Participants were divided into three groups such that no participant did their regular job. As a result, the participants had to take off their own cape of expertise and experience, and step into the uncomfortable position of doing the job their partners normally do. The intent was for the participants to not only build empathy for their counterparts, but to eventually impact real time events by incorporating the knowledge gained in this experience into future operations.  
The five-hour simulation, split between two days, was set up in three different rooms, one for each group, with each room having simultaneous feeds of displaced real-time data. The rooms represented the NWS (Storm Prediction Center and Weather Forecast Office), the Media, and Emergency Management. In the NWS room, the SPC group analyzed data and discussed the societal constraints relative to issuing severe weather outlooks and watches. After a watch was issued, participants switched to the WFO role focusing on real-time radar data analysis in a time-pressured environment.  Threats were conveyed via warnings and statements that were then transmitted to the other two rooms. In the Emergency Operations Center, the group digested the information from a multitude of sources and provided real-time spotter reports, in addition to making decisions directly impacting the sounding of sirens and the safety of citizens. The Media Room dealt with decisions regarding expected weather and the possible impacts on programming. For participants broadcasting live to the other two rooms, the need to provide a constant flow of information during wall-to-wall coverage was one of the most challenging aspects.  
     This presentation will discuss the process of developing and conducting the simulation which required synchronous displaced real-time weather data in three different physical locations using three different platforms. The challenges each group faced in their decision making as they tried to do their job in a context that was time-pressured, complex, and ambiguous will also be discussed.  This context included the presence of live TV broadcasts and interactive Ham radio feeds.  Feedback from both simulation organizers and participants will be presented.

A Public-Private Partnership to Saturate Two Television Markets with NOAA Weather Radio.  Wayne Hart, WEHT-TV, Evansville, IN, John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA, Rick Shanklin, NOAA/NWS Paducah, KY and Jeff Johnson, NOAA/NWS Des Moines, IA.

     During the month of November 2005 several deadly tornadoes moved across the Midwest and Ohio River Valley.  These tornadoes caused millions in property damage and loss of life in the Evansville, Indiana and Des Moines, Iowa television markets.
      Stations WEHT-TV in Evansville and KCCI-TV in Des Moines joined with a manufacturer of digital Specific Area Message Encoded (S.A.M.E.) NOAA weather radios and major grocery store chains to make weather radios available at near wholesale cost. The result has been that nearly 100,000 weather radios are now in the hands of television viewers in these markets.
     The stations also worked with the Paducah, Kentucky and Des Moines, Iowa National Weather Service offices to assist the public with programming weather radios by hosting special "programming days" several times during the spring. Many thousands of radios were programmed during these highly publicized events.
     Video clips from the public outreach events and television promotions from each station's campaign will help to illustrate the overwhelming public response. This will also allow for an opportunity for audience discussion about the learning curve that took place during the first six weeks of these sister campaigns.  

From Watching to Watching Out: Public Reaction to Severe Weather Information. Jim Rasor & Samantha Davies, WSIL-TV, Carterville, IL

     The Ohio River Valley area of Southern Illinois is the home market of the Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925.  More recently, the area is home of the 1982 Marion tornado which claimed 10 lives.  Despite the history of violent tornadoes, the viewing public has cycled through extreme reactions to severe weather threats and warnings.  Jim Rasor has worked in this region as Chief Meteorologist for WSIL TV since 1987 and has observed these changing attitudes.  These changes have lead to adaptations of coverage practices and delivery methods.  Many of the changes, including an annual severe weather seminar for the public, have been cooperative events involving the local NWS office in Paducah, KY.
     The 1982 fatal tornado event was followed by 20 years of relative quiet tornado activity and no fatalities.  In 2002 that changed and every year since, significant tornado events have occurred and the viewing public has changed its expectations regarding severe weather information delivery.  This presentation will offer descriptions of the events using video and photographs for perspective.  The discussion will offer examples of information delivery, including a system used at WSIL to fill a gap between watches and warnings and provide lead time for viewers that need more time to find cover from violent storms.  Technology is providing better tools for communicating severe weather information.  Meteorologist Samantha Davies will discuss how WSIL uses internet instant messaging to swap reports with the NWS and provides custom closed captioning for the hearing impaired directly from the WSIL weather desk.   

FLASH: Strengthening Homes and Safeguarding Families through Partnerships. Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President/CEO of Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH, Inc.), Tallahassee, FL.

     The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH® was founded as a public awareness campaign in 1998 to educate citizens about disaster safety and promote safer, better-built homes in post-Hurricane Andrew Florida.  With the help of its founding partners, including federal and state agencies, other nonprofits, and financial and insurance businesses, FLASH helped create a widespread demand for stronger, safer homes.  When the initial success of the campaign revealed FLASH’s potential for long-term beneficial impact, FLASH was expanded into a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that offers free disaster safety and mitigation resources nationwide.  
     Today FLASH is committed to strengthening homes, safeguarding families, and protecting economic well-being by promoting disaster preparedness and mitigation.  FLASH’s list of partners continues to grow and now includes more than 75 public, private and nonprofit organizations such as the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Community Affairs, Institute for Business and Home Safety, , State Farm Insurance Companies, Allstate Insurance Company, Nationwide, USAA, The Home Depot, and Salvation Army.
     Every day FLASH plays a crucial role in reaching people across the U.S. with free innovative, award-winning programs on loss prevention and home safety including: public service campaigns, such as Turn Around, Don’t DrownTM; national television programs with Bob Vila and PBS; a popular educational website at www.flash.org; Blueprint for Safety; and printed resources such as FLASH Cards and a One-Stop Hurricane Resource Guide.  
     Leslie Chapman-Henderson will present  creative resources, which can help broadcasters understand and communicate disaster safety information to their audiences.   

SHARK-BAIT: How to Avoid Major Mistakes in Employment Contract Negotiations. Avery Friedman, Friedman Associates, Cleveland, OH.

No abstract available.

Storm-based Warnings:  Changes to NWS Warnings for the Digital Age. John Ferree, NOAA/NWS/Severe Storm Service Leader, Norman, OK and Dave Freeman, Chief Meteorologist, KSNW-TV, Wichita, KS.

     For about a year, a team of NWS employees has been looking at issuing warnings (Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood) on storms rather than on a county basis.  Polygons outlining the expected area of greatest risk of storm impact are currently listed as a set of latitude and longitude points at the bottom of these warnings.  The proposal is to make the “polygon” the official warning.  A demonstration project last year, and other supporting calculations indicate that the area under warnings may be reduced by as much as 70%.  This benefits the public by fewer people being advised to take cover.  Dan Sutter, an economist at the University of Oklahoma, estimated that this would save the public over 100 billion dollars.  Several new technologies, including mobile display systems using GIS, Digital EAS, and Reverse 911 cell phone technology are supported by these “Storm-Based” warnings.  To this point, there has been broad support for these “Storm-Based” warnings in our discussion with emergency managers, major retailers, private meteorologists, and broadcast meteorologists.

NWA Seal Recertification Update. Bryan Karrick, NWA Seal of Approval Recertification Chair and Mike Goldberg, Broadcast Meteorology Committee Chair         

No abstract available.

Keynote Addresses

No abstracts available for the keynote addresses.

Session: Customer Service

The Nation's Weather Enterprise: Short Course on the Public/Private Partnership.
John Toohey-Morales, representing the National Council of Industrial Meteorologists (NCIM)

     The United States receives its weather information from a three-sector "weather enterprise" system composed of government, private sector, and academia. In a groundbreaking collaboration, the National Council of Industrial Meteorologists partnered with NOAA to conduct a live course on June 1st at Howard University in Washington. Currently a distance learning module is being produced. This course aims to train professionals in both the private sector and government on how they can work together more effectively to advance the weather enterprise as a whole, with a focus on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the diverse private sector companies that work together to deliver weather and climate-related products and services. Participants will learn not only the basics relevant to government institutions and private enterprises, but will experience "walking a mile in each others shoes" through a case study approach. The course is designed to maximize interaction among participants and instructors, and it will be videotaped as the foundation for Web-based training that will be made available to the entire weather enterprise community.

Improving Partnerships through Training: An Interactive Web-supported Training Exercise for Decision-makers. Jason Johnson, Jonathan Brazzell, Derek Deroche, Scott Overpeck, Seth Nagle, Julie States, Hector Guerrero, and Amy McCullough, NOAA/NWS San Angelo, TX.

     The National Weather Service has a long tradition of providing weather support to emergency officials and first responders during hazardous events. Fostering partnerships and improving coordination with these groups promotes the planning and preparation needed to build a strong network essential to saving lives.  With advances in technology, the NWS has added additional ways for our customers to receive hazardous weather information, including Internet-based products such as graphical forecasts, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service graphics, and polygon warnings. With these new products comes a responsibility to work with our partners to ensure the information we provide is understandable and meets their needs.   
     The NWS Weather Forecast Office in San Angelo developed a training program aimed at enhancing the partnership and communication with county officials and first responders, as well as presenting new Internet-based products. The training program included a tabletop exercise with multiple weather scenarios supported by a mock NWS Internet web site.  The training was designed to provide numerous opportunities for open discussion to share best practices and identify potential needs. Although the training was initially targeted for decision-makers such as emergency managers and county judges, its success generated numerous requests from other public safety groups including 911 dispatchers and park rangers. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly demonstrate the training course curriculum and explain how this training has opened up new opportunities for the NWS San Angelo staff to work directly with our partners. Not only do we teach them about our new products and services, but we also strengthen our partnership to improve our response to all hazards.

Instant Messaging, Then and Now. Faith Borden, and Darone Jones NOAA/NWS, Birmingham, AL, and Daryl Herzmann, Iowa State University.

     The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Birmingham, Alabama has been using instant messaging to communicate with the media in real time since 2000.  It has evolved over the years from Yahoo! Instant Messenger to a new platform, IEM Chat, from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet of Iowa State University.  IEM Chat is a secure and scalable instant-messaging platform built on the Jabber XML Message Passing Protocol (XMPP).  Since Jabber is open standards based and freely extensible, exciting new software has been developed on top of the IEM Chat platform code-named 'iembot'.  The 'iembot' software relays summaries of NWS issued text products into pre-established chat rooms of which any signed up user can simultaneously join.  This software also allows for easy management so participants can monitor and participate in multiple rooms at one time.  IEM Chat has allowed for WFO Birmingham to expand the number of participants to include more than the media.  Being able to collaborate with local, county, and state emergency management, in addition to our media partners, in real-time has dramatically improved our ability to collect and disseminate accurate, time critical products to our customers.  Through this presentation it will be demonstrated how instant messaging has evolved, and how the IEM Chat platform has improved severe weather operations for WFO Birmingham.

Impact Weather Communications. Mark Fox, NOAA/NWS, Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, TX, Tom Bradshaw, NOAA/NWS, Southern Region Headquarters.

     The National Weather Service mission is to protect life and property and to enhance the nation’s economy. One of the most effective ways to fulfill this mission is for local forecasters to communicate effectively and openly during impact weather events, giving customers and partners the necessary meteorological information to decision makers.
     A survey of the Warning and Coordination Meteorologists within the Southern Region of the National Weather Service was conducted in early summer of 2006, to determine the ways and means of local communication efforts. The survey revealed a progressive workforce utilizing various communication methods. Despite a wide range of methods, each office defined their core group of partners and customers and found ways to effectively communicate with their local partners, customers, and public.
     These diverse customer service methods are examined across the Southern Region. This examination reveals the need for local services tailored for local customer and partner needs.  

The WEBCEM- An Automated Dissemination Method for issuing Non-Weather Related Hazardous Warnings via the Web.  Brian C. Carcione, Timothy W. Troutman, John M. Coyne, and Jason E. Burks, NOAA/NWS Huntsville, AL.

     This paper will detail the development of a cost efficient and more timely and accurate approach to disseminating non-weather related warning information. The current process for emergency managers to disseminate non-weather related emergency messages is for the emergency managers to call or fax civil emergency information to the local National Weather Service (NWS) office. A NWS employee transcribes the message and then disseminates it via the NWS AWIPS program through the EAS system to the media and NOAA Weather Radio(NWR).
     The purpose of this project was to develop a method that would reduce the amount of time that it takes to disseminate civil emergency and other related non-weather related hazardous messages from local emergency management offices through the NWS to the media and public. This nearly complete automation of these non-weather related warnings will reduce the warning dissemination time of these products from around seven minutes to less than two minutes.  
      The WEBCEM program allows EMA directors the ability to visit a password protected web site to disseminate non-weather related hazardous warning information directly to a local National Weather Service office. This web based program allows for the EMA director to choose the non-weather related hazard, type in the necessary information needed within the warning text and disseminate the warning message in a matter of seconds.   
     The WEBCEM method for issuing non-weather related hazardous warning information has been successfully tested with the end-to-end warning dissemination process being less than two minutes. This dissemination process will allow the NWS and EMAs the ability to utilize existing programs, computer servers and equipment to disseminate the warning message in a timely and accurate manner, therefore allowing for very minimal additional cost. 

Watching Paint Weather: An Overview of How We Use Different Climates and Weathering Factors to Ensure Paint Will Last. Guy Wilson, Manager - R&D Services, Sherwin-Williams Company.

     Paint and coatings manufacturers as well as manufacturers of other polymer related materials rely heavily on exterior natural weathering as the "gold standard" of performance during development of a product.  This presentation will give an overview of how such testing is carried out and how weather and climate can be used as a tool in this testing.  Examples will be given of the types of failure that are encountered and how to accelerate such failures.

A Public-Private Partnership to Saturate Two Television Markets with NOAA Weather Radio.  John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA, Wayne Hart, WEHT-TV, Evansville, IN, Rick Shanklin, NOAA/NWS Paducah, KY, and Jeff Johnson, NOAA/NWS Des Moines, IA .
     During the month of November 2005 several deadly tornadoes moved across the Midwest and Ohio River Valley.  These tornadoes caused millions in property damage and loss of life in the Evansville, Indiana and Des Moines, Iowa television markets.
      Stations WEHT-TV in Evansville and KCCI-TV in Des Moines joined with a manufacturer of digital Specific Area Message Encoded (S.A.M.E.) NOAA weather radios and major grocery store chains to make weather radios available at near wholesale cost. The result has been that nearly 100,000 weather radios are now in the hands of television viewers in these markets.
      The stations also worked with the Paducah, Kentucky and Des Moines, Iowa National Weather Service offices to assist the public with programming weather radios by hosting special "programming days" several times during the spring. Many thousands of radios were programmed during these highly publicized events.
       Video clips from the public outreach events and television promotions from each station's campaign will help to illustrate the overwhelming public response. This will also allow for an opportunity for audience discussion about the learning curve that took place during the first six weeks of these sister campaigns.  

Applied Meteorology in the Mobile Marketplace.  Bob Baron and Rob Doornbos, Baron Services, Inc., Huntsville, AL  

     It has long been acknowledged that accurate and timely weather information has a critical role to play in the safety of the general public, the continued efficiency of business operations and the efficacy of emergency services provided by first responders. The Baron Services paradigm of "Detect-Disseminate-Respond" is in direct response to those needs and at the core of what we recognize as Consumer-Driven Weather.
     Technology has evolved to a point that consumers no longer have to surrender access to graphical weather information when they leave their homes or offices. Real-time weather data is already being provided to mobile environments, thanks to a cutting-edge partnership between Baron Services and XM Satellite Radio.  
      The resulting service, XM WX Satellite Weather (inception circa 2002), delivers real-time, scientifically-sound weather content to tens of thousands of consumers onboard airplanes, boats and automobiles. Consumers overwhelming embrace of XM-delivered weather data is the result of carefully-designed product suites for each consumer group. An entirely new paradigm shift, Driver Driven Weather, has also been designed for the nation s automobiles.
     This paper will provide those in attendance with an overview of lessons learned to date, the data utilized, the technology employed, as well as anticipated future developments.

Session: Winter Weather

On the Co-existence of Thundersnow and Heavy Snowfall. Christina Crowe, Patrick Market, Brian Pettegrew, and Chris Melick, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO

     A general assumption has existed for quite some time that lightning and thunder within a snowstorm must be accompanied by locally heavier snowfall.  While neither historical studies nor specific case studies support this claim for all thundersnow occurrences, instances of large snow accumulations and elevated lightning rates do seem to be well-correlated in the stronger, more dynamic extratropical cyclones.  This study seeks to determine whether lightning strikes are co-located with heavier bands of short-term snowfall rates and/or long-term snowfall accumulations.  In the case of short term snowfall rates, WSR-88D and NLDN data (after 2003) or METARs (prior to 2003) were used for the analysis.  We found that locations of observed lightning were at or near a snow band and that most occurred within the region between the core values in the band and where those values drop to ½ of the max value typical reflectivities (30 dBz) in vicinity of flash (range 18-40dBz).
       For long term, 24-hour snowfall accumulation, historical surface observations and daily snowfall totals were taken from the Cooperative Climate Observers for cases from 1961-1990; events occurring 6 hours before CCO reports (1200 CST) preferred.  In this instance, we found that in 86% of the events examined,  15cm fell within 1° of latitude of the lightning-reporting station.  In 45% of the events, snowfall totals  25 cm occurred within 1° of latitude.  In short, three broad conclusions are reached: 1) Lightning in these events tends to occur in relatively close proximity to instantaneous regions of stronger reflectivity; 2) Thundersnow events tend to be associated with regions of higher (>15cm) snowfall accumulations, but not the very deepest totals, and 3) The existence of lightning and thunder tends to point a more vigorous, precipitation-producing portion of Midwestern extratropical cyclones.

Lake Effect Thunder-Snows Over the Eastern Great Lakes.  Robert Hamilton, NOAA/NWS Buffalo, NY, and Scott Steiger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, SUNY Oswego. NY

      Heavy lake effect snows typify winter weather across Western New York as intrusions of arctic air generate snowfall amounts that are often measured in feet.  While significant snowfall is produced from these events with convective outbursts capable of producing rates of 2 to 4 inches an hour, they are usually very localized in aerial coverage.  
     Lightning and thunder occasionally highlight these impressive mesoscale events. Lightning-bearing lake effect snows across Western New York typically occur early in the winter season. The surface temperatures of Lakes Erie and Ontario are still relatively "warm" at that time of year. In addition, the depth of the surface to -10C layer is still several thousand feet thick.  
      Higher lake temperatures and a deeper boundary layer appear to be critical components that allow for abundant graupel production.  The increased graupel is a crucial element in helping to produce an electrical charge, both by its electrostatic properties and through its role in building a static charge through frictional collisions with smaller ice particles and super cooled water droplets.  Current electrification models strongly support the theory that graupel production in the  10C to  20C layer is essential for the beginning stages of lightning production. The depth of the surface to -10C layer is also extremely important in terms of allowing for charge separation.
      This research has been conducted using nearly 10 years worth of sounding and ETA model data, dating from the winters of 1996 97 through 2005 2006.  Results of this study on Western New York thunder-snow events suggest that if the depth of the surface to -10C is too shallow then graupel cannot be produced and lightning is much less likely.  Various other convective parameters such as vertical velocity, CAPE, and equilibrium level are also examined to determine their possible contribution to lightning production in lake effect snow.
     This presentation will show the importance of the lake water temperature in generating graupel that is crucial to developing an electrical charge within the lake effect clouds.

Simulation of Lake Effect Snow using the Workstation WRF model. Daniel Leins  and Robert LaPlante, NOAA/NWS Cleveland, OH
      Lake Effect snow (LES) events produce significant amounts of snow from mesoscale snow bands downwind of the Great Lakes during the winter months.  The mesoscale nature of the LES bands produce sharp, intense gradients in snowfall that are a challenge to simulate with operational model horizontal grid spacing in excess of 10 km. The workstation version of the Weather  Research and Forecasting (WRF) Environmental Modeling System (EMS) with a finer resolution of 6 km was employed by WFO Cleveland to simulate LES over northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania during the 2005-2006 winter season.  Several LES events were identified and numerical model initial and boundary conditions were saved.  This presentation will show the results of WRF sensitivity studies that were conducted by varying the model horizontal resolution from 3 to 6 km, by varying the cloud microphysical scheme, and by varying the choice of convective parameterization scheme.  Model output will be verified with snow spotter observations along with satellite and radar imagery to determine the optimal model configuration, which will be used in future simulations.

Correlations between Observed Snowfall and NAM Forecast Parameters: Part 1   Dynamical Parameters, Part 2 - Microphysical Parameters.
Michael Evans and  Michael L. Jurewicz Sr., NOAA/NWS Binghamton, NY.

      Mesoscale and microscale factors that lead to enhanced snowfall in winter storms have been a topic of extensive research during the past several years.  Research has shown that bands of heavy snow are often explained dynamically in terms of a thermally direct circulation associated with strong, steeply sloped lower to mid-tropospheric frontogenesis, which becomes co-located with a region of reduced or negative stability to slantwise motions.  In cases of lighter but still significant bands of snow, recent research has shown that the thermally direct circulations are weaker, shallower, and less persistent than in heavier events.  Based on this research, forecasters engaged in predicting snowfall have been trained to look for favorable configurations of frontogenesis and reduced or negative stability [as indicated by small or negative values of saturation equivalent potential vorticity (EPV)].  However, little guidance is currently available on how to translate the existence, intensity, and persistence of these signatures into actual snowfall amounts.  Regarding the microscale, research has shown that enhanced snowfall can occur when significant lift occurs in layers with temperature structures that are favorable for dendritic snow crystal growth (dendrite-production layers).  Again, except for some algorithms related to snow-to-liquid ratios, little guidance is available to forecasters on how specifically to modify snowfall forecasts based on the existence of co-located upward vertical motion and a favorable thermal profile.
     The goal of this study is two-fold.  First, to validate the utility of examining frontogenesis, EPV, vertical velocity, and temperature profiles for snowfall forecasting.  Second, to provide forecasters with guidance on forecasting snowfall amounts, based on thresholds of intensity and persistence of these parameters.  To accomplish these goals, data from 29 snow events in central New York and northeast Pennsylvania were examined. Event-maximum snowfall in these cases ranged from 4 to 34 inches.  For each event a representative time and location within the area of heavy snow was identified.  Data valid at these times and locations were analyzed in both cross-sectional and time-height formats. Values of relevant parameters were recorded for each event. Part one of this study focuses on correlations between snowfall and dynamical parameters such as frontogenesis, EPV, and omega.  Part two of the study focuses on correlations between snowfall and factors related to precipitation efficiency, such as co-location between upward motion and a favorable thermodynamic profile
     Preliminary results will be presented that indicate that every storm in the database was associated with a 12-hour forecast of at least one layer of frontogenesis below 500 hPa, and at least one layer of negative EPV below 400 hPa.  Therefore, it appears that merely identifying the existence of those two factors is not enough to allow forecasters to conclude anything about storm-total snowfall amounts.  However, strong correlations were found between observed snowfall and factors that were related to depth and persistence of co-located upward vertical motion and negative EPV.  The fact that these correlations were stronger than the correlations between observed snowfall and persistence and depth of upward vertical motion (EPV not considered) implies that there is significant value in looking for negative EPV in the forecast process.  Strong correlations were also found between observed snowfall and maximum upward vertical motion within dendrite-production layers, while somewhat weaker correlations were found between snowfall and vertical motion alone (dendrite-production layer depth not considered).  Evidence will be presented that indicates that consideration of the dendrite-production layer in the forecast process reduces false alarm rates for light to moderate snow events.  Much lower correlations were found with 24-hour forecasts of many of these parameters, due primarily to a few major model forecast busts.
      Details of the above correlation methodology, resulting correlations, forecasting thresholds, and threshold statistics will be presented.

The Great Ohio Blizzard of 1978: Storm review and assessment of societal impacts.
Kirk A. Lombardy, NOAA/NWS Cleveland, Ohio, and Dr. Thomas W. Schmidlin, Kent State University.

     The infamous Great Blizzard of 1978 will continue to live on in the memory of those that lived in Ohio during the event.   The storm was classified as the worst ever to hit Ohio with 51 dead and a declaration as a federal disaster area left in its wake.   The blizzard developed as a Delta low and moved north into Ohio on 26 January 1978, while deepening rapidly to a record low pressure for Ohio.   Hurricane force winds caused significant drifting of snow up to 20 feet across the region.  The strong winds left thousands without electrical power for days.  The purpose of this presentation is to examine the meteorology of this historic storm and its impact on transportation, business, industry and schools.  The potential impact of an equivalent storm on today s society will also be discussed.

The Blizzard of 2006 in the Northeast:  A look inside the operations of a National Weather Service Forecast Office.  Patrick Maloit  and Jeffrey Tongue, NOAA/NWS Upton, NY.

     On February 12, 2006, record setting snowfall occurred in the megalopolis of the northeastern United States extending from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston.  Snow fall measured in New York City and other locations exceed all time snowstorm records  26.9 inches was measured in Central Park, New York, NY.  The Central Park measurement is now recorded as the greatest snowfall from a single storm ever in over 135 years of record.   
     The news associated with this event was in actuality the lack of news.  Despite record breaking snowfall, the region was able to recover quickly due to advance warning and preparedness.  Many schools and business were able to open the following day.   
      The National Weather Service (NWS) in the northeast began issuing outlooks for the potential for a significant storm four days prior.  Winter Storm Watches were issued two days before the event and blizzard warnings were posted 25 hours in advance.     
      This presentation will describe the varying meteorological guidance that NWS forecasters had to convey into a deterministic forecast.  It will examine pressures to adjust the forecast and how the meteorologist’s skills lead to producing an accurate forecast that gave sufficient lead-time for the record event.   
      During the event, the NWS forecasters provided detailed information to the public and media about the progress of the event.  The largest problem that required the most effort was compiling the hundreds of reports of snowfall that arrive at the NWS from various sources.  Getting these reports disseminated in a logical manner and ensuring that they were reasonably accurate becomes an increasingly complex chore for the local NWS office.   

Session: Probabilistic Forecasting

Model  JUMPINESS  and the Need for Ensembles.  Richard Grumm, NOAA/NWS State College PA, and Lance Bosart, State University of New York at Albany.

     Weather forecast uncertainties derived from run-to-run inconsistencies between successive forecasts of a single deterministic model occur with regularity. The resulting forecast jumpiness can occur at both the synoptic and mesoscale. At the synoptic scale, a significant storm system, initially not present may appear and in some cases, disappear in later forecasts. On the mesoscale, the track and intensity of the weather system may show considerable run-to-run variation. Thus, the concept of the weather system is present but the area most likely impacted by the significant weather may show considerable variability.
     Sensible weather forecasts are greatly impacted by model jumpiness. Model jumpiness is defined here as large cycle-to-cycle changes in system location or intensity. The overall impact is larger at longer ranges where the uncertainty is larger. However, with significant precipitation events, model jumpiness on the mesoscale can contribute to equally large uncertainty on the mesoscale as to the location of heaviest precipitation.
     This paper will document successive forecasts of cyclones in the eastern United States during the winter of 2005-2006. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) is used to show model jumpiness in successive 6 and 12-hour forecasts.  How these forecasts impact the sensible weather is also presented. The benefits of using medium- and short-range ensemble forecasts (MREF and SREF respectively) are presented as tools to mitigate the effects of model jumpiness.
     A case study of the 12 February 2006 East Coast winter storm is presented, showing how the GFS initially failed to predict the cyclone. Once the cyclone was forecast by the GFS, the details related to the mesoscale weather varied markedly at shorter ranges. The NCEP  
MREF and SREF forecasts are also presented. The MREF indicated the potential East Coast storm approximately 0.5 days earlier than the deterministic GFS. However, jumpiness issues were present in both ensemble prediction systems which also impacted the forecasts related to where the heaviest precipitation would fall.

Using Ensemble Probability Forecasts And High Resolution Models To Identify Severe Weather Threats.  Josh Korotky, NOAA/NWS, Pittsburgh, PA, and Richard H. Grumm, NOAA/NWS, State College, PA

     Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) data from the NOAA/NWS National Centers of Environmental Prediction’s (NCEP) Short-Range Ensemble Forecast system (Du et al. 2004:SREF) are used to predict areas with a severe weather threat. This study illustrates the value of using SREF forecast products that depict probabilities of exceedance and joint probabilities of variables related to severe weather. Probabilities of exceedance for Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), Storm-Relative Helicity (SRH), height normalized (mean) shear, and the Energy Helicity Index (EHI) are examined. Joint probabilities of CAPE, effective shear, and 3 hr. convective precipitation are also considered.
     SREF probability forecasts are examined for a vigorous severe weather event that occurred across much of the central Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys on 2 April 2006. We will show that joint and exceedance probabilities from the SREF make it possible to clearly distinguish areas with the  greatest severe weather potential.     
      A forecast strategy is proposed that utilizes:
1) ensemble data for assessing the likelihood, mode, and forecast confidence of a severe weather event; 2) climatological anomalies for evaluating the historical context of an impending event; and 3) high resolution model data for determining the magnitude of moisture, the horizontal and vertical extent of moisture, important mesoscale structures, and relevant forcing mechanisms at short ranges.

Expressing Uncertainty in both Hazardous and Routine Weather Forecasts at a NWS Forecast Office. Jeffrey P. Craven, NOAA/NWS Milwaukee/ Sullivan WI.

     Recent advances in production of Graphical and Gridded forecast elements at National Weather Service (NWS) Offices have included many basic elements such as temperature, dewpoints, winds, precipitation, and sky cover.  However, the primary mission of the NWS is the protection of lives and property.  Hazardous Weather Outlooks issued by NWS offices do provide yes/no forecasts of severe weather, heavy rain, winter weather, and extreme temperatures and winds.  However, these elements are not currently connected to the graphical forecast process in IFPS (Interactive Forecast Preparation System) and GFE (Graphical Forecast Editor).
     A multi-disciplinary group of scientists is looking into how to better communicate uncertainty in weather forecasts and warnings to users.  The Weather and Society Integrated Studies (WAS *IS) workshops have adopted this as one of the topics of focus (http://www.rap.ucar.edu/was_is/).
     This presentation will describe an experimental project to provide probabilistic information on hazardous weather elements.  The products are disseminated in a graphical and tabular format using the GFE to our customers, primarily the Emergency Managers and Media.  Examples of how routine temperature and precipitation forecasts can also contain more uncertainty information will also be presented.

The Short-Range Ensemble Forecast: Applying Uncertainty and Probabilistic Forecasts of Winter Storms.  Matthew Steinbugl, NOAA/NWS Des Moines, IA, and Richard Grumm,  NOAA/NWS State College. PA

     Ensemble prediction system s (EPS s) are generally assessed in terms of a probabilistic approach, essentially forecasting the uncertainty with respect to numerical weather prediction (NWP) model output. These forecasts provide multiple solutions provided by varied initial conditions and model cores.  In contrast, deterministic NWP model output depicts a single solution, leaving the forecaster with no true sense of range of potential outcomes. Often, this leads forecasters to not consider the uncertainty within the forecast process and ultimately not provide the best support for the customer.  
     Ensembles allow the forecaster to mitigate some the inherit uncertainty in weather forecasts. A key method to accomplish this includes the use of probabilistic forecast products and displays showing dispersion of each member about the ensemble mean. These products allow forecasters to make quick assessments of the relative frequency of occurrence of an event among several  member  solutions. Forecasting late season snowfall can be very difficult and have significant impact on local and regional economics. The National Centers for Environmental Protection (NCEP) Short-Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) is one tool that can be used to understand the uncertainty within the model output and add confidence to the overall forecast of a potentially rare event. EPS systems also perform well in predicting anomalous events when compared to long term climatology. Late-season winter storms certainly provide a challenge to operational forecasters and by using the SREF, forecast uncertainty can become forecaster confidence.
     This study will examine ensemble forecasts of several late season snowstorms in the upper Midwest.  Storms used in this study include the         22-23 December 2004, 23-25 April 2005, and the 11-12 May 2006 snow events.

Using Ensemble Model Output Statistics to Improve 12-Hour Probability of Precipitation Forecasts.  John P. Gagan, NOAA/NWS Springfield, MO, and Chad Entremont, NOAA/NWS Jackson, MS.

     NOAA/National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (NWS WFOs) provide 12-hour probability of precipitation (PoP) forecasts as part of their routine 7-day forecasts.  The PoP, as defined in NWS directive 10-503, is the probability of occurrence of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch) at a given point for each 12-hour period through Day 7.  PoP forecasts are relied on by a broad range of end-users in order to make decisions for their respective outdoor activities.  As a result, accurate PoP forecasts are an integral part of the NWS WFO mission.
      Numerous tools are available to prepare a PoP forecast, ranging from raw numerical model output, such as NCEP's Global Forecast System (GFS), to model output statistics (MOS) such as the GFS MOS (out to forecast hour 72) and GFSX MOS (out to forecast hour 168).  PoP forecasts from MOS guidance are consistent with the definition outlined by NWS Directive 10-503 and are produced for 6, 12 and 24 hour periods for hundreds of points across North America.  As a metric, NWS official verification compares WFO PoP forecasts to the GFS and GFSX MOS output.  From January 2004 through April 2006, verification of PoP forecasts from NWS WFOs show consistent improvement over GFS and GFSX MOS when no precipitation is observed.  However, when precipitation is observed, GFS and GFSX MOS typically outperform NWS WFOs.
     Ensemble based MOS (based off of the twelve members of the GFS ensemble system) will be examined to investigate if PoP forecasts can be improved when precipitation is observed.  The ensemble MOS will be explored at seven sites located across two separate NWS WFO areas of responsibility: Jackson, MS (KJAN) and Springfield, MO (KSGF).  The ensemble-mean 12-hour PoP will be analyzed for each forecast period and compared to rainfall accumulation data from each respective METAR sites. Ensemble-mean values will then be stratified to isolate what values signal the best (least) potential for measurable precipitation.

Updated Thunderstorm Probability Forecast Guidance in Support of Gridded Model Output Statistics. Kathryn Gilbert, NOAA/NWS Silver Spring, MD     
     For years, National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters have used Model Output Statistics (MOS) guidance as an aid in producing text forecast products issued to the user community.  However, the methods that forecasters use to generate forecast products have now changed be-cause of requirements to produce forecasts on high-resolution grids in support of the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD).  Forecasters need guidance, such as MOS, available on a grid, at a resolution comparable to the grid resolution used at the local forecast office.  In most cases, this resolution is 5-km, but may be as fine as 2.5-km or even 1.25-km, in areas of complex terrain.  Statistical techniques have been used to derive model-based objective probabilistic thunderstorm guidance on grids since the mid-1970s -- in a sense, a precursor to our current efforts to develop a complete gridded MOS system.   
     Recently, an updated thunderstorm probability guidance system, based on output from the Global Forecast System (GFS) was implemented to reflect the NDFD grid requirements.  This thunderstorm guidance product represents the probability of one or more cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within a 40-km square box over the contiguous U.S., centered on each 5-km grid box during a given time period.  Thunderstorm probability forecast guidance was developed for
6-, 12-, and 24-h periods from projections ending at 12 hours in advance, out to 192 hours in advance.  In addition, to meet the needs of forecasters producing guidance for finer time scales, a new set of thunderstorm forecast equations was developed for 3-h periods out to 84 hours in advance.  The equations to predict the probability of thunderstorms were developed from observed cloud-to-ground lightning data and output from the GFS model.  Relative frequencies of lightning, generated from the lightning observations, were created as potential predictors in the statistical forecast system, and were used for comparing the accuracy of the forecast guidance to forecasts based solely on climate.   
     The use of a Geographical Information System (GIS) has become a valuable tool in the creation of gridded MOS thunderstorm guidance.  GIS techniques were employed to match the observed data to the grid specifications, evaluate the relative frequencies, and eliminate areas with no data coverage from development.  The GIS also allows us to explore new data types such as terrain features, land cover, and high resolution gridded climate data, for use as potential predictors in our gridded MOS system.  These higher resolution data types will supplement our traditional set of model predictors and surface observations in the development of the gridded MOS system.  In this presentation, the current MOS probabilistic thunderstorm guidance is discussed.  In addition, other examples of elements in the gridded MOS guidance system, such as maximum and minimum temperatures, probability of precipitation, temperature, dewpoint, wind direction, and wind speed, are shown.    

Session: Severe Weather I

Verification of Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) Watches.  Joseph T. Schaefer, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC), Andrew R. Dean, CIMMS/University of Oklahoma and SPC.
     Ever since the first watch associated with the Red River tornado outbreak of April 2, 1982, a few of the tornado and severe thunderstorm watches issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and its predecessor the National Severe Storms Forecast Center (NSSFC), include a one sentence paragraph that states

      This line immediately follows the effective time in the header of the watch. Currently this enhanced wording is inserted into tornado watches when there is a likelihood of multiple strong tornadoes (damage of F2 or F3) or at least one violent (damage of F4 or F5) tornado. Currently, this enhancement is also used in severe thunderstorm watches in two kinds of situations: 1) when conditions are favorable for significant non-tornadic severe weather events (convective wind gusts of at least 65 knots and/or hail with a diameter of 2 or greater); and 2) when a large bow echo system has developed, is moving at 48 knots or greater, and there is evidence of destructive winds occurring at the surface.  
     In this presentation, PDS watches issued during the 10-year period 1996 through 2005 are examined. Over the last decade, there has been an average of 22 PDS tornado watches and 2 PDS severe thunderstorm watches issued each year. This is only about 8% of the watches issued. PDS tornado watches correctly forecast 24% of the occurrences of clusters of multiple strong and violent tornadoes. Also, about 30% of PDS tornado watches contain multiple strong or violent tornadoes.  
     As the forecast severity of the watch increases (i.e., Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Tornado Watch, PDS Tornado Watch), the percent aerial coverage of the watch impacted by tornado activity, and by strong and violent tornado activity increases.  Thus, performance over the past decade indicates that the SPC shows skill in differentiating situations that are likely to produce strong and violent tornadoes.

The Severe Hail Verification Experiment (SHAVE 2006).   Travis Smith, U. of Oklahoma/CIMMS / NSSL, Kiel Ortega, and Kevin Scharfenberg both with the U. of Oklahoma/CIMMS / NSSL.

     This presentation highlights preliminary results from the Severe Hail Verification Experiment (SHAVE), which is a project that blends high-resolution radar data with geographic information. The primary objective of this experiment is to collect high temporal and spatial resolution data that describe the distribution of hail sizes in hail swaths produced by severe thunderstorms. These data enable several goals, including:
1. to utilize the high-resolution verification data in the development of techniques for probabilistic warnings of severe thunderstorms,  
2. to evaluate the performance of a multi-sensor, multi-radar hail detection algorithm,
3. to correlate changes in the hail size distribution with storm evolution, and
4. to enhance climatological information about hail in the United States.
The high spatial and temporal resolution of the dataset collected during the project facilitates the development of decision-making tools that improve forecasts and warnings of severe hail as well as improving the historical record of hail events. The project runs approximately May 15, 2006 through August 15, 2006. It utilizes the real-time hail swath products from the CONUS Warning Decision Support System   Integrated Information (WDSS-II) to enhance data collection via verification telephone calls to select data points along a storm's path immediately following storm passage. Because the presence of hail is diagnosed via radar on the scale of the continental United States, it is possible to collect data from anywhere in the contiguous 48 states on a daily basis throughout the summer, which minimizes project "down days." Data are collected by a team of University of Oklahoma meteorology students working closely with scientists from the National Severe Storms Laboratory/Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. SHAVE is an experiment conducted in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed as part of the Experimental Warning Program by the NSSL/CIMMS Severe Weather Warning Applications and Technology Transfer (SWAT) group.  

Changes in F-Scale, Hail and Wind Reports. Daniel McCarthy and Joseph T. Schaefer, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center.

     During the last few years, changes have been made in storm reporting in the hope of improving the severe weather data available for research.  Changes such as the hail experiment in Kansas and reporting measured or estimated wind gusts are already taking place and have affected the 2005 data noticeably.
     The popular F-Scale developed in 1971 by Dr. T. Fujita to estimate hurricane and tornado wind intensity based on damage caused by these storms will be changing in early 2007.  The practical use of the scale was made evident by the thorough survey of the damage from the Super Outbreak performed by him and his staff at the University of Chicago.  After Fujita and his team published their results, the F-Scale became the cornerstone of determining tornado character and strength.  Databases were redone to include F-Scale estimates based on past accounts and descriptions.
     This presentation will illustrate the changes in applying the F-Scale has had on the historical database as the meteorological community sits at the cusp of using the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale).  Effects of raising hail criteria to one-inch diameter for severe criteria will also be illustrated.

A Proposal for a Threat Level Scale for National Weather Service Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.  Kelly G. Godsey, Robert C. Goree and Andrew I. Watson, NOAA/NWS Tallahassee, FL

     The National Weather Service (NWS) issues severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings to prompt public response and save lives and property.  Response to tornado warnings has increased over recent decades resulting in innumerable lives saved.  Response to severe thunderstorm warnings has not improved and arguably has decreased.  This may be due to the large increase in the number of severe thunderstorm warnings issued by the NWS the early 1990s.  Another factor is that many marginally severe storms do not result in significant, noteworthy damage.  Severe thunderstorms are defined by ¾ inch or larger hail and winds of 50 knots or greater.  However, many severe thunderstorm warnings are verified as severe, without objective measurements and may have been less intense than the official severe thresholds.  The resulting public perception is that a severe thunderstorm warning does not suggest a serious threat.    
     Thunderstorms of any intensity present some degree of threat to life and property.  Torrential rain causes localized flooding and traffic fatalities.  Lightning causes many deaths and injuries.  Even small hail, especially in large amounts, is a hazard to motorists and agriculture.  Many offices issue significant weather alerts for strong storms that do not meet NWS severe criteria.  Indeed, many thunderstorms do attain intensity that present a significant threat to people but are below severe thresholds.  Often, the public or local authorities report that the thunderstorm is severe based upon the intensity of the rain and lightning.   
     It is likely that the public would benefit from an enhancement of thunderstorm forecasts and warnings.  Therefore, a thunderstorm intensity scale has been developed to give the public a tool for response to thunderstorm hazards.  The purpose of this scale would be to allow vulnerable populations to respond more aptly to marginal storms, while allowing less sensitive populations to set higher thresholds of response.  
     It is obvious that our culture has appreciation for such scales.  The Saffir-Simpson and the Fujita scales are well understood by the public and can often give people better perception of danger.  With respect to hurricanes, many officials rely on the forecast Saffir-Simpson scale in making evacuation decisions. It is suggested that people would likewise respond to a thunderstorm threat level.  An example scenario would be the suspension of an event based upon the forecast of a threat level 2  thunderstorm within the next hour.  
     Current severe thunderstorm warning criteria and verification methods would continue, but with an added  threat level.  This could be accomplished by integrating four main threats of a severe thunderstorm that are hazardous to the public (wind, hail, lightning and heavy rain) into a composite index that corresponds to a threat level easily identifiable by the public, that quickly conveys the level of threat expected.  The scale is heavily weighted toward wind and hail impacts. The scale is made up of six threat levels ranging from one to six, with six being the highest.  Using current severe thunderstorm warning criteria, nearly every severe thunderstorm warning issued will be of at least threat level two intensity.  Some thunderstorms producing exceptional rain, very frequent lightning and/or small hail would also be deemed threat level 2.  Threat level one intensity is designed for most thunderstorms not meeting severe criteria.  As the impacts from a thunderstorm increase, the threat level will increase based on the composite index.  The wind component of the index increases non-linearly once current severe criteria is attained.  The wind component was designed in this manner to correlate with the known fact that the force of wind does not increase at a constant rate as wind velocity increases.  This places significant severe damaging wind events (65 knots to 74 knots) entirely within the threat level three ranking, with threat level four being used for extreme damaging wind events with 75 knots to 90 knot winds. Threat levels five and six would rarely be used based on just wind alone, unless they are used in conjunction with tornado and destructive wind warnings issued during tropical cyclone events.  
     Hail contributes to the index in an interesting way.  While to the public, any hail that falls may be significant, small hail stones less than one inch in diameter will cause little or no damage to property.  In this instance, the hail index will add a minor adjustment to the composite index for these small stones, but it is hail larger than one and one quarter inch in diameter that will, in many cases, elevate the threat level of a warning one level.  The hail index was designed this way because it is at this size (1.25 in. or larger) that significant damage will be done to automobiles.  
     Since time is crucial during any severe weather event, calculations for the index would be determined automatically, based on inputs by the warning forecaster into a free standing graphical user interface (GUI) based on expected wind speed, hail size, cloud to ground lightning strikes, and hourly rainfall totals.  These calculations would assign a threat level to each warning issued.  Once a threat level is determined, the forecaster would select the appropriate level in the WarnGen GUI.  Call to action statements would need to be created that are designed for each threat level.   
     In the near future, a scale such as this could be used by a meteorologist to rapidly create and update, though graphical interfaces, detailed temporal and spatial thunderstorm forecasts.  Use of more advanced radars, mesonets and other technologies, as well as improved mesoscale models will empower the future NWS forecaster to produce finely detailed forecasts of thunderstorm hazards.  Both text and graphical products would be generated based upon the forecaster's input. Text products would contain threat descriptions and call-to-action statements based upon the forecaster input.  Graphical and GIS applications would be utilized by the public and private sectors.  
     As the public and others become aware of the new threat levels, they will quickly identify and relate the threat levels to the strength of storms they experience.  This scale, if used, could contribute to the goal of the NWS, which is to protect life and property whenever severe weather threatens.  

SVRGIS:  Geographic Information System (GIS) Graphical Database of Tornado, Large Hail, and Damaging Wind Reports in the United States (1950-2005).  Bryan Smith, Ball State University, Muncie, IN

       For many years meteorologists have used existing severe weather report databases to identify regions where greater documentation of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging wind reports exist.  Recent user-friendly software programs such as SeverePlot ver. 2.0, developed by John Hart of the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, allow users to query severe weather reports.  SVRGIS builds on the idea of querying data, allowing users to run advanced queries overlaying Storm Data reports with other meteorological and non-meteorological data.  Basic queries overlay geographical data, such as incorporated city areas, with queried severe reports.  One example of a more advanced query technique is to query documented violent damage-rated tornadoes from 1950-2005 and apply line density analysis techniques to investigate where violent tornadoes occurred with higher spatial density with respect to U.S. 2000 census population data.  
     With the availability of Storm Data severe weather reports in text file format via the Storm Prediction Center s Severe Weather Database and GIS technology, a GIS severe weather report database (1950-2005) was developed in order for users to investigate possible relationships with meteorological and non-meteorological data.  SVRGIS is unique because it allows users to overlay multiple data types for analysis.  This presentation will describe the data collection and post-processing techniques used to construct a GIS severe reports climatology, display queried meteorological and non-meteorological data, and consider relationships between the 1950-2005 Storm Data and non-meteorological databases.

Cyclone Saturday: A Review of the Teamwork and Technology during the 12 November 2005 Iowa Tornadoes. John McLaughlin, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA, and Daryl Herzmann, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

     On 12 November 2005, a series of late season supercell storms moved across Central Iowa, striking three communities.  Due to a combination of timely NWS warnings, live webcam/stormchaser video and continuous media broadcasts, few injuries and only one death occurred.  The event was also unique in that a NCAA College football game with 50,000 fans in Ames, Iowa was about to begin when a tornado passed within three miles of the stadium.  

Performance of the Experimental 4.5 km WRF-NMM Model During Recent Severe Weather Outbreaks. Steven J. Weiss, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, John S. Kain, NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory, David R. Bright, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK and Matthew E. Pyle,  Zavisa I. Janjic and  Brad S. Ferrier, NOAA/NWS Environmental Modeling Center, Camp Springs, MD

     The NOAA/NWS/NCEP Environmental Modeling Center has been running an experimental high resolution version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) for the NOAA/NWS/NCEP Storm Prediction Center since April 2004.  This model is run with 4.5 km grid length and 35 vertical levels over a domain covering approximately the eastern three-fourths of the United States.  It is currently initialized from a cold start once daily at 0000 UTC using initial and lateral boundary conditions from the operational North American Mesoscale model, and provides forecasts through a 36 hour period.  The WRF-NMM4 does not employ parameterized convection, and all precipitation is generated from the explicit Ferrier cloud microphysics scheme.
     Initial testing of this model began as part of the 2004 SPC/NSSL Spring Experiment, a multi-agency collaborative program within the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed that brings together forecasters, researchers, and model developers to explore topics of mutual interest.  In particular, recent Spring Experiments have focused on assessing the operational utility of high-resolution models to provide unique information about convective initiation, evolution, and mode for SPC severe weather forecasters.  Over the last two years, the WRF-NMM4 has been periodically upgraded and currently runs using the community WRF version 2 framework.
     Several unique WRF-NMM4 products have been developed for use by severe weather forecasters, including simulated reflectivity and a measure of updraft rotation in model-generated storms.  These guidance products are made available to SPC forecasters on a daily basis, and WRF-NMM4 products have been routinely incorporated into the SPC operational decision-making process.
     Although Spring 2005 was relatively inactive for tornado outbreaks, a number of major tornado and severe thunderstorm occurred during the period from late Fall 2005 into the Spring of 2006.  We examine the performance of the WRF-NMM4 during ten major outbreak days from November 2005 through May 2006, focusing on the ability of the model to provide improved guidance for convective initiation, intensity, mode and evolution.  Implications for the use of high-resolution model data in an operational forecasting environment are also presented.


     There were numerous indications of a major tornado outbreak across the Mid South. Summer-like heat combined with unusually high low level moisture to produce extreme instability for several days. Tremendous deep layer and low-level shear suggested the development of tornadic supercells. Two upper level short-wave troughs embedded in the strong southwesterly flow were expected to move through the area.
     The first short wave forced a cold front to move to the Missouri/Arkansas border during the evening of the 11th and into the early morning of the 12th. GFS and NAM models initiated convection over northeast Arkansas and the Missouri bootheel. This was the result of a strengthening low level jet interacting with the front to break a weak cap over the region. The second short wave would arrive the next night. This short wave would drag the cold front through the region. The severe weather parameters for this second short wave were high as well. Both GFS and NAM indicated discrete storms developing over central Arkansas before merging into a solid line near the Mississippi River.
     A tornado outbreak did occur; however, it was over western and east-central Missouri. There were no reports of tornadoes over the Mid-South region. This presentation will help forecasters better predict outbreaks by explaining why this forecast did not evolve as anticipated.

SESSION:    Special Tribute to the late Dr. Roderick A. Scofield, NWA Past-president

Estimating Rainfall from GOES Satellite Imagery - The Early Years.  Samuel K. Beckman, NOAA/NWS Training Center, Kansas City, MO

     Beginning in the late 1970s, crude methods were used to estimate rainfall from GOES satellite imagery.  Convective cloud-top expansion rates in half-hourly IR satellite imagery were measured using a hand held template of cloud top growth distance intervals.  The half-hourly IR satellite cloud-top temperatures and cloud-top growth were applied to an empirically derived decision tree initially developed by Scofield and Oliver and later improved by Scofield.  The improved techniques by Scofield will be discussed.
     This presentation will show unique original maps, messages, shift logs, images and techniques used in estimating rainfall from GOES satellite imagery prior to automation by the Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB) of NESDIS.

A GOES-Eye View of Rod Scofield’s Legacy.  Robert J. Kuligowski, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, Camp Springs, MD.

     On 25 February 2006, Rod Scofield passed away from complications related to cancer.  He left behind a substantial legacy in the area of using satellite data to estimate and predict rainfall for flash flood applications, including the development of an automated technique that is now used by operational forecasters in many parts of the world.  He also had a tremendous personal impact on the many forecasters, scientists, teachers, and secondary school students who received training and encouragement from him.  This talk will review Rod s substantial contributions in both research and outreach and will touch upon current developments that are building upon his legacy.

Statewide Monitoring of the Mesoscale Environment: A Technical Update on the Oklahoma Mesonet. Ken Crawford and Renee A. McPherson, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK,

     Established as a multi-purpose network, the Oklahoma Mesonet operates more than 110 surface observing stations that send data every 5 minutes to an operations center for data quality assurance, product generation, and dissemination. Quality-assured data are available within 5 minutes of the observation time. Since 1994, the Oklahoma Mesonet has collected 3.5 billion weather and soil observations and produced millions of decision-making products for its customers. The presentation will highlight the technical advances the Oklahoma Mesonet has achieved since its inception

Cloud Lightning From the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). Ronald L. Holle, Nicholas Demetriades, and Martin Murphy, Vaisala, Inc., Tucson, AZ

     The Vaisala National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) has been providing cloud-to-ground (CG) flash and stroke data over the continental United States for more than a decade.  This CG flash and stroke operational datastream has recently been enhanced to provide a portion of the cloud flashes that do not strike ground.
     Cloud lightning flashes can be detected most efficiently using VHF line-of-sight lightning detection systems that can cover a metropolitan area or a portion of a US state.  These networks detect over 90% of all cloud and CG lightning flashes.  The total horizontal extent of flashes can be mapped in detail with VHF systems, and some of the vertical channel is also described.  But such VHF systems are limited in areal coverage by the requirement that the source be within line of sight of several sensors.
     By contrast, low frequency (LF) systems such as the NLDN can cover an entire continent. However, LF systems detect almost exclusively the vertical channel associated with a cloud flash. Moreover, cloud flash signals are typically much weaker in intensity than CGs in the LF band in which the NLDN sensors operate. While the distance between NLDN sensors was determined primarily by the requirement to detect CG flashes and strokes, a small percentage of the cloud flashes can also be detected and these data are now available. Simulations and ground truth data show that 10% to 20% of all cloud flashes are being detected over the NLDN domain at a typical location accuracy of 1 km
     The vertical channel segments of cloud flashes are typically located near the initiation point of the flash.  Most NLDN cloud flash locations are near the convective cores of thunderstorms, in the vicinity of the highest density of CG flashes.  Since LF cloud flashes often occur somewhat before the first CG flash or stroke in a storm, LF cloud flashes add temporal and spatial definition to thunderstorms seen with CG flashes; examples will be shown. There are estimated to be around three times as many cloud flashes as CG flashes; this ratio varies by region of the US. Given the greater frequency of cloud flashes, but poorer detection efficiency of the network for cloud flashes, we can show that the ratio of detected cloud flashes to detected CG flashes is consistent with our estimates of cloud flash detection efficiency.

Poster Session I

P1.1 Assessment of Kean University Configured Real Time WRF. Shing Yoh, Kean University, and Braden Ward, Kean University.

     Since late summer of 2005, Kean University Department of Geology & Meteorology has successfully configured and has been running the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in real time.  The model grid resolution is about 15 km.  The model domain covers northeastern United States and is centered over New Jersey.  The WRF model is run once a day starting 00 UTC for 36 hour forecast and hourly output are generated for analysis.  Without using any advance or workstation class computer, a personal computer from the student computer laboratory takes about 6 hours to complete the 36 hour forecast.  Hence the 00 UTC run will be available in the morning for faculty, students and other professionals to use.  Results from this real time WRF forecast is shared publicly through the meteorology department s website (http://hurri.kean.edu).
     The WRF surface forecasts were compared with surface observations at conventional SAO locations.    Statistics such as mean bias and mean absolute error has been generated since August 2005.  It was found that the WRF interpolated surface forecasts compared well with NCEP MOS.  More evaluations will be done and applications are also being developed to use this locally configured WRF model to enhance local real time analyses and short term forecast.
      In terms of undergraduate education, modeling work and the use of high resolution weather forecasting model have been gradually incorporated into several of the class offerings (e.g., Synoptic, Thermodynamics, Physical Meteorology; Methods in Geoscience and Introduction to Meteorology) and the faculty has involved students in the process through independent research. These will help form the basis of an operational environment at Kean University meteorology program.

P1.2 Sounding The "Muck Fire" Alarm -- Could It Return To Northeast Ohio? Dale A. Dockus, FedEx Corp.

     The spring of 2006 has witnessed the return of the weather phenomena known as "muck fog."  During exceptionally dry periods,  highly compacted vegetation called muck is susceptible to fire and,  once ignited,  can smolder for extended periods of time above or below ground.   Under ideal weather conditions for fog (including the existence of a low-level temperature inversion), a muck fire can locally reduce surface visibility to virtually zero.   Early in the month of May 2006 in Brevard County, Florida, such conditions were blamed for numerous multiple-car collisions along its interstate highways -- resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities.  These dire consequences are strikingly similar to a previously envisioned scenario on the west side of Akron,  Ohio,  where several freeways have been built since the area's last recorded muck fog episode in the mid-1960's (enhanced at that time by significant air pollution generated from since-departed local industrial sources).  At a weather workshop held in Cleveland in 2001, the author presented the historical background of once-common muck fog in the lowlands referred to as the Copley Swamp, including personal accounts in youth.  A major point of emphasis was that Akron had experienced a continuous improvement in air quality over those 35 years,  leading the author to believe the probability of a repeat event to be quite low.   However, the recent Florida incident offers proof that muck fires can produce dangerously low visibilities even in "clean air" locations.  Therefore, the scenario for "the perfect muck fog" for northeast Ohio shall be readdressed.   

P1.3 Atmospheric Blocking Patterns and Effects on Air Quality in the Great Lakes Region.  Frank Dempsey,  Pickering, ON, Canada.

The effects of patterns of persistent positive height anomalies causing blocked flow in the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere, mostly known as Rex and Omega blocks, are well known for resulting regional patterns of temperatures and precipitation anomalies, and the resulting impacts on a wide range of weather effects. The sensible weather and resulting air quality at the surface may range from hot and in the unhealthy category, to cool, cloudy, rainy and in the good category, depending on location with respect to the block structure in the atmosphere, and may persist for days. In this poster presentation, an overview of blocking patterns and recognition of their synoptic characteristics is followed by an example of a block along with the air quality that resulted in the Great Lakes area. A survey of some significant air quality episodes in the Great Lakes area associated with atmospheric blocking patterns during the past several years is shown to illustrate this particular result of the blocking patterns.

P1.4 Convective Initiation in New Jersey. Dr. Paul J. Croft, Kean University, and Steven L. Koenigstein, Justin Lewis, Ryan Matthews, Mike Szczepanski  and Melissa C. Rod, all students at Kean University, Union, NJ

     Summer thunderstorm activity is often discontinuous in space (e.g., linear, isolated, clustered, scattered, widespread), sporadic in time (diurnal versus any time of day), and difficult to predict precisely in many areas of the United States (e.g., a  30% chance  forecast). This thunderstorm activity in New Jersey is important to a variety of interests due to its panorama of effects which may include: cloud cover, lightning, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, gusty winds, and on occasion pulse severity (i.e., causing property damage or be life threatening). Therefore, in order to better cope with and be prepared for these impacts, convective initiation in New Jersey was examined during the summer as a function of sea breeze and other local circulations and factors as compared with synoptic and physiographic forcing. The goal was to improve recognition of the features and forcing relevant to the operational prediction of convection so that forecast improvements may be made through more effective use of satellite and radar imagery, local data sources and surface and upper-air observations. These provide a predictive methodology to diagnose convective activity in terms of timing, location, duration, and coverage. The methodology includes information pertinent to thermodynamic and dynamic features, spatial and temporal analyses and trends, and real-time mesoscale modeling output information (as run by the Department). The data collected and analyzed provide a unique sampling of the statistical  family  of convective activity that occurs in New Jersey  and is, therefore, of value for application to any summer season.

P1.5 Mesoscale Features in New Jersey: Initial Investigations. Dr. Paul J. Croft, Kean University, Melissa C. Rod, Kean University, Belkys V. Melendez, Kean University, and Ryan Matthews, Kean University.

     The occurrence of mesoscale weather variations is of interest across New Jersey and in the immediate vicinity given the high population density as well as the diversity of land use, physiographic features, and the wide range of impacts from both hazardous weather and even  routine  conditions (e.g., local circulations). In an initial attempt to ascertain the characteristics and behaviors of these, efforts are underway at Kean University to involve students in local studies and targeted investigations of specific features. During the spring of 2006, students performed a preliminary investigation of characteristics and behaviors of the rain-snow line and sea breeze. The intent was to examine the types of data that would assist spatially and temporally in specifying the resultant sensible weather conditions across the state and to determine how these vary with time as a function of local variations (e.g., physiography) and the prevailing synoptic scale flow.
     Students accessed data in real-time, as well as from archived sets as available, to portray surface conditions and their variations with time and from case to case. Data were collected and included many variables such as temperature, dewpoint, wind direction and speed as well as remote sensing information such as satellite and radar imagery. Specific locations within the state of New Jersey were also selected so as to consider direct and regional impacts. Composite analyses were prepared in an effort to assess the relative importance of a given parameter such as wind direction and temperature in identifying features of the rain-snow line or sea breeze and their associated characteristics (e.g., orientation of boundaries, length and width) and behaviors (e.g., intensity, progression). These were then considered with regard to the prevailing synoptic flow and physiographic features in the region. Initial results are expected to provide information relevant to the identification of the family of local circulations and their modes of behavior that will be useful in operational applications.

P1.6 The Mississippi Mesonet: Growth and Applications. Loren White, Jackson State University, Elizabeth Matlack, Jackson State University, Quincy Jones, Jackson State University, and Gary Galloway,  Newton County Emergency Management Agency.

     The initial prototype phase of the Mississippi Mesonet was completed in 2006. We will discuss the current status of the network, challenges that have been encountered, and applications of the data by various stakeholders. Some applications of note have included use by National Weather Service forecasters, inclusion in MADIS, emergency management, K-12 outreach activities, and support for hydrological studies. Meteorological researchers at Jackson State University, the University of South Alabama, and Mississippi State University are using the data to study nocturnal warming events, land-surface interactions, hurricane landfall, and atmospheric dispersion. The growth of the network to date will be evaluated with respect to future plans and funding needs.

P1.7 A Comparison of Wind Speed Data from Mechanical and Ultrasonic Anemometers.  David A. Short, ENSCO, Inc., Cocoa Beach, FL, Leonard Wells, 30th Weather Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, CA, Francis Merceret, NASA/KSC/Weather Office,  FL and WIlliam P. Roeder, 45th Weather Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL.

     This study compared the performance of mechanical and ultrasonic anemometers at the Eastern Range (ER; Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida s Atlantic coast) and the Western Range (WR; Vandenberg Air Force Base on California s Pacific coast). Launch Weather Officers, forecasters, and Range Safety analysts need to understand the performance of wind sensors at the ER and WR for weather warnings, watches, advisories, special ground processing operations, launch pad exposure forecasts, user Launch Commit Criteria (LCC) forecasts and evaluations, and toxic dispersion support. The current ER and WR weather tower wind instruments are being changed from the current propeller-and-vane (ER) and cup-and-vane (WR) sensors to ultrasonic sensors through the Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) program.
     The differences between mechanical and ultrasonic techniques have been found to cause differences in the statistics of peak wind speed in previous studies. The 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) and the 30th Weather Squadron (30 WS) requested the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) to compare data between RSA and current sensors to determine if there are significant differences.
     Approximately 3 weeks of Legacy and RSA wind data from each range were used in the study, archived during May and June 2005. The ER data spanned the full diurnal cycle, while the WR data was confined to 1000-1600 local time. The sample of 1-minute data from numerous levels on 5 different towers on each range totaled more than 500,000 minutes of data (482,979 minutes of data after quality control). The 10 towers were instrumented at several levels, ranging from 12 ft to 492 ft above ground level. The RSA sensors were collocated at the same vertical levels as the present sensors and typically within 15 ft horizontally of each another. Data from a total of 53 RSA ultrasonic sensors, collocated with present sensors were compared. The 1-minute average wind speed/direction and the 1-second peak wind speed/direction were compared.  The overall results follow:
        Overall Average Wind Speed:
            Present   8.56 kt, RSA   8.87 kt,
            RSA - Present = + 0.29 kt,  
            standard deviation = 1.17 kt
         Overall Peak Wind Speed:     
             Present 10.72 kts, RSA 11.78 kt,
             RSA - Present = + 1.06 kt,  
             standard deviation = 1.59 kt
     The AMU also examined each Present/RSA pairing for consistency in wind speed and wind direction. The most consistent sensors were used to define a composite average-Present/RSA comparison.  Comparisons of the consistent composite were slightly different than the overall comparison cited above.  
    Composite Average Speed:
          Present   8.80 kt, RSA   9.14 kt,
          RSA - Present = + 0.34 kt,  
           standard deviation = 0.94 kt
    Composite Peak Speed:     
        Present 10.95 kt, RSA 11.93 kt,    
        RSA - Present = + 0.98 kt,  
           standard deviation = 1.38 kt
      From a technical point of view the small differences in average wind speeds reported by the Present and RSA sensors are statistically significant, due to the small standard deviations (0.94 kt) and the large sample size. In addition, the average difference in the average wind speed was less than the expected error from the combined precision of the sensors (0.50 kt). From a practical point of view the differences in peak wind speeds are more important, indicating that the change to ultrasonic sensors can be expected to result in an increase in reported peak wind speeds. An increase in peak wind speeds would result in a decrease of launch availability, depending on the LCC threshold wind speed. For example, the probability of peak wind speeds at 20 kts or less using the ER Present data was 95.2%. For the same 20 kt threshold the ER RSA data showed a probability of 92.3%, a potential loss of launch availability of up to 2.9%.  Full details are available under final reports at http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/amu/home.html.

P1.8 GOES-R Instrument CONOPS Considerations. Thomas Renkevens, NOAA/NESDIS, Tim Walsh, NOAA/NESDIS.

     The enhanced flexibility and performance of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R instrument payloads will present a number of operational opportunities relative to the current observational system.  With an expected launch readiness date in the 2012 timeframe, GOES-R will have two primary earth-pointing instruments, the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES), which will have significantly improved spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution over the GOES-I/M and GOES-NOP series  Imager and Sounder.   
     Based on anticipated performance and operational flexibility improvements, the scan scenarios of the ABI and HES will be carefully considered and optimized for appropriate inclusion in the system Concept of Operations (CONOPS).  The two primary objectives of this poster are to inform the extended GOES user community of the advanced operational flexibility of the GOES-R instruments and to stimulate discussion as to what types of operational scenarios and ground system improvements may be possible in the 2012 time frame.   Improvements for consideration may include enhanced ground and on-board tasking techniques (including possible inter- and intra-platform tasking) and improved collaboration with the customer community.

P1.9 Recent Improvements to the AMSU Hydrological Product Suite. Ralph R.Ferraro, NOAA/NESDIS.

     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) generates a suite of operational hydrological cycle products from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU).  These products include precipitation rate, total precipitable water (TPW), cloud liquid and ice water paths, land surface temperature, snow cover extent and water equivalent, and sea-ice concentration.  These products, generated from NOAA s polar orbiting satellites, are used in a host of applications including short-term weather forecasting and warning, numerical weather prediction model data assimilation and climate assessments.  Several upgrades to the AMSU product suite have been recently developed, including better screening of the TPW product under heavy rain conditions, better coastline precipitation retrievals and a preliminary snowfall rate algorithm.  Additionally, this product suite will be generated for the METOP-1 satellite (July 2006 launch).  It is the purpose of this poster presentation to illustrate the recent product improvements through a variety of application examples, and to discuss the future products and missions anticipated over the next decade.

P1.10 Remote Sensing Applications and Technologies: The Africa Challenges.
Kenneth Rumi Ayadiani, Nigerian Meteorological Agency. Lagos, Nigeria

      The overall objective of this paper is to assess the imperativeness of the use of Remote Sensing
Application and Technologies in natural disaster mitigation in Africa with Nigeria as a case study. The Meteorological and hydrological hazards which form part of a group of such increasing devastating phenomena and their major data source which are not only point specific but sparse were reviewed. Some guidelines for action as regard the ultimate need of data with wide aerial coverage of the globe through Remote Sensing coupled with the pursuit of enhanced capacity building and technology transfer which will enable early detection and warning to curb some of there disasters  and their perilous socio-economic implications are considered prime objectives.  

P1.11 Changes in precipitation water vapor sensed by ground based GPS in Three Gorges Region. Rong Wan, Wuhan Institute of Heavy Rain of China Meteorological Administration, Ruilin Du, Institute of Seismology of China Earthquake Administration, Guoguang Zheng, China Meteorological Administration, and, Wei Wang, Institute of Seismology of China Earthquake Administration.
      Scientists studying the environmental issues associated with the Three Gorges hydropower project believed that there was the potential for some negative effects on environment, including modifications to the local and surrounding areas climate over time. Since the land was covered by water during the initial filling stage, the dynamical condition and water vapour transportation could be changed in the local area. Three Gorges reservoir was filled to 135 meters above sea level on June 2003. According to the current plan, the Three Gorges reservoir will be filled to 156 meters in 2006 and raised to its final level of 175 meters in 2009. The local water vapour change, using the Integrated Precipitation Water Vapour (PWV) sensed by GPS, during the first impoundment will be described in this paper.     
     The study is based on time series of PWV sensed by GPS sites at interval of 2 hour from 2000 to 2005 using China’s seismic monitoring networks and the Three Gorges crust deformation monitoring network. In the article, we will compare PWV sensed by GPS with upper air soundings, and adjust the local parameters by using surface observational data history. It was found that GPS PWV value is in good agreement with the range of rain gauge values observed in spring rainy season. The PWV annual and seasonal change before and after the initial impoundment of Three Gorges reservoir were analyzed respectively. The results showed obvious changes in WVP within the Three Gorges region during spring and winter seasons between before and after the first impoundment.  

P1.12 Building a Florida Centric Road Weather Information System. Patrick T. Welsh, University of North Florida, and J. David Lambert, University of North Florida

     Over the past four years, the University of North Florida and its partners have built the first phases of the Florida DOT Road Weather Information System.   Nearly 500 miles of Florida Interstate are now covered by a real-time data system at about twenty mile intervals.  The network design and implementation were done by graduate students in electrical engineering and computer information systems.   
      The data model is one that is shared at the National level as raw data, but is available to the private sector for value-added products, as was done in the iFlorida Project with Meteorlogix.   
     This talk will briefly describe the progress to date and the future of the Florida RWIS, and a vision that the RWIS and the upcoming FHWA Clarus System are much more than data to directed to traffic managers.

P1.13 The Hazard Mapping System (HMS) – A Multiplatform Remote Sensing Approach to Fire and Smoke Detection for Air Quality. Jamie Kibler, NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD,  John Simko,  NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD, Shobha Kondragunta, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, Roland Draxler,  NOAA/OAR/ARL, and Po Li, QSS.

     The HMS is a multiplatform remote sensing approach to detecting smoke and fires over the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Mexico and Central America.  This system is an integral part of the Satellite Services Division s near realtime hazards detection and mitigation efforts.  The system utilizes NOAA s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA s Terra and Aqua spacecraft. Automated fire detection algorithms are employed for each of the satellites, but additional fire points not detected by the algorithms may be added by the satellite analyst. Smoke is annotated by the satellite analyst with points for significant smoke producing fires provided as input to the Air Resources Lab (ARL) Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model (HYSPLIT) that is run daily to provide guidance on smoke trajectories and dispersion over the US, Canada, and Mexico (http://www.arl.noaa.gov/smoke/forecast.html). Improvements to the HYSPLIT input from the HMS are an integral part of the NWS and EPA Air Quality Forecast initiative.   Additional data from the GOES Aerosol and Smoke Product (GASP - www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/GASP/gasp.html) and the MODIS aerosol product are being evaluated to determine characteristics of smoke density.      
     Customers for the HMS include the National Weather Service, US Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, researchers, as well as numerous federal, state, and local land and air quality managers.  All of the analyzed fire and smoke information is posted to a web page (http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/) for viewing in either a graphical static jpg format or via a Geographic Information System (GIS) viewer.  The GIS page allows for the display of multiple layers with roam and zoom capabilities.   An archive site for the daily HMS analysis is available at www.ngdc.noaa.gov/website/firedetects/viewer.htm.

P1.14 GOES Satellite Data Distribution: Past, Present, and Future. Thomas Renkevens, NOAA/NESDIS, John Paquette, NOAA/NESDIS.

     The past decade has seen a tremendous change in the distribution of operational satellite data to key users.  Systems such as GOES-TAP and the Satellite Field Distribution Facilities (SFDF), Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch Advanced Meteorological Satellite Demonstration and Interpretation System (RAMSDIS), Satellite Weather Information System (SWIS) and Micro Satellite Weather Information System (MICROSWIS) have been the mainstay for satellite data distribution and display up through the late 90s.  With the advent of NOAAPORT and AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System), the flow of real time digital satellite data and products to the National Weather Service increased significantly.  Additional satellite derived products continue to be added to the NOAAPORT data stream.  
     The next generation GOES-R geostationary satellite series first launch planned no earlier than late 2012 will host a powerful multispectral imager and hyperspectral sensors, directed at acquiring significantly more information on the atmosphere, land, ocean, and coastal areas.  The great amount of information from the GOES-R series will offer a continuation of current products and services, and allow for improved or new capabilities.  The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES) on GOES-R will enable much improved monitoring and research compared to current capabilities. There will be at least a factor of four increase in the number of products from the GOES-R system.  
     In the GOES-R era, raw sensor data rates are expected to reach approximately 132 Mbps, compared to 2.6 Mbps from each of today's GOES. NOAA is investigating alternatives, including the use of X-Band spectrum, for the raw sensor downlink to Wallops Island to accommodate the downlink of these large data volumes to the ground. The GOES re-broadcast to its U.S. and foreign users will continue in the L-band RF spectrum, but will be more efficiently used and will have an expanded bandwidth. Even so, the GOES-R series satellite communications capability in the L-band will be restricted, from the available bandwidth and technology, up to 24 Mbps. The two types of data that are currently being considered for GOES-R data distribution are the availability of a full set of this data (GFUL) and a GOES-R Rebroadcast (GRB) of a yet to be determined subset of this data.  GFUL contains the full ABI, HES, and other instruments Level 1b data sets, providing a data rate of more than 100 Mbps.  
     With the rapid changes in communications, many options exist for the re-distribution of the calibrated/navigated data and products in the GOES-R era (GOES-R satellite, commercial satellite, dedicated landlines, hybrid broadcasts consisting of both satellite and landlines).  There are many design options possible that are currently being studied by the three GOES-R Program Definition and Risk Reduction (PDRR) contractors.  Fundamental to this is the continued use of satellite broadcasting. Many aspects of the distribution are being investigated and have not yet been determined, for example, how much and what is the nature of the data that needs to be rebroadcast via the GOES-R satellite.  The appropriate data format(s) for GOES sensor science data in the GOES-R era are also being investigated.  The amount of radiance data versus products has not been determined regarding the GRB.  
     At this time, the infrastructure impact on user sites for the GOES-R series data to be acquired and processed has not been determined.  Many current key data distribution systems such as NOAAPORT, McIDAS, and IDD have acknowledged the increased data rates and have begun discussions or planning for these large increases.  The archive and access functionality is currently performed by the Comprehensive Large Array and Stewardship System (CLASS). This system exists and contains data from GOES and other observing systems, including POES
and in the future NPOESS and GOES-R.

P1.15 UPWARDS at Kean!   Year II: AGENTS of Change. Paul J. Croft, Kean University.

     A second year expansion of the program,  Undergraduates Providing Weather Activities for Research and Development of Skills at Kean University (UPWARDS at Kean!) , has included additional students at Kean University in order to serve a wide diversity of fellow students, the general public, and educational communities during the summer and throughout the academic year. Thus the  UPWARDS at Kean!  program has begun a phase of providing AGENTS (Atmospheric and Geoscience Education Nexus   Trailblazing Students) of change in educating others in the atmospheric and related sciences.
     The Kean University undergraduate Meteorology Program, within the Department of Geology and Meteorology, continues to provide a variety of outreach and professional development opportunities. These include activities for K-12 audiences (e.g., Upward Bound), teacher training and professional development (MISE), and undergraduate students (Epsilon Corps Institute). While conceptualized and delivered by faculty and other professionals, undergraduate students play key roles in the education process by their assistance, participation, mentoring, and advising with these diverse populations.
     Programs have included the exploration of scientific principles, measurement and interpretation of data, and the use of these to assess and explain the characteristics and behaviors of various environmental systems and the application of science and technology. In addition, majors and faculty have direct interaction with K-12 students (e.g., summer research projects at high schools), fellow college students (e.g., as a scientific resource for the Cougar’s Byte  and on campus television studio), and discipline  experts  (e.g., News12   New Jersey).
     Future plans include the participation of students and faculty in an operational (and outreach support) geo-weather research center in association with the Center for Earth Science Education within the Department of Geology and Meteorology. Students may provide important outreach to the broader community both on and off campus. This will be an important conduit for information transfer and education and in the process give students opportunities to develop their outreach skills while gaining practical experience.

P1.16 Turn Around Don't Drown (R) : A Campaign Built on Partnerships. Hector Guerrero, NOAA/NWS San Angelo, TX, Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Roy Sedwick, Texas Flood Plain Management, Larry Wenzel, NWS Headquarters Hydrologic Services Division, and Kandis Boyd, NWS Southern Region Hydrologic Service Branch.

     NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) Turn Around Don’t Drown ® (TADD) flood safety campaign continues to gain momentum since it was launched in 2003 as local and national television media partners continue to broadcast this life-saving slogan before and during significant flood events that have impacted our nation.  Meanwhile, strong partnerships with FLASH,  Allstate Foundation,  Lower River Colorado Authority, National Safety Council, Federal Highway Administration, Flood Plain Management Associations, emergency management, communities and many more public and private entities have fostered the creative development and implementation of TADD projects and activities across "flash flood alleys" within our country enabling Americans to make the right decision to turn around.  
     The purpose of this talk is to show how critically important these partnerships are to the expansion of the TADD campaign since it was launched in 2003.  Because of these great partnerships, this life saving slogan has taken a life of its own as more and more Americans make the right decision when they encounter a flooded roadway.  Finally, an analysis of the “Turn Around Don't Drown” slogan will be discussed to show it's overall effectiveness.

P1.17 Timmy The Twister: Raising Daily Community Severe Weather Awareness.
Dan Valle, Jim Belles and Rich Okulski, NOAA/NWS Memphis, TN and Amanda Roberts, NOAA/NWS/LMRFC, Slidell, LA.  

     The National Weather Service's Memphis Forecast Office created the character "Timmy the Twister" in 2005 to raise daily severe weather awareness in small communities.  "Timmy the Twister" is based on the United States Forest Service's highly successful "Smokey the Bear" campaign which raised the awareness of fire danger in national forests.
     The Memphis Weather Forecast Office has created brochures, educational materials and most importantly large signs to hang in public areas such as fire departments and town halls.  The signs show whether the daily severe weather hazard is none, slight, moderate, or high.  These hazard levels are based on the Storm Prediction Center's Day One Categorical Convective Outlook.
     There are two prototype "Timmy the Twister" signs in Ponotoc, Mississippi and Caruthersville, Missouri.  The sign in Caruthersville was shown on cable television stations such as MSNBC and The Weather Channel in the aftermath of the April 2nd F3 damage tornado.  This strong tornado moved directly through Caruthersville (population: 6,800) and damaged 500 homes.  Only 65 people were injured and no one died!  The city emergency manager attributed this amazing statistic in part to "Timmy the Twister."
     The Memphis Weather Forecast Office received several calls and e-mail requests for "Timmy the Twister" signs in the aftermath of the Caruthersville tornado. It is our vision to make "Timmy the Twister" an integral part of the NWS's StormReady program.  Current and new StormReady communities would receive a sign to enhance their severe weather awareness and preparedness.

P1.18 Tornado Safety Recommendations for Persons in Mobile Homes or Motor Vehicles. Thomas W. Schmidlin, Kent State University.

     Federal government and Red Cross tornado safety recommendations state that persons who are in mobile homes or vehicles when a tornado warning is issued should seek shelter outdoors in a ditch or depression, if a sturdy building is not available for shelter.  There is no research to support this recommendation.  In fact, several researchers have found results contrary to the recommendation.  Previous research on tornado hazards is reviewed and is combined with our work in the field and in a wind tunnel to suggest revisions in the tornado safety recommendations for persons in mobile homes and vehicles.

P1.19 The NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences: Impacts to the Meteorological Community. Loren White, Rezwanul Karim, R.S. Reddy, and Duanjun Lu, Jackson State University, and Vernon Morris, Howard University.

     The NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) has been funded since 2001 by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program for Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) to significantly impact the matriculation of minority students toward advanced degrees in the atmospheric sciences and to pursue interdisciplinary atmospheric research of relevance to the NOAA mission. Led by Howard University, a consortium of university partners was developed which includes Jackson State University, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and the University of Texas at El Paso. Major research efforts have focused on application of the MM5 and WRF models for convective initiation and tropical cyclones, health and climatic impacts of Saharan dust transport, urban air chemistry, and air-sea interaction. Major observational programs which have developed include the Mississippi Mesonet, the Beltsville, MD intensive monitoring site, and several research cruises emphasizing the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Weather Camps and specialized training workshops have been developed to complement the educational and research programs of the consortium. During the initial funding period, NCAS has dramatically increased the pipeline for minority students continuing on a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, including giving them exposure to NOAA operations through various internships and research collaboration. Although the NCAS institutions interact with a large number of NOAA offices and personnel, the most common NOAA partners have been NCEP-EMC, the Air Resources Lab (ARL), and local weather forecast offices (WFOs).

P1.20 How Broadcast News Shapes Memories of Severe Weather: Hurricane Katrina as a Defining Event.  Josh Nathan, Englewood, CO.

     Applying Maurice Halbwach’s  theory of collective memory to CNN and FOX broadcasts and replicating an historical-based methodology (Winfield et al., 2001), this study suggests President Bush, once admired for his leadership after 9/11, is now mired in ridicule. After Hurricane Katrina, television news initially provides primary communications to and from the Gulf Coast.   
      Despite White House and Congressional investigations during 2006 into what went awry and why, which includes the failure of the first test of the multibillion dollar National Emergency System, the study finds a government still unprepared to meet the needs of its nation during catastrophic, but statistically predicable, natural disasters regardless of warning time from meteorologists.

P1.21 Empowering Critical Decision Makers: A National Weather Service and North Carolina Department of Transportation Partnership. Jeff Orrock and Kermit Keeter, NOAA/NWS Raleigh, NC, and Lonnie Watkins, North Carolina Department of Transportation

     Weather forecasts and services have always been important to highway engineers from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) who make key decisions regarding road maintenance for adverse winter weather. This is especially true now that roads can be pre-treated; however, the decision to pre-treat roads must be made 24 to 36 hours prior to the onset of adverse winter weather. Decision making so far in advance requires more detailed coordination between National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters and NCDOT critical decision makers engaged in public safety. It also points to a need for a much better understanding of winter weather forecast processes by those making the decisions about when and how to best prepare roads.   
     In early 2005, the NCDOT and NWS forged a partnership whose goal was to develop and then implement winter weather training that would allow for more effective winter weather coordination between NWS forecasters and NCDOT engineers. The course evolved by presenting various winter weather materials at regional meetings of NCDOT engineers. In general, the materials selected for the course were those that engineers could follow and use in real-time to make road treatment decisions. The course addressed the nuances of local winter events as well as the complexity of predicting snow and ice 24 to 36 hours in advance.
     During the 2005-2006 winter weather season, over 400 NCDOT engineers were trained by the seven NWS forecast offices serving North Carolina. The training process fostered new partnerships at the county and district levels enhancing the understanding of each others needs, abilities and resources. The interactive training sessions also provided NWS forecasters a better understanding of how winter forecasts impact NCDOT operations. This partnership between NCDOT and the NWS offices serving North Carolina is a prime example of how federal and state government agencies can collaborate to provide better public service.  
     This presentation will share the processes used to conduct science outreach training where critical decision makers obtain the resources and information needed to ensure more informed decisions are made.  The importance of weather in the NCDOT decision making process for maintaining roads will be highlighted as well as the insights gained by forecasters regarding the key weather parameters and the decision making timeline needed by NCDOT highway engineers. Finally, examples of how this outreach training has resulted in better road maintenance and economical savings will be featured.      

P1.22 NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Upsurge:  Positive Aftermath Following the Killer Evansville Area Tornado of 6 November 2005. Matthew T. Friedlein, NOAA/NWS Chanhassen, MN

     During the early morning hours of 6 November 2005, a long-lived F3 tornado claimed the lives of 25 people and injured hundreds near Evansville, Indiana.  Many of these injuries and a majority of the deaths were unaware sleeping residents in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park.  In response to this tragedy and in coordination with the National Weather Service, local area media stressed the 24-hour alert features of NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) to their viewers and listeners. During the two months that followed the disaster, a total of more than 40,000 NWR units were purchased or distributed in the Evansville area. NWS personnel from Paducah, KY and the area television meteorologists hosted combined NWR outreach campaigns at local shopping malls.  These outreaches were markedly successful, furthering weather radio promotion and helping several thousand NWR users by programming their radios and answering questions.  Within a half year of the tornado, it was estimated that the Evansville
     NWR transmitter had more listeners than any in the country, with a weather radio in nearly one half of the households.  By recounting how these outreaches were conducted and interpreting survey results from them, it is believed NWR numbers of these magnitudes can be achieved in other parts of the country through similar campaigns.  These promote NWR as a rapid and additional life-saving source for severe weather warnings, in particular for mobile home residents whose shelter may be a few minutes away.  These campaigns also strengthen partnerships between media and NWS personnel and can be conducted throughout the country to minimize the likelihood of not receiving a tornado warning.
P1.23 Leveraging Community Organizations to Accomplish Public All-Hazards Awareness:  The West Central Texas All Hazards Preparedness Campaign. Carl Wright, NOAA/NWS San Angelo, TX, Nicole Gonzales, Citizens Corps, Kent Brown, Boy Scouts of America, Marissa Swank, Concho Valley Electric Coop., and Rosendo Velez, New York Critical Response Medical Services.

     A recent Consumer Electronics Survey indicated that only half the American public has ever heard of a NOAA Weather Radio and that only 17 percent actually owned one. With an agreement between NOAA and the Dept of Homeland Security, the NOAA Weather Radio has been transformed into the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards that now alerts for both weather and non-weather hazards. All-Hazards messages include: Natural (e.g., tornado, hurricane, floods, and earthquakes), technological accidents (e.g., chemical release, oil spill, nuclear power plant emergencies, maritime accidents, and train derailments), AMBER alerts, and terrorist attacks. It is now more important than ever to educate the public to be all-hazards aware and to the importance relying on a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards.
      In the winter and spring of 2006, National Weather Service San Angelo initiated a unique campaign to partner with as many community organizations in West Central Texas as possible to raise awareness of the NOAA All-Hazards Radio. Partners included: Boy Scouts of America, Electric Rural Co-Operatives, Citizen Corps, Local Emergency Planning Committees, Emergency Managers, Local Businesses, Texas Governor s Division of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local Television and Radio, City governments, and others.
      The purpose of this presentation is to show the overall strategy of the campaign and summarize the results of the campaign. In particular, we will show how we were able to forge successful new partnerships and how the campaign was organized in such a way as to ensure that the all-hazards awareness effort continued after the conclusion of the local campaign. We will show how local organizations, through the utilization of their existing state-wide networks, will independently expand the program of all-hazards awareness to the entire State of Texas.   

P1.24 Climate Outreach Toolkit.  Patricia A. Wnek, NOAA/NWS Mid-Atlantic River Forecast Center, State College, PA.  
     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Weather Service (NWS) has increased its activities in the area of climate and climate related services to its customers. The NWS Eastern Region Headquarters Climate Team identified the need to provide a resource for both its local offices and its customers. A team of NWS climate personnel, composed of field, regional and national headquarters staff, created a climate outreach toolkit to support NWS climate outreach. The climate outreach toolkit will answer basic questions on climate topics, refer media inquiries, and provide climate education. The toolkit has been deemed a national prototype by the NWS Climate Services Division.
The toolkit is linked from all NWS field office web sites. It provides resources, education and information on:   
  Data and Forecasts
  Program Information and Definitions
  Climate Science and Training
  News and Publications
  Media Contacts
This poster will provide an illustrated tour of the toolkit and ideas for Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) and River Forecast Centers (RFCs) to increase and support climate outreach with their customers.

P1.25 Air Quality Index and Synoptic Weather Type in the Northern Mid-Atlantic. Dr. Paul J. Croft, Kean University, Belkys V. Melendez, Kean University.

     Daily Air Quality Index (AQI) observations, as developed and summarized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, were collected online for select counties in the northern mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) for two spring through early summer seasons (April through July). Data were tabulated according to synoptic flow regimes in order to examine the relationship of AQI values and behaviors in time and space to a wide range of weather conditions. Synoptic weather types were determined by inspection of the Daily Weather Map Series and included high pressure, low pressure, and frontal systems and their position relative to the study region. Summary statistics of each synoptic type s AQI were examined by county (and state) and plotted across the region in order to interpret any maxima and minima (as well as data and station quality) and determine whether any identifiable or obvious patterns or features existed. Results revealed that for specific weather patterns potential sources, sinks, and transport could be inferred and can be used to improve the understanding of air quality as a function of synoptic weather conditions and local or long-distance transport. Statistical summation also provided useful information for the comparison of AQI variance and extremes as observed at each location, according to synoptic type, and in comparison to surrounding sites.

P1.26 Using Historic Teleconnection Datasets to Identify Abnormal Weather Regimes in the Missouri Ozarks. John Gagan, NOAA/NWS WFO Springfield, MO, and Gene Hatch, NOAA/NWS WFO Springfield, MO.

      Teleconnection indices, as defined and quantified by the Climate Prediction Center, will be used in tandem with daily cooperative observations across the area of responsibility for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, MO (KSGF).  Cycles of El Nino-Southern Oscillation, Artic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific-North American Oscillation will be correlated to daily cooperative observations of maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall and snowfall at select sites across the KSGF area.  Each oscillation will be compared to daily cooperative observations both individually and in combinations to identify anomalous weather conditions across the Missouri Ozarks.

P1.27 The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHs) comes to  Missouri. Patrick E. Guinan, Missouri Climate Center / University of Missouri,  Anthony R. Lupo,  University of Missouri,  Rachel N. Redburn, University of Missouri / Missouri Climate Center.

     During the spring of 2006, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHs) was expanded into Missouri. CoCoRaHs (www.cocorahs.org) was developed by Colorado State University in 1998 in order to obtain finer-scale precipitation measurements using volunteers. Our experience here in Missouri is that there are many people who would like to volunteer, and they can provide measurements that of reasonable quality. The Missouri Farm Service Agency has also agreed to help take measurements and their contribution gave Missouri coverage in every county. These measurements have already been used to monitor the progress of drought conditions in Missouri for the summer of 2006, and provided coverage detailing where large hail fell during the March 11-12, 2006 severe weather outbreaks. Additionally, these data are being used in order to identify the distribution of precipitation in interesting mesoscale events for research case studies.  

P1.28 Blocking in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere: An update to include 2000 – 2006. Joseph V. Clark, University of Missouri – Columbia, Kristen M. Mihalka, University of Missouri, and Anthony R. Lupo, University of Missouri.

      Detailed climatologies of blocking events have been previously published, and these include not only an examination of the occurrence and duration of blocking, but of the intensity as well. The goal of this work is to update these climatologies which have published the characteristics of blocking occurrence up to about the year 2000. This work will examine the occurrence of blocking into the early part of the 21st century in order to develop a continuous archive of blocking events. There are such archives available for other types of events such as hurricanes or tornadoes, but currently no available list of individual blocking events that extends to the current year. Additionally, some of the conclusions of earlier studies will be investigated such as; has the well-known decrease in the occurrence of Southern Hemisphere blocking events found in the late 20th century continuing? Additionally, these data will provide for a longer data set and as such strengthen the conclusions of earlier studies regarding ENSO variability. A longer data set allows for an investigation of interdecadal variability as well. This study used the NCEP re-analyses in order to be consistent with the data used by earlier studies.

P1.29 Climatology of Non-Convective Windstorms in the Great Lakes Region.  John A. Knox, University of Georgia

     The Great Lakes region routinely experiences windstorms with damaging gusts of at least 58 mph not associated with convection.  A single windstorm of this type can cause tens of millions of dollars in damage and several deaths.  In addition, forecasts of these extreme wind events are inexact and often underestimate the peak gusts involved.  
     In this research, wind data from the upper Midwest are used to create climatologies of non-convective wind events in the Great Lakes region.  Multidecadal surface wind data sets have been used to create two regional climatologies, one of non-convective winds and another of November 12Z winds.  The results of the first climatology reveal a fall-season spatial trend in the month of most frequent non-convective winds from northwest to southeast, from Minnesota in October to Ohio in December.  The second climatology reveals a pronounced southwest quadrant preference for the strongest winds in the Great Lakes region on November mornings, a preference that becomes increasingly dominant for the highest winds.  Both of these results imply that the windstorms are more closely related to mid-latitude cyclones and their mesoscale dynamics than to geography, in contrast with some published work on this subject.  The implications for operational meteorology in the Great Lakes will be discussed.  

P1.30 October Tropical Cyclone Activity Relative to New Jersey. Dr. Paul J. Croft, Kean University, Steven L. Koenigstein, Kean University.

     Tropical cyclone activity, while important across the Atlantic Ocean basin, brings significant threats and potential benefits to the Mid-Atlantic States region. For some locations, a significant portion of rainfall measured in September is related to tropical cyclone activity and paths that range from offshore, near the coast, and inland. In New Jersey the occurrence of tropical cyclones in late summer and fall is of particular concern given impacts such as heavy rains and flooding; enhanced tides, rip currents, and wave action; as well as strong winds and tornadoes   each leading to damage, injury, and death. Recently the state (and much of the region) experienced record rainfall for the month of October (2005) due to a persistent and recurring synoptic pattern as well as a tropical moisture influx that caused significant and extensive damage. Therefore, it was of interest to investigate whether this anomaly was related directly to the record hurricane season, as compared to historical data, and to determine how the state has been impacted in the past by tropical and non-tropical weather patterns.
     Tropical cyclone data (track maps) were collected from the Tropical Prediction Center website (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastall.shtml; see  Past Tracks  of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones) and all October tropical activity for the period 1950-2004 were obtained (including any sub-tropical systems). These were summarized in terms of total season activity, intensity and duration, peak intensity, storm occurrence as a percentage of season activity, and the intensity upon approach and path relative to New Jersey. Of 126 total October tropical cyclones for the period 1950-2004 (average of 2.3 per October, six years recording  none , 55 total months) many names were used (generally twice for each name, three times for  Josephine; names ranged from  D  to  T ) and the center of 12 (or 9.5%) passed within 350 miles of the geographic center of the state and were retained for further examination as having potential impacts. Within each decade (except the 1970s), New Jersey observed at least one October system. The occurrence of these events indicated that approximately half originated in the first half of October (7 of 12) with most of the rest (4 of 12) initiating during the latter half of September. Seven of the storms were of tropical cyclone or hurricane intensity upon closest approach to the state while five were extra-tropical or of tropical depression intensity. The majority of storm tracks relative to New Jersey passed to the E and SE (10) of the region with only two approaching and passing to the west.
     The data were also examined with regard to total rainfall across New Jersey before, during, and after their closest approach and according to their approach, intensity, and duration. Monthly precipitation for October from Web site: (http://climate.rutgers.edu/stateclim_v1/monthlydata/index.html) was studied for selected sites (e.g., Cape May, Newark, New Brunswick, Toms River) in order to assess the impact of tropical cyclones for the month as compared to observed synoptic patterns. Results were considered with regard to event rainfall, monthly totals, and mean values and indicated that while the wettest October months were not necessarily those with tropical activity; some of the cyclones were responsible for a significant contribution of rainfall.

P1.31 The Frequency of Tropical Cyclones moving into Missouri and the Synoptic Environment.
Rachel N. Redburn and Patrick E. Guinan,
Missouri Climate Center / University of Missouri-Columbia, and Anthony R. Lupo, University of Missouri-Columbia.

      Data acquired from the National hurricane Center Archives (http://weather.unisys.com) demonstrate that tropical cyclones impact Missouri approximately once every three years. Of the 33 storms that have come into Missouri, 27 have been tropical depressions and only six tropical storms. During the 2005 season, two tropical cyclones moved into Missouri. Years in which there were more tropical cyclones did not correlate strongly to the ENSO or PDO cycles. Most storms that impacted Missouri were of Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea origins. Additionally, there were two synoptic regimes that favored these cyclones making the journey to Missouri. Either the storm became caught up in the jet stream and moved rapidly across the state from southwest to northeast, or they moved into Missouri from the south or southeast under a warm unstable air mass, with the center of high pressure sitting east of Missouri. We contrasted these cases with two events that did not cross into Missouri, even though they struck the Gulf coast area to our south. These events occurred with high pressure to the west of Missouri, and a trough over the Eastern United States.

P1.32 Assessing Confidence in Ensemble Prediction System Forecasts. Richard Grumm, NWS State College PA, Ron Holmes, NWS State College PA, Robert Hart, Florida State University, and Andrew Durante, Florida State University.

     Confidence forecasts from the National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) short-range ensemble forecast (SREF) system are presented.  The SREF confidence forecasts were developed from a more robust application using the NCEP medium-range ensemble forecast (MREF) system. The MREF system uses global re-analysis data and contains a full year of past MREF performance. The current SREF system, implemented in March 2006, bases confidence strictly on the performance of the SREF over the past 25 days.  
     The forecasts compare the spread in the SREF over the past 25 days to the spread in the current SREF. The relatively short-range of this methodology typically focuses large uncertainty in areas of recently active weather. Areas recently under relatively weak flow, baroclinicity, or high pressure will generally have low spread in recent EPS forecasts relative to areas with strong flow, high baroclinicity, and strong pressure systems.  Thus, a strong frontal or pressure system in the forecast would likely produce higher than recently forecast and observed spread, leading to a low confidence forecast.
     Observations related to confidence forecast applications and sensible weather forecasts will be presented. Preliminary observations suggest that low confidence forecasts tend to occur in regions of active weather and in regions transitioning from relatively quiescent to active weather.  This effect appears most noticeably around strong frontal and pressure systems where the combination tight gradients and timing errors can add uncertainty to the forecasts. This lead to large spread between EPS members and the ensemble mean and large spread relative to recent EPS forecasts. This large spread and low confidence is useful information relative to the details of the sensible weather forecasts.  Conversely, low spread and high confidence also provide useful forecast information.

P1.33 Examining the GFS Model in a Busted Snow Event: 15-16 January 2003.  Chad M Gravelle, Saint Louis University, Fred H. Glass,  NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, St. Louis, MO,  James T. Moore, Saint Louis University,  and Charles E. Graves, Saint Louis University.

     Forecasting winter precipitation is one of the more difficult challenges that face operational meteorologists.  Many times, bands of heavy snowfall are associated with mesoscale organization which can make the accurate prediction of these banded structures challenging.  On 15 -16 January 2003, a major winter storm had been forecasted to impact the entire St. Louis, MO County warning forecast area with up to 8 inches of snow.  However, less than an inch of snow fell in metro St. Louis and the heavy snowfall occurred in two separate bands that affected only the extreme northern and southern portions of the county warning area.  This poster will focus on the diagnosis of the Global Forecast System (GFS) model in the days preceding the event.  Up to that date during the 2002 - 2003 winter season, the GFS had exhibited superior performance and was the model of choice for this event.  Therefore, this poster will focus on the GFS.  The study will examine how the GFS model evolved in successive model runs, and in particular how the dProg/dt method can be quantitatively applied to diagnose model trends in comparison to existing conceptual models.

P1.34 Enhancements to Area Specific Flash Flood Warnings.  Audra C. Hennecke,  The Pennsylvania State University, and Stephen J. Rogowski,  Richard Hitchens and Sarah E. Allen, all with NOAA/NWS Sterling, VA

     Flash flooding can occur on a small horizontal and short temporal scale. The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office in Sterling, VA is charged with issuing Flash Flood Warnings (FFWs) for the purpose of saving life and property for a large portion of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
     The primary method for issuing FFWs is with the NWS NEXRAD radars (or WSR-88Ds). Due to inherent limitations with radar sampling of flash-flood producing storms (e.g., earth curvature with distance and beam blockage), flash flood prediction and detection can be problematic within certain areas of the radar sampling volume.
     To counteract the limitations of radar, a comprehensive survey was developed and sent to emergency management officials within the NWS Sterling warning area. These officials have compiled detailed listings or maps of flood-prone areas, which include waterways that overflow their banks (where they inundate), locations prone to mudslides, and common road closures due to flash flooding and high water from storm runoff.
      A graphical shape  file (or overlay) of these local flood-prone small areas was developed for use in AWIPS.  When overlain on radar imagery, forecasters could be more cognizant of known flash flood-prone areas in relation to storms. Finally, results from the survey were ingested into an AWIPS text database, which can be incorporated into FFWs that are coincident with flash flood prone areas.

SESSION: Remote Sensing Applications and Technologies

Current and Future GOES Program Overview. Thomas Renkevens, NOAA/ NESDIS, Tim Schmit, Tim Walsh, John Paquette, and Brian Hughes, all from NOAA/NESDIS.    
    GOES are a mainstay of weather forecasts and environmental monitoring in the United States. Their images of the clouds are seen daily on television weather forecasts.  The GOES mission satisfies national operational environmental requirements for 24 hour observation of weather, Earth's environment, and the solar and space environment. To meet these requirements, NOAA continuously maintains operational satellites at two locations, 75 degrees West, and 135 degrees West, with an on-orbit spare. The GOES-I series (GOES 8-12) is the current operational series. The GOES-N series (GOES 13-15) is under contract; the GOES-R series, the follow-on continuity program to the GOES-N series, is in a program definition and risk reduction phase.  
     Satellite data and products from GOES-East and GOES-West continue to be improved or added for the user community.  Some recent and upcoming product improvements include GOES sounder and imager derived product imagery (DPI) and enhanced hydro-estimator products.
     With the successful launch of GOES-N on May 24, 2006 (GOES-13 on orbit), GOES-11 became the operational GOES-West satellite on June 27 2006, replacing GOES-10 after nearly 8 years in operation.  By October 2006, GOES-10 will be repositioned over 60° West in direct support of users in South America.  This will provide users continuous viewing of South America and surrounding oceans.  Currently, views of South America are often interrupted when GOES-East (12) is put into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) to support more frequent views of hurricanes and severe weather events.
     GOES-13 has similar imager and sounder instrumentation as compared to GOES 8-12, but is flying on a different spacecraft bus and there are some noticeable improved capabilities.  Improvements to navigation, registration and radiometrics provide the user with higher quality data.  With increased battery capacity, eclipse periods on GOES-13 are eliminated and keep-out-zones are minimized. GOES O and P will have increased spatial resolution in the 13.3µ band.
     The next great leap forward in GOES instrument technology will be with GOES-R, slated for launch no earlier than 2012 to provide coverage in the event of a failure of GOES-O or GOES-P.  This new sophisticated GOES series will monitor the Earth's environment with vastly improved spatial, spectral and temporal resolution through an advanced imager, a lightning mapper, a solar imager, a space environment monitor, and a hyperspectral environmental suite that performs the functions of near full disk atmospheric sounding, mesoscale atmospheric sounding, and high resolution coastal waters imaging.  The GOES-R series will scan the Earth nearly five times faster than the current GOES.  The new sensors will allow for a host of new environmental products and services, while improving the products and services that are currently provided. The new observations will contribute to dramatically improved weather, water and space environmental services in the next decades, enhancing public safety and providing economic benefits to the U.S. and our international partners.

Operational Implications of GOES-R.
Timothy J. Schmit, NOAA/ NESDIS, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Advanced Satellite Products Branch, Madison, WI, Thomas Renkevens and James J. Gurka, NOAA/ NESDIS, GOES-R Program Office, Greenbelt, Maryland, Mat M. Gunshor and Jun Li, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), University of Wisconsin-Madison.

     In order to meet the requirements, documented by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) user communities, the instruments designated for the GOES-R notional baseline include an Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and a Sounding capability. The ABI will be launch-ready in 2014. These instruments will monitor a wide range of phenomena with applications relating to: weather, climate, ocean, land, and hazards.
     The ABI is a state of the art, 16-channel imager covering 6 visible to near-IR bands (0.47 to 2.25 m), and 10 infrared (IR) bands (3.9 m to 13.3 m).  Spatial resolutions are band dependent, 0.5 km at nadir for the 0.6 m visible, 1.0 km for near IR bands and 2.0 km for the IR bands.  The ABI will be capable of scanning the Full Disk (FD) in approximately 5 minutes. ABI will improve every product from the current GOES Imager and will introduce a host of new products possible. In addition to the imagery, products also include: retrieved Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMVs), Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPEs), cloud parameters, clear-sky radiances, layered moisture, surface (skin) temperature, volcanic ash, detection of fog and characterization of fires. The ABI will also provide cloud-top phase/particle size/optical depth information and much improved snow detection, aerosol and smoke detection and characterization for air quality monitoring. Other new products include vegetation monitoring and upper-level SO2 detection.  These new and improved products will be generated in real-time to benefit operational regional forecasting, environmental monitoring, storm prediction, hazardous event monitoring, etc.
     High-spectral-resolution infrared radiance measurements from the geostationary perspective remain a high priority in the evolution of the GOES observing capability.  These advanced sounders will have hundreds of channels with spectral widths less than a wavenumber; the current GOES Sounders have 18 bands with spectral widths of tens of wavenumbers.  It is expected that they will improve geostationary sounding capabilities by expanding the hourly spatial coverage, increasing the vertical temperature and moisture sounding resolution, capturing atmospheric motions at many more levels, and penetrating the boundary layer to depict small scale temperature and moisture changes.  These improved capabilities would significantly impact nowcasting, short-range weather forecasting, and longer-range numerical weather prediction.  

Improved resolution and consistency in the quest for better utilization of GOES Sounder products. Gary S. Wade, NOAA/NESDIS, Scott Bachmeier, CIMSS,  James P. Nelson III,  CIMSS,  Sarah T. Bedka, CIMSS,  Timothy J. Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS.

     In November 2005, the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) began providing routine, operational distribution of full (horizontal) resolution hourly atmospheric products, generated from the Sounder on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES).  This distribution was targeted to the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) of the National Weather Service (NWS).  Although GOES Sounder atmospheric vertical profiles, and their image counterparts, the so-called Derived Product Images (DPI), had previously been regularly provided within AWIPS since the mid to late 1990 s at a resolution of 5x5 fields-of-view (FOV) (or nominally about 50 by 50 km at the sub-satellite point), this new suite of data generated at a (nominal) 10 km single field-of-view (SFOV) resolution was made available on AWIPS for the first time.  Amidst a variety of possible products, a few elementary parameters, such as precipitable water, lifted index (stability), and cloud top pressure, remain traditional choices for DPI display and comparison.  In addition to self-evident improvement due to the increase in the horizontal resolution, the new SFOV data were produced via a more comprehensive, singular processing system, incorporating both cloud and clear air retrievals together.
     During early 2006, an updated version of the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) tele-training module on the GOES Sounder Data and Products was offered to interested NWS offices.  This new version was intended to re-vitalize exposure to the sounding data as well as to help ensure that such simple characteristics of the DPI as their color enhancements on AWIPS were appropriate (in contrast to often confusing and ineffective displays in the past).  
     The purpose of this presentation is to re-visit how GOES Sounder products, particularly emphasizing diagnosis of moisture and stability, can be used to augment and support other information regularly available to forecasters.  This is done with knowledge of the limitations of the GOES Sounder data, with respect to obscuring clouds and only broad resolution in the vertical, but also is done with knowledge of the unique temporal monitoring capability of a geostationary instrument.  Cases illustrating proper displays of the GOES Sounder products on AWIPS during the 2006 warm season will be shown, along with assessments of how these products add value and/or substantiate other data sources.  Comparisons with a small set of continually monitoring upward-looking remote sensors at the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) test bed facilities in the Southern Plains will also be included to help validate trends and signals in the GOES data.  Although there is great anticipation for the much improved vertical resolution of the interferometer sounder being planned for GOES-R, along with other scanning and radiometric improvements, this current suite of GOES Sounders (K-P, or 10-15) will remain the task of our directive to master the present, until at least into the middle of the next decade.

RIDGE - Radar Integrated Display with Geospatial Elements. Planned Updates and Enhancements to the NWS New Radar Webpage. Keith Stellman and Paul                 Kirkwood, NOAA/NWS Southern Region, Fort Worth, TX, Jason Burks, NOAA/NWS Huntsville, AL, Tim Brice, NOAA/NWS El Paso, TX. and Ken Pavelle, NOAA/NWS Silver Spring, MD.

     The National Weather Service is responsible to make its weather, water and climate information widely available to taxpayers using commonly accepted standards and technologies. Currently, the NWS provides weather radar information for all Weather Service Doppler Radars (WSR 88-D) in the United States on the NWS Internet page. In February of 2006, the NWS successfully implemented version one of the new radar displays. Version two of the RIDGE radar will include additional products, a GIS image service, KML/KMZ generator, and customizable web page features.  Some of these enhancements will be demonstrated at the conference.  RIDGE background: These radar images, called RIDGE (Radar Integrated Display with Geospatial Elements), allows the radar image to be combined with geospatial elements such as topography maps, highways, and county boundaries. RIDGE also adds the ability to overlay polygon warnings updated each minute issued by the National Weather Service Forecast Offices. Each image within the RIDGE architecture is georeferenced which allows GIS users to easily integrate the radar and warning information into custom applications.

Dual-polarimetric WSR-88D radar algorithms.  Kevin A. Scharfenberg,  University of Oklahoma/CIMMS and NOAA/OAR/NSSL.

     The United States network of WSR-88D radars is expected to be upgraded to include dual-polarimetric capabilities near the end of the decade. The National Severe Storms Laboratory has developed and tested several algorithms designed for the dual-pol WSR-88D. These algorithms are expected to be deployed with the initial dual-pol WSR-88D software build.
     First a pre-processor algorithm, which smooths the base data and corrects for noise and attenuation, is described. Next a hydrometeor classification algorithm, which estimates the dominant scatterer type in each radar gate, is discussed. Part of the hydrometeor classification algorithm package is a melting-layer detection module that uses signatures in the dual-pol data associated with melting particles. Finally, the dual-pol quantitative precipitation estimation algorithm package is described.
     This presentation provides background information for the companion presentation "Dual-polarimetric radar in operational forecasting: An overview", by K. Scharfenberg.

Status on the integration of the NSSL Four-dimensional Stormcell Investigator (FSI) into AWIPS. Gregory J. Stumpf, NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and University of Oklahoma/CIMMS, Norman, OK, F. Thomas Filiaggi, NOAA/NWS Silver Spring, MD, Michael A. Magsig, NOAA/NWS/WDTB, Norman, OK, Kurt D. Hondl, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK and Stephan B. Smith, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD..

     Work is moving forward to complete the development of a prototype Four-dimensional Stormcell Investigator (FSI) that is integrated with the AWIPS D2D display application.  The FSI is a modified version of the Warning Decision Support System  Integrated Information (WDSSII) display for WSR-88D base radar data.  This version contains a unique linked 4-panel design, this includes vertical and horizontal (CAPPI) cross-sections displayed in 3D.  These cross-sections are very easy to manipulate and are dynamic as  they update information on the fly as the user is manipulating their position.  At the time of this presentation, we will have completed alpha testing at the Phoenix AZ and Wilmington OH WFOs, and are undertaking alpha testing at the Huntsville AL WFO.  Next spring, alpha tests will continue in Omaha NE, and at the Norman OK WFO in concert with the National Hazardous Weather Testbeds (HWT) new Experimental Warning Program (EWP).  The first version of the  FSI will be deployed with AWIPS OB8.2.  A future version will have support for polarimetric variables and Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) data, and possibly 3D volume rendering/isosurfaces.

Site-Specific Scanning Strategies for WSR-88Ds: Planning for Field Tests. Rodger A. Brown, (NWA Publications Committee Co-chair) NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK and Randy M. Steadham, NOAA/NWS
Radar Operations Center, Norman, OK.

     The lowest elevation angle scanned by all radars in the Weather Surveillance Radar 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network is 0.5 deg.  Users of Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) and research Doppler radars find that scanning at 0.0 deg reveals the presence of boundaries of forecasting significance that frequently are not evident at 0.5 deg elevation angles.  Furthermore, forecasters who prepare warnings based on mountaintop WSR-88D measurements frequently find that the radar overshoots hazardous weather phenomena that threaten the surrounding populace.  Simulations indicate that the use of negative elevation angles at mountaintop sites would permit the detection of hazardous weather and would greatly improve the accuracy of surface rainfall and snowfall estimates.
    With a basic need for WSR-88Ds to scan at lower elevation angles, the WSR-88D Radar Operations Center in collaboration with National Weather Service Forecast Offices, National Severe Storms Laboratory, and Federal Aviation Administration is proposing that each WSR-88D collect data at elevation angles that are best suited for its locale.  To test the operational feasibility of lowering elevation angles, a two-year field test is being proposed for six WSR-88Ds, three located on mountaintops and three located on relatively flat terrain.  The test plan currently is being evaluated at various administrative levels within the National Weather Service.  A status report on the plan will be presented at the meeting.

Session: Weather Analysis and Forecasting

Model Flip-Flops and Forecast Opportunities, Bernard N. Meisner, NOAA/NWS Southern Region. Fort Worth, TX

     The introduction, in October 2005, of extended range Model Output Statistics (MEXMOS) based on the 1200 UTC run of NCEP's Global Forecast System raised some concerns among NWS field office staffs concerning the perceived frequency of so called model Flip-Flops   substantial oscillations in guidance between successive model runs.
     A review of the literature revealed this particular model behavior has not been well documented.  Model flip-flops seem to occur most often during the transition months and when model uncertainty, as suggested by the spread of ensemble members, is large (Jascourt, 2002).
     An intercomparison of MEXMOS daily maximum and temperature guidance for selected cities indicates that there is no bias between the 0000 and 1200 UTC model runs, at least as represented by the derived MOS maximum and minimum temperature guidance.  Also, GFS model flips are much more common that flip-flops and, when the model does flip, the change in the guidance is generally in the direction of the correct solution.
     During the course of this study, the frequency of Forecast Opportunities   times when the difference between the MEXMOS maximum/minimum temperature guidance and the subsequent observed temperatures exceeded a specified amount   was also noted.  Such Forecast Opportunities occur about 10-15% of the time, and most commonly occur for Days 3-7, especially whenever the observed temperature departs substantially from climatology.  This might be expected, since the regression-based MEXMOS guidance would likely not accurately predict temperature extremes that occurred rarely in the developmental data set.   
     This result is consistent with that reported by Baars and Mass (2005) who noted than human forecasts are most skillful compared to MOS during periods when temperatures differ greatly from climatology.  However, the large frequency of Forecast Opportunities for Days 3-7 suggest that, in addition to adding value to the model guidance in the 12-24 hour range, as suggested by Baars and Mass, forecasters can often add value in the medium range, particularly when the weather could have an impact on various economic sectors.
     Somewhat surprisingly, Forecast Opportunities are much less common whenever the day-to-day temperature change is large, suggesting the GFS model has reasonable skill in representing the timing of frontal passages, even at the extended range.
     As might be expected, Forecast Opportunities are more common for those locations where the variance in daily temperatures is large, and are less common where the variance in daily temperature is small.
     Baars, Jeffrey A. and Clifford F Mass, 2005:  Performance of National Weather Service forecasts compared to operational, consensus, and weighted model output statistics.  Wea. and Forecasting, 20, 1034-1047.
     Jascourt, Stephen, 2002:  Interpretation of global forecast model "flipflops."  [Available online at http://meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu3/cases/ens08apr02/frameset.htm]

The Enhanced Short-Term Forecast Program at WFO Charleston WV. Alan Rezek and Jeffrey Hovis, NOAA/NWS Charleston, WV

     In an effort to explore improvements to short-term forecast operations, WFO Charleston, WV tasked an Operations 2005 team to develop a strategy that would evolve their operations to one which focused more on the short term, especially during the first 12-18 hours of the forecast.  This presentation will discuss the plan developed, how it was implemented, the challenges faced, and initial results of enhanced short-term forecast operations.  
     The Operations 2005 team concluded that WFO Charleston would be able to enhance their short term products and services by spending more time analyzing and forecasting the weather in the short term.  For the forecaster to have this additional time, the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE) text formatters would have to be improved, some of the text products would have to be automated, the GFE Smart Tools would have to be improved, additional Smart Tools would have to be written and less time would be spent on the extended portion of the forecast (Days 4-7) database.  Additionally, the team concluded that more detailed weather information would have to be made available.  This additional weather information would include more weather observations in and around the WFO Charleston, WV forecast area as well as high-detailed numerical model output.  
     Implementation of the plan involved a number of changes. One important change was to use the Hydrological Prediction Center (HPC) Day 4-7 forecast information to  populate  the forecast grids in the extended portion of the forecast database.  The shift duties were also examined and changes were made when it resulted in more time to look at the short-term weather.  The short-term forecaster is now only responsible for monitoring and updating the first 18 hours of the forecast.  Additionally, several forecast products including (but not limited to) the Area Forecast Matrix, Point Forecast Matrix and Fire Weather Forecast, were automated, allowing the forecaster more time to be looking at the weather.  Finally, the WRF Environmental Modeling System is currently running every 3 hours at a 5 km resolution and is  hot-started  using the Local Area Prediction System (LAPS) analyses.  The WRF, combined with model output from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model and a locally run WorkStation Eta, has given the forecasters more hourly weather forecast information than was previously available.
     While several of the team’s suggestions have been successfully implemented, there are still a few challenges.  One of the biggest continuing challenges is providing deterministic predictions of precipitation at forecast projections out to 12 hours.  The office philosophy is to move away from a 30 percent chance of rain during a 12-h period to a more deterministic forecast of when precipitation will begin and end at any given location.  This is especially difficult during convection.

Advancements in Surface Transportation Weather Practices and Technologies. Paul Pisano, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C., Andrew Stern, Mitretek Systems, Falls Church, VA.

     Weather forecasting for surface transportation is a relatively young science and during the latter half of the 20th century received only a fraction of the attention of other modes such as for aviation or the marine community. However during the last decade, interest and research in forecasting for surface transportation has been elevated in the national consciousness and reinvigorated by the recent Congressional mandate for a Surface Transportation Weather Research Program.
     The Federal Highway Administration s Road Weather Management Program administers the research program for the Department of Transportation, acting as a liaison between the meteorological and surface transportation communities, and creating new institutional relationships to push the communities ahead toward advanced technical solutions to longstanding problems.  
     This presentation will provide highlights about the Road Weather Management Program and discuss innovations such as the Maintenance Decision Support System, the Clarus Initiative, and Weather Responsive Traffic Management as well as the federal and public/private relationships that must come together to keep the state of the science and practice moving forward.

A Fingerprinting Technique for Major Weather Events. Benjamin V. Root, Penn State University, Paul G. Knight, Penn State Meteorology, Richard H. Grumm, NWS State College, PA, Jeremy Ross, ZedX Inc., and Steven Greybush, Penn State University

     Advances in weather prediction have occurred on numerous fronts, from sophisticated physics packages in the latest mesoscale models to multi-model ensembles of medium range predictions. Thus, the skill of numerical weather forecasts continues to increase. Statistical techniques have further increased the utility of these predictions. The availability of large atmospheric data sets and faster processors in computers has made pattern recognition of major weather events a feasible means of statistically enhancing the value of numerical forecasts. This presentation examines the utility of pattern recognition in assisting the prediction of severe and major weather in the Middle Atlantic region. A new technique is described that employs an artificial intelligence clustering algorithm to objectively identify the patterns or fingerprints associated with past events. The potential refinement and applicability of this method as an operational forecasting tool by comparing numerical weather prediction forecasts to fingerprints already identified for major weather events is also discussed.
High-Resolution Analysis Products to Support Severe Weather and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Threat Assessments over Florida.  Jonathan Case, ENSCO Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, Scott Spratt, NWS Melbourne, FL, and David Sharp, NWS Melbourne, FL

      The Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) located at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC)/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) implemented an operational configuration of the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) Data Analysis System (ADAS), as well as the ARPS numerical weather prediction (NWP) model. Operational, high-resolution ADAS analyses have been produced from this configuration at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL (NWS MLB) and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) over the past several years. Since that time, ADAS fields have become an integral part of forecast operations at both NWS MLB and SMG. To continue providing additional utility, the AMU has been tasked to implement visualization products to assess the potential for supercell thunderstorms and significant tornadoes, and to improve assessments of short-term cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning potential. This paper and presentation focuses on the visualization products developed by the AMU for the operational high-resolution ADAS and ARPS at the NWS MLB and SMG.  
     The two severe weather threat graphics implemented within ADAS/ARPS are the Supercell Composite Parameter (SCP) and Significant Tornado Parameter (STP). The SCP was designed to identify areas with supercell thunderstorm potential through a combination of several instability and shear parameters. The STP was designed to identify areas that favor supercells producing significant tornadoes (F2 or greater intensity) versus non-tornadic supercells. Both indices were developed by the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and were normalized by key threshold values based on previous studies. The indices apply only to discrete storms, not other convective modes.
     In a post-analysis mode, the AMU calculated SCP and STP for graphical output using an ADAS configuration similar to the operational set-ups at NWS MLB and SMG . Graphical images from ADAS were generated every 15 minutes for 13 August 2004, the day that Hurricane Charley approached and made landfall on the Florida peninsula. Several tornadoes struck the interior of the Florida peninsula in advance of Hurricane Charley s landfall during the daylight hours of 13 August. Since SPC had previously examined this case using SCP and STP graphics generated from output of the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model, this day served as a good benchmark to compare and validate the high-resolution ADAS graphics against the smoother RUC analyses, which serves as background fields to the ADAS analyses. The ADAS-generated SCP and STP graphics have been integrated into the suite of products examined operationally by NWS MLB forecasters and are used to provide additional guidance for assessment of the near-storm environment during convective situations.
     A study published in 1999 identified CG lightning initiation signatures in the vicinity of KSC based on reflectivity thresholds from the WSR-88D at key isothermal layers in the atmosphere. The authors interpolated radar data from the Melbourne, FL WSR-88D onto a Cartesian grid with 1-km horizontal spacing and 0.5-km vertical spacing. Using results from 39 total storm cells in the KSC area (31 with CG lightning and 8 without), the authors computed skill scores of various lightning initiation signatures based on reflectivity thresholds at the -10°C, -15°C, and -20°C levels. The most skillful reflectivity thresholds were > 40 dBZ at -10°C (79% critical success index [CSI], 7.5 min median lag time), > 30 dBZ at -15°C (71% CSI, 12.5 min median lag time), and > 20 dBZ at -20°C (63% CSI, 10.5 min median lag time). The skill decreased with colder temperatures due to higher false alarm rates at the indicated reflectivity thresholds. With only 8 non-lightning cases, there may be some representativeness error in the skill scores with this limited database.  
     The AMU developed a 4-panel graphic that displays the composite reflectivity interpolated to the ADAS analysis grid, and each of the reflectivity thresholds at the -10°C, -15°C, and -20°C isotherms, as described above. The goal was to create a product that would provide forecasters with a meaningful decision aid in nowcasting CG lightning initiation threats in real time. To accomplish this and to keep the skill scores meaningful, an ADAS grid was devised at the same resolution as that used in the 1999 study described above. The horizontal and vertical dimensions were modified in order to maximize the analysis domain while minimizing the amount of computational time it takes to complete the analysis cycle. Ultimately, it will be most helpful to create an operational scheme where a 1-km ADAS lightning product is produced every 5 min, in order to generate output for each volume scan of the WSR-88D. Sample graphics will be shown from the 13 August 2004 convection associated with Hurricane Charley’s outer bands and compared to corresponding data from the National Lightning Detection Network.

An Operational Configuration of the ARPS Data Analysis System to Initialize WRF in the NWS Environmental Modeling System. Jonathan Case, ENSCO Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, Peter Blottman, NWS Melbourne, FL, Brian Hoeth, NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group, and Timothy Oram, NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group.

     The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is the next generation community mesoscale model designed to enhance collaboration between the research and operational sectors. The NWS as a whole has begun a transition toward WRF as the mesoscale model of choice to use as a tool in making local forecasts. Currently, both the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL (NWS MLB) and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) are running the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) Data Analysis System (ADAS) every 15 minutes over the Florida peninsula to produce high-resolution diagnostics supporting their daily operations. In addition, the NWS MLB and SMG have used ADAS to provide initial conditions for short-range forecasts from the ARPS numerical weather prediction (NWP) model. Both NWS MLB and SMG have derived great benefit from the maturity of ADAS, and would like to use ADAS for providing initial conditions to WRF. In order to assist in this WRF transition effort, the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) was tasked to configure and implement an operational version of WRF that uses output from ADAS for the model initial conditions.  
     Both agencies asked the AMU to develop a framework that allows the ADAS initial conditions to be incorporated into the WRF Environmental Modeling System (EMS) software. Developed by the NWS Science Operations Officer (SOO) Science and Training Resource Center (STRC), the EMS is a complete, full physics, NWP package that incorporates dynamical cores from both the National Center for Atmospheric Research s Advanced Research WRF (ARW) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction s Non-Hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) into a single end-to-end forecasting system. The EMS performs nearly all pre- and post-processing and can be run automatically to obtain external grid data for WRF boundary conditions, run the model, and convert the data into a format that can be readily viewed within the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System. The EMS has also incorporated the WRF Standard Initialization (SI) graphical user interface (GUI), which allows the user to set up the domain, dynamical core, resolution, etc., with ease. In addition to the SI GUI, the EMS contains a number of configuration files with extensive documentation to help the user select the appropriate input parameters for model physics schemes, integration timesteps, etc. Therefore, because of its streamlined capability, it is quite advantageous to configure ADAS to provide initial condition data to the EMS software.
     One of the biggest potential benefits of configuring ADAS for ingest into the EMS is that the analyses could be used to initialize either the ARW or NMM. Currently, the ARPS/ADAS software has a conversion routine only for the ARW dynamical core. However, since the NMM runs about 2.5 times faster than the ARW, it is quite advantageous to be able to run an ADAS/NMM configuration operationally due to the increased efficiency.  
     To accomplish the goals set forth, the AMU first obtained the WRF EMS software from the NWS SOO STRC, installed the software, and ran a benchmark simulation prior to running with near real-time data. Next, the AMU configured a set of shell scripts to generate a 0-hour initialization file for the ADAS/ARW and write this initialization file to a pressure-coordinate file in the GRIB data format, which is the standard input data format for both the ARW and NMM. This method facilitates the initialization of the NMM dynamical core within the WRF-EMS using ADAS analyses. Additional details and some sample operational results from NWS MLB and SMG will be presented at the conference.  

Easy Deployment of the WRF Model with Parallel Computing Using Non-Dedicated PCs. Braden Ward, Kean University, and Shing Yoh, Kean University.

     In order to support operational forecasters, researchers and undergraduate students with limited resources to run their own customized Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, this project explores a non-intrusive, fast setup and efficient way to build a cluster machine using 2 to 16 common desktop computers without any interruption to the underlying operating systems.  These computers normally are used for other activities.  To build a distributed computing environment using diverse PCs regardless of the installed operating system on the machines (running Windows, Linux, and MAC), each computer will be rebooted into a  Linux environment with Bootable Cluster CD (BCCD, v2.2.1c).  A Network File System (NFS) or Network Attached Storage (NAS) is mounted to each of the computers for access to software storage (MPICH library with PGI F90 compiler, netcdf library, and WRF system) and saving input and output.  Each machine will return to its original state following shutdown of BCCD, and the WRF results will be saved on the permanent file system for further analysis.
     The setup of the cluster is simple and only requires 2 minutes of user time for setup per machine.  The setup time can be greatly reduced if in the future WRF can be configured and distributed on the bootable CD format.  This cluster configuration had been tested for both WRF ideal and real cases using one to sixteen student computers from the Department of Geology & Meteorology.  For the real case study, it is found that the wall clock time for 12-hour simulation (starting 00 UTC February 11th, 2006 centered over NJ, close to 15 km grid spacing with 100x100x31 grid points) is reduced from 105.7 minutes for 1 PC to 35.2 minutes for 8 PCs, and 25.3 minutes for 16 PCs.  The results mirror wall clock time from a comparable dedicated Linux cluster for the same run.  This study will also show that even with dated resources one could improve WRF model runtime performance efficiently in parallel.

Session: Flash Flood/Hydrology

Hydrometeorological Training: What Makes a Flood a Flash Flood? Invited Speaker: Matthew Kelsch, UCAR COMET, and Wendy Abshire, UCAR COMET.

     The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET) offers a web-based course in basic hydrologic sciences that addresses the hydrologic aspects of flash floods. This material can be found on the COMET Meted URL at http://www.meted.ucar.edu/topics_hydro.php.  Flash flood training is also available from residence training courses in advanced hydrologic sciences and flash flood hydrology, and from several webcasts and interactive modules.   
     Distinguishing flash floods from slower onset floods is an ongoing challenge.  Flooding occurs across a spectrum of time and space scales with localized, rapid-onset flash floods on one end of the spectrum and slow-rise, large-area floods on the other end.  It is the flash floods that present the greatest forecast challenge because of the very short time duration associated with flood onset. Although runoff processes are similar with all floods, specific types of runoff such as overland flow, tend to dominate flash flood situations. With the more rapid types of runoff, flash floods are also more likely to occur outside of stream channels. In addition, the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) definition of flash floods includes related phenomena such as debris flows, failure of structures that are impounding water, and rapid stream rises associated with ice jams. These all add uncertainty and complexity to the flash flood forecast process.
     COMET offerings look at the runoff processes and streamflow behavior for all floods, and emphasize physical processes that lead to very rapid runoff.  The roles of precipitation rate, debris and sediment loading, and river ice are also explored in the training material.  Case study scenarios examine a variety of flash flood event types.  These include situations such as rural versus urban, wet soil versus drought, and special cases such as fire burn areas.  Some case reviews look at events that were characterized by both widespread general floods and localized flash flooding.  These cases highlight the difficulty with providing specific detail on the severe localized flash flood events.  Other training offerings address QPF, QPE, and the NWS flash flood monitoring and prediction (FFMP) software.

Flash Flood Hot Spot Climatology: An Essential Tool for the Flash Flood Warning Process. Michael Moneypenny, NWS Raleigh, NC, Jamie Wirth, North Carolina State University.

     In a given area, there are typically specific sites or hot spots that are prone to rapid flooding from heavy rain. As a means to improve flash flood warning capabilities, an extensive outreach effort to identify and gather detailed information for flood hot spots is underway throughout the National Weather Service Raleigh (NWS RAH) forecast county warning area (CWA). This effort is conducted in collaboration with North Carolina State University (NCSU). Support is provided from the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology Training and Education (COMET) Outreach Program.   
     Forecasters and NCSU students are constructing county by county flash flood climatologies for the NWS RAH CWA.   Hot spot locations are toured and pictures taken for future reference. Working with county emergency management offices, local details are obtained for each county s flood hot spots.  Included in the climatologies are past flood events, frequency of flooding, local impacts, and flooding rules of thumb.  
     The flash flood hot spots along with detailed information are being merged with existing NWS technologies such as Doppler weather radar data, stream gauge data, FFMP (Flash Flood Monitoring Program) and the NWS s principal operational system, AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System). These advances are improving the station’s flash flood warning capabilities by enabling forecasters to maintain a higher degree of situational awareness.    
     This presentation will share processes employed by the outreach effort to obtain the flash flood climatology and those used to place the climatological information and flash flood hot spot sites into the NWS operational systems. The value of the climatology with respect to increasing forecaster’s situational awareness for flash flooding will be highlighted as well as its value for adding more site specific information into the flash flood warnings.

Observing the flood threat from Hurricane Ivan with Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) program.  Robert S. Davis, NWS Pittsburgh, PA.

     The remnants of Hurricane Ivan produced widespread flooding across much of southwest Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and southeast Ohio on 17 September 2004.   FFMP played a major role in the issuance of timely flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service Office in Pittsburgh, PA.   The FFMP display of the observed radar rainfall during Ivan will be examined.  Rain gage data will be compared with the radar rainfall to demonstrate the accuracy of the radar rainfall estimates.
     Two FFMP enhancements to improve detection of flooding from inland tropical storms will be discussed. The first proposed enhancement is to increase the maximum duration of rainfall from six hours to twenty-four hours.  A second major enhancement is the addition of an aggregated stream basin database of large stream watersheds up to 200 mi2 in area.  Examples of the enhanced FFMP display will be used to show the radar rainfall estimates for Hurricane Ivan.
     The rainfall observed during Ivan is typical of the widespread rainfall associated with slow moving inland tropical storms. Since so many significant flood events result from inland flooding from tropical storms, enhancing FFMP to improve flood detection during tropical storms should be a high priority for the National Weather Service.

Revisiting Upper Tropospheric Lows and their Interaction with the North American Monsoon: What’s Next in Hypothesis Formulation and Testing? Erik Pytlak, NOAA/NWS Tucson, AZ.

     Since the 2004 North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) Field Campaign, and spin-up preparations in 2003, the importance of transitory, subtropical, upper-tropospheric lows has been noted.  While they do tend to exhibit convective development characteristics of Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough (TUTT) cells, many of these features also develop along the monsoon boundary, evolve from remnant mesoscale convective vortices (MCVs), and in a few cases, from westerly short wave troughs which become entangled in the circulation around a subtropical high and turn back to the west underneath the high.   
     Whatever their origins may be, these systems tend to enhance thunderstorm development on both leading and training flanks, while the low centers are relatively quiet, even though the centers contain the coldest air aloft.  While convective enhancement is typical on the trailing (east) flanks, enhancement on the leading (west) flanks is less understood and probably involves both dynamic and orographic components.  This presentation will compare tracks and thunderstorm development from these upper level lows in 2003-2005, and establish some possible avenues for additional research and a better understanding of how these systems interact with the monsoon regime as a whole.

Dual-polarimetric radar in operational forecasting: An overview.  Kevin A. Scharfenberg, University of Oklahoma/CIMMS and NOAA/NSSL.

     The U.S. network of WSR-88D radars is expected to be upgraded to include dual-polarimetric capabilities by the end of the decade. Dual-pol radars can provide for a detailed mapping of bulk scatterer types, significant improvements in data quality control, and much improved estimates of precipitation accumulation. These advantages have been demonstrated in an operational forecasting setting.
     This presentation will discuss past successes in the use of dual-pol WSR-88D data in routine forecasting and in hazardous weather warnings. A vision of the broader impact the dual-pol radar upgrade may have on operational meteorology will also be offered.  

A Subtle Heavy Rainfall Signature(SHARS) Event in Southeast Arizona: Ramifications of a Major Flash Flooding in an Urbanized Desert Environment. Michael Schaffner and Erik Pytlak, NOAA/NWS Tucson, AZ.

     Subtle HeAvy Rainfall Signatures (SHARS) are a classic flash flood instigator over the central and eastern U.S.  While this type of event may be less common in the Western U.S., warm-topped thunderstorm complexes can occur when a weak synoptic-scale feature is introduced into North American Monsoon regime.  This has important forecasting implications both meteorologically and hydrologically in the desert Southwest.  While flash flooding is rather common during the monsoon season in southeast Arizona, it is unusual for flooding to affect a large area or large sections of a single river basin.  However large-scale flash floods have occurred before in southeast Arizona with catastrophic results.  As the area continues to urbanize, it is becoming increasingly important for forecasters to differentiate between a typically isolated flash flood and one which could overwhelm a large watershed or an entire metropolitan area.   
      A synoptically-forced SHARS is one potential situation in which rainfall areal coverage and intensity could cause an initially  typical  flash flood to evolve into a widespread and major one with little warning.  Both the meteorological and hydrologic characteristics of a SHARS event in 2005 are analyzed, and then compared to how similar flood event could evolve if displaced into the highly-urbanized Tucson Metropolitan Area.   

An Update on Satellite Derived Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP) and Blended Total Precipitable Water Products. Sheldon J. Kusselson,  NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD/SSD/Satellite Analysis Branch, Dr. Stanley Kidder,  CIRA/Colorado State University,  Dr. Elizabeth E. Ebert,  Austrailian Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre,  Michael Turk, NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD/SSD/Satellite Analysis Branch, and Dr. Robert Kuligowski, NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR).

     The satellite derived Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP) and Blended Total Precipitable Water (TPW) Vapor products can trace their earliest beginnings to related satellite application work performed by Dr. Rod Scofield and other NESDIS researcher scientists about 20 years ago.   Both products have further developed, been modernized and automated, especially over the past 10 years and are being used by forecasters nationally as well as globally.   We will update you on the current status of both products, the exciting future new products and applications being generated from TRaP, like e-TRaP and probabilistic TRaP and from satellite derived Blended TPW, like  precipitable water anomalies as the legacy of Rod Scofield’s pioneering efforts in satellite moisture analysis lives on.   

An Operational Forecast Office Perspective of The National Weather Service Hydrologic Distributed Modeling System (HDMS). Diane Cooper, NWS Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center.

     River flood flow forecasting is a primary mission of the National Weather Service River Forecast Centers (NWS RFC). The current National Weather Service River Forecast System (NWSRFS) utilizes the conceptual Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model, which was developed in the 1970s. NWSRFS is a geographically static, lumped parameter, basin-scale model that produces flow information at identified outlet points. The National Weather Service recognizes that an opportunity exists to improve their modeling system by exploiting recent technological advances, specifically the development of higher resolution datasets. This new system will advance the NWS river modeling and forecasting capability. Goals for this model include improved timing and more accurate crest forecasts at identified forecast points, flow forecasts at ungaged locations, and improvement in flash flood guidance products.  
     The Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center (ABRFC), in collaboration with the Office of Hydrologic Development - Hydrology Laboratory, is customizing and calibrating a prototype version of the NWS-Hydrologic Distributed Modeling System (HDMS). This effort includes implementing the model in an operational environment while identifying system requirements for a national fully-integrated Hydrologic Forecast System.  
     This paper highlights some of the results the ABRFC has observed with HDMS. This includes the preliminary evaluation of the model s performance as well as a validation comparison to the NWSRFS model.  

Probabilistic Forecasts - Baseline Products for Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services. David B. Reed, NOAA/NWS/LMRFC Slidell, LA.

     A goal of the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services (AHPS) is to provide probabilistic forecasts of hydrologic events to support Emergency Managers and Water Resources Managers.  Eventually, these forecasts will span the timeframe of hours to months.  Probabilistic forecasts can provide the likelihood of an event occurring and these groups can use that probability with a cost/benefit analysis in determining what actions should be taken.  
     Probabilistic forecasts of hours to days involve the probability of weather events.  Several River Forecast Centers (RFCs) are working on pilot projects to define these probabilities but no single technique is being used to provide these forecasts and they are provided for  limited areas.  Probabilistic forecasts spanning weeks to years are largely based on climatology.  Within AHPS, the Ensemble Streamflow Prediction (ESP) program is utilized to generate probability forecasts for weeks to months.
     There is a standard set of four products that must be provided for a location to meet AHPS requirements.   These products include the weekly chance of exceedence for each week during the analysis period for both stages and flows and the chance of exceedence for the entire run period for both stages and flows.
     In addition to the baseline set of products, AHPS can provide probability forecasts for a variety of parameters to meet a customer’s needs.  

Session: Professional Development

Walk in my Shoes: Unique Simulation Efforts at the 2006 National Severe Weather Workshop.  Liz Quoetone, NOAA/NWS/WDTB, Daphne LaDue and Paul Schlatter, from the OU Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, WDTB, John McLaughlin, KCCI TV, Des Moines, IA, Dave Freeman, KSNW TV, Wichita, KS, Gayland Kitch, Moore, Oklahoma Emergency Manager, John Burchett, Ada,Oklahoma Emergency Manager (Retired), Rick Smith, NOAA/NWS Norman, OK, Sarah Corfidi, NOAA/NWS/SPC, Dale Morris,  
OU Oklahoma Climatological Survey, John Ferree, NOAA/NWS/OCWWS.
     During severe weather operations, the effectiveness of the partnerships between the broadcast media, the NWS, and local emergency managers can have a big impact on how well severe weather information is conveyed to, and received from, the public.  Having a prior understanding of the challenges unique to each of these groups can greatly affect the quality of communications between these groups during the actual event.  
     With this in mind, a unique simulation was developed for participants in the 2006 National Severe Weather Workshop held in Oklahoma in March 2006. The primary goal of this simulation was to allow participants to develop an understanding of the duties their partners perform during severe weather, while developing a sense of the challenges that are faced by each group. Participants were divided into three groups such that no participant did their regular job. As a result, the participants had to take off their own cape of expertise and experience, and step into the uncomfortable position of doing the job their partners normally do. The intent was for the participants to not only build empathy for their counterparts, but to eventually impact real time events by incorporating the knowledge gained in this experience into future operations.  
The five-hour simulation, split between two days, was set up in three different rooms, one for each group, with each room having simultaneous feeds of displaced real-time data. The rooms represented the NWS (Storm Prediction Center and Weather Forecast Office), the Media, and Emergency Management. In the NWS room, the SPC group analyzed data and discussed the societal constraints relative to issuing severe weather outlooks and watches. After a watch was issued, participants switched to the WFO role focusing on real-time radar data analysis in a time-pressured environment.  Threats were conveyed via warnings and statements that were then transmitted to the other two rooms. In the Emergency Operations Center, the group digested the information from a multitude of sources and provided real-time spotter reports, in addition to making decisions directly impacting the sounding of sirens and the safety of citizens. The Media Room dealt with decisions regarding expected weather and the possible impacts on programming. For participants broadcasting live to the other two rooms,  the need to provide a constant flow of information during wall-to-wall coverage was one of the most challenging aspects.  
     This presentation will discuss the process of developing and conducting the simulation which required synchronous displaced real-time weather data in three different physical locations using three different platforms. The challenges each group faced in their decision making as they tried to do their job in a context which was time-pressured, complex, and ambiguous will also be discussed.  This context included the presence of live TV broadcasts and interactive Ham radio feeds.  Feedback from both simulation organizers and participants will be presented.

KU-OUR-METPACT   Year II: GROWTH. Paul J. Croft, Kean University.

     In a second year effort, the student educational collective for undergraduate research experiences and development (SECURED) expanded to include several additional students at Kean University during summer and throughout the academic year. Thus the Kean University Operational Undergraduate Research in Meteorology & Professional Activities and Collaborative Training (KU-OUR-METPACT) program has been established and begun its GROWTH stage (Growth through Research in Operational Weather   Training Holistically).
     The development of a collective of meteorology students to perform research and professional development activities has allowed for the incorporation of collaborative and cooperative projects within the University and with outside colleagues. These included competitive funding through the Kean University Students Partnering with Faculty program and studies integrated with operational priorities of the regional professional community (e.g., NWS). The increased number of students allowed greater interaction among majors and provided presentations and mentoring to others through the Student Chapter of the AMS/NWA and other programs.
     Outcomes for students have included the development of abstracts and preprints, poster and oral presentations, and delivery of these internally and at regional (e.g., the Northeast Storms Conference) and national professional meetings (e.g., AMS, NWA). In some instances, manuscripts have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals. Students continue to be in contact with professionals and their peers and thus are working directly in the field by considering and handling all aspects of their research endeavor.
     In addition, two students received award certificates in student research competitions (Phi Kappa Phi and the Kean University Student Research Award for the College of Natural, Applied, and Health Sciences). Future plans include the design of an operational (and outreach support) geo-weather research center (in association with the Center for Earth Science Education within the Department of Geology and Meteorology) in which students may provide important outreach to the broader community   both on and off campus   using and developing their skills  as a means of professional development.

Session: Climatological Perspectives

Discovery of the Primary Teleconnection Mechanism (PTM)…the Trigger Mechanism that Controls Recurring Cycles of the El Niño, Hurricane Landfalls and other Weather/Climate Cycles. David Dilley, Global Weather Oscillations Inc.

     El Niño events and other short-term climate oscillations have been extensively studied for decades, but oceanographers and meteorologists have had great difficulty isolating the primary physical mechanism(s) that creates and controls these oscillations. The objective of GWO’s 15 years of ongoing research was to isolate the Primary Teleconnection Mechanism(s) (PTM) that causes short-term climate oscillations, and then correlate them with historical climate data to obtain accurate forecast models.  One such research project correlates the PTM with sea surface temperatures in the tropical South Pacific Ocean where the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forms.  By doing so, GWO found a 100 percent correlation between the 22 PTM cycles and the occurrences of all 22 El Niños dating back to 1921.  GWO has documented a near 100 percent correlation between PTM cycles to regional droughts, regional floods, hurricane strike probabilities and regional seasonal precipitation.  GWO has found that the * Primary Teleconnection Mechanism (Dilley-PTM) * is the primary mechanism that controls many weather cycles, and that by using the PTM as a forecast model, these weather cycles can be forecast years in advance.

The interannual and interdecadal Variability in Hurricane Activity in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Tamera K. Latham,  Trenton H. Magill, Anthony R. Lupo, Joseph V. Clark and  Patrick S. Market, University of Missouri-Columbia.  

     The investigation of the interannual and interdecadal variations in hurricane activity have been an important topic lately, especially with regard to their implications for climate change issues. On the interannual time-scale, El Niño has a significant impact on hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean Basins. Various atmospheric and oceanic parameters that influence hurricane development become significantly altered during an El Niño event, leading to suppressed easterly wave development and growth in the Atlantic, but more activity in the Eastern Pacific Ocean basin. The effect of the El Niño/La Niña cycle on hurricane intensity, however, is not straightforward. This study examined the interannual variability of hurricane intensity (measured as wind speed and interpreted through the Saffir-Simpson Scale) from 1938 through 2005 in both basins. These data were then compared with the occurrence of El Niño/La Niña events as defined using the Japan Meteorological Association (JMA) index. El Nino/La Nina variability superimposed on variability associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) was also examined here. Not surprisingly, during an El Niño year the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes was found to be weaker than during a neutral year or a La Niña year, but these conclusions were opposite in the Eastern Pacific Ocean basin. There were also significant differences found in hurricane intensity between El Nino and La Nina years when the PDO was in phase 1, rather than when the PDO was in phase 2. Finally, this study also examined the interannual variation in hurricane intensity by genesis region (i.e. Atlantic: the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean Basins, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico; Eastern Pacific: divided into quadrants using 20o N and 125o W).

Informal Look at Some Tornado Related Statistical Trends. Alan E. Gerard, NOAA/NWS Jackson, MS.

     A common perception in the media and general public seems to be that tornado related fatalities are decreasing nationwide, while conversely the numbers of tornadoes themselves and the related damage are increasing.  Furthermore, many people believe that the so-called tornado alley  is where most tornado deaths occur, and that fatalities outside of this area are less common.  We will take an informal look at tornado statistics from the last 50 years to determine if statistics bear out these commonly held perceptions.  Additionally, recent trends regarding the numbers of strong and violent tornadoes and associated fatalities will also be examined.

Trying to Clear up a Foggy Forecast. Thomas L. Salem Jr., NOAA/NWS Glasgow, MT.
     Everywhere people have different folklore or sayings about the weather.  Most of the sayings are predictive in nature and many have some truth to the statement.  For example, when the sky in the evening is red there are typically no weather systems to the west, thus the first line of the famous saying Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.
     In the high plains of Montana many people believe that fog will predict the weather 90 days later.  There are a couple of forms of the saying.  One being 90 days after fog there will be a change in the weather.   This one could be partially true as the seasons are about 90 days long.  However, the one most widely believed and repeated in northeast Montana is 90 days after fog, heavy rain will fall.   Some people have said they mark their calendars.    
     The weather in northeast Montana is semi-arid, thus a prediction of rain 90 days out is quite a valuable tool.  This study will look for the origins of the saying and whether there is any truth to the statement by looking at the available climate record for Glasgow and correlating occurrences of fog with precipitation 90 days later.  The study will compare the frequency of fog events and precipitation events to determine correlation statistics.

Poster Session II

P2.1 The COMET Planatary Boundary Layer Symposium:  Options for Offering Advanced Meteorology Education at a Distance. Bruce Muller, UCAR/COMET, Joseph Lamos,  UCAR/COMET,  Gregory Byrd,  UCAR/COMET,  and Brian Motta,  National Weather Service.

     The COMAP Boundary Layer Symposium has traditionally been a residence classroom course taking place over 4.5 days at the COMET classroom facility in Boulder, Colorado. With an eye towards reducing travel costs in the NWS training budget, the COMET Program proposed offering it as a synchronous on-line or virtual symposium. Instructors will be broadcasting their presentations and lab assignments from the COMET classroom via the Internet to participants located at their local forecast offices. The August 2004 in-residence offering of the Symposium serves as the basis for converting the course from the traditional on-site offering to an on-line version. The first virtual offering takes place in September 2006.
      The instructional goal of the symposium is to improve the operational understanding of PBL processes and, thereby, improve the accuracy of weather forecasts which have high temporal and spatial resolution. The course is anchored scientifically through an improved understanding of components in the surface energy budget. Operational application of these fundamental concepts ranges from predicting the depth of the PBL, to the vertical transport of heat, moisture and momentum, and the impact of small-scale processes on larger-scale phenomena. The challenge for students will be implementation of this knowledge at the local WFO. Participants have opportunities to share information on local boundary layer issues during the course.  
     In addition to the instructional goals, this virtual offering focuses on creating an effective learning experience for remote participants. This is COMET's first comprehensive course offered solely to off-site students. As such, many of the goals of this project address technical concerns and curriculum development as they pertain to on-line course offerings. These goals include:  
     Revising the existing curriculum to best match the constraints of a synchronous on-line course and the technologies used for distributing such a course; Developing a course website that effectively builds and supports a learning community; Identifying the most effective tool(s), within our current means, for broadcasting (and recording for reuse) presentations; Identifying a suitable format for presenting interactive case studies at a distance.
      We will report on the successes and lessons learned from offering an advanced meteorology symposium at a distance and will discuss planned changes in anticipation of the next offering to take place in FY2007.

P2.2 NAM WRF Training Available from the Cooperative Program for Meteorological Education and Training (COMET).  By William R. Bua and Stephen D. Jascourt, Project Scientists, UCAR/COMET Gregory Byrd, Senior Meteorologist, UCAR/COMET

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) will have replaced the NAM-Eta model in June 2006 with the North American Mesoscale (NAM) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and replaced the Eta 3d-var analysis with a new Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation analysis. In response, the Cooperative Program for Meteorological Education and Training (COMET) Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) team has created a series of training modules to help NWS and other forecasters make intelligent use of this new model.  A webcast was prepared to introduce the WRF concept and discuss the dynamics, physics, data assimilation, and post-processing components of the new model, including expected changes in model forecast characteristics when compared to the NAM-Eta model that the NAM WRF replaced.  Additional training will have been provided through a series of live teletraining sessions focusing on case examples comparing how the two models handle various forecast situations.  Teletraining sessions offer the advantage of allowing interaction among forecasters from multiple weather forecast offices (WFOs) so that the trainees can share ideas and observations about the relative capabilities and limitations of the two models.  The teletraining will be archived as a self-contained package anyone can access and view without any special software.  Finally, the one-stop, NWP model matrix (found at URL:  www.meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu2) is being updated to include all this information on the NAM-WRF for ease of access by forecasters and trainers.  All NAM WRF training can be found on the website for NWP: meted.ucar.edu/topics_nwp.php.
      The presentation will first briefly discuss the new NAM WRF model and differences from the NAM-Eta.  Then, examples of each module of the NAM WRF model training will be shown.  Finally, plans for future training on the NAM WRF will be presented.

P2.3 Hurricane Katrina - Backup Operations by the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. David B. Reed, NOAA/NWS LMRFC, Slidell, LA.

     August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Louisiana-Mississippi coastline and finally Mississippi coastline causing widespread and catastrophic damages.  The Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC), the WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge, and their staffs were significantly impacted by Katrina.  The facility s commercial power and all communications except inbound AWIPS satellite communications, were lost for nearly a tw0-week period.  During this two-week period, LMRFC utilized a mobile backup system designed for off-site operations to provide critical forecasts.
     In 2002, the Arkansas-Red Basins River Forecast Center (ABRFC) developed a portable backup computer system with capabilities to perform the basic tasks of processing incoming hydrologic data, making hydrologic model runs, and finally transmitting the forecasts to AWIPS.  In 2003, the LMRFC implemented this backup system for their operations.  After Katrina made landfall, this system proved extremely beneficial by allowing a portion of the LMRFC that had moved to a remote location to provide critical forecasts to the WFOs.
     On August 28, LMRFC deployed two forecasters to WFO Jackson and they established backup operations there using the backup laptop system consisting of a server and two workstations.  The system was connected to a frame relay circuit to provide communications.  A hydrologist from Southern Region Headquarters who was also a previous LMRFC employee joined this group to assist in backup operations.  Around 9AM on August 29 as Katrina made secondary landfall near Slidell, LA, the LMRFC lost all external communications.  LMRFC had issued most of the forecasts for their service area by that time.   At about the same time, WFO Jackson lost all Internet connectivity rendering the backup system inoperable.
     To continue operations, the LMRFC hydrologists in Jackson quickly moved backup operations to WFO Memphis.  They were able to re-establish operations and continued to provide critical river and flood forecasts for the next three days.  After three days, backup operations were moved to West Gulf River Forecast Center (WGRFC) to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the resident hydrologists there.  A relief crew of three hydrologists from LMRFC re-established backup operations at the West Gulf River Forecast Center (WGRFC).  On September 12, operations were transferred back to LMRFC.
     Several valuable lessons were learned during this event that will prove useful to backup operations in the future.  Despite the lessons learned, LMRFC continued to provide critical forecasts to support the WFOs it serves.

P2.4 The North American Monsoon System: Integrating Findings from NAME 2004 into Conceptual Forecasting Models. Erik Pytlak, NWS Tuscon, AZ.
      Over the past 50 years, our understanding of the North American Monsoon system, and the hazardous weather it generates in the desert Southwest, has gradually advanced.  Forecasting in the monsoon regime is quite complicated given the areas complex topography, the weak synoptic and mesoscale forcing mechanisms that have a strong modulating influence on thunderstorm coverage and intensity, and the lack of observational data from key moisture source regions in Mexico.
     In 2004, the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) Field Campaign was conducted in the Southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico.  Using numerous remote- and direct-sensing platforms, and using forecaster experience gained during the project, some of the conceptual models used by forecasters within the monsoon region are once again evolving.  This presentation will outline our current conceptual synoptic and mesoscale models, and show how emerging findings from NAME are likely to help in more timely and accurate forecasts of flash floods and severe thunderstorms within the monsoon regime.

P2.5 A Climatology of Seasonal Variability in Flight Categories for Selected Airports in Northern and Central Virginia, Northeastern Maryland and Eastern West Virginia.  Katherine A. LaBelle,  The Pennsylvania State University, Dept. Meteorology, Roger Smith, NOAA/NWS.

      The weather affecting aviation interests across the Mid Atlantic region exhibits considerable seasonal variability. A climatology for all flight categories will be compiled for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Martin State Airport (MTN), and Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport/Shepherd Field (MRB) and Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) for each of the four meteorological seasons over a 30 year period from 1970 through 2001.  The study will examine events at or below MVFR caused by cloud ceilings, visibilities, or both cloud ceilings and visibilities.

P2.6 Comparison of CAD Events at DCA/BWI/IAD Which Produce Low Ceilings and Low Visibilities and CAD Events That Produce Ceilings and Visibilities Which Have a Lesser Impact on Aviation.  Katherine A. LaBelle,  The Pennsylvania State University, Dept. Meteorology, and Roger Smith, NOAA/NWS.

     CAD (Cold Air Damming) events affect the Mid Atlantic region most commonly during the winter and spring seasons, although these events can occur any time during the year. East to northeast boundary layer flow around a surface anticyclone to the north or northeast of the region can bring stratus clouds and fog inland from the Atlantic Ocean. On some occasions this marine layer will extend westward to the Allegheny Front, while at other times it may just affect the land masses immediately adjacent to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Airports in consideration for this study are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
BWI will serve as a site near the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, while DCA and IAD will be studied to reflect conditions further inland.
     Composites of the synoptic conditions leading to CAD events with ceilings of less than 1000 feet and /or visibilities less than 3 miles will be contrasted to composites of CAD events with ceilings greater than or equal to 1000 feet and /or visibilities greater than or equal to 3 miles. The subset of CAD events which produce the lower ceilings and visibilities specified above will be divided into groups based on the total duration of the event. Composites of the synoptic conditions of these groups will be examined to identify features of events lasting less than 24 hours, between 24 and 48 hours, and greater than 48 hours.

P2.7 Comparison of NAM and GFS Model Turbulence Index Performance Based on Analysis of Pilot Reports. Gary P. Ellrod, NOAA/NESDIS (Retired).

      Since the early 1990's, an index for the diagnosis of high altitude, clear air turbulence (CAT) derived from numerical model data has been routinely used in support of aviation operations (Ellrod and Knapp 1992).  The turbulence index (TI) uses the product of the horizontal deformation and vertical wind shear between two standard pressure levels as the basis for depicting areas where the potential for CAT is high. Over the Continental United States (CONUS), wind and pressure height data from the higher resolution North American Model (NAM) (formerly the ETA model) are normally used in the TI, while the lower resolution Global Forecast System (GFS) (formerly the AVN model) data is used to generate the TI for flights beyond the CONUS.  There have been recent improvements to the GFS that have resulted in better upper wind forecasts.  The GFS model improved to 35 km horizontal resolution, with 64 vertical layers, when it was activated on May 31, 2005, and the low bias in the jet stream maximum winds was reduced by 5-10 m s-1 (Campana et al 2005).  Since it has been quite a while since the TI thresholds have been calibrated, it was felt that this would be a good time to re-evaluate the TI performance using both models over the CONUS.  A comparison of subjective aircraft turbulence pilot reports with co-located TI values was begun in spring, 2006. This paper will describe the preliminary results of that analysis.

P2.8 Analysis of Rapidly Developing Low Cloud Ceilings in a Stable Environment.
William H. Bauman III, ENSCO, Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, Cocoa Beach, FL, Joe H. Barrett III, ENSCO, Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, Jonathan L. Case, ENSCO, Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, Mark M. Wheeler, ENSCO, Inc/Applied Meteorology Unit, and G. Wayne Baggett, NOAA/NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group

     Forecasters at the Space Meteorology Group (SMG) issue 30 to 90 minute forecasts for low cloud ceilings at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility (TTS) to support Space Shuttle landings. Mission verification statistics have shown ceilings to be the number one forecast challenge for SMG. More specifically, forecasters at SMG are concerned with any rapidly developing clouds/ceilings below 8000 ft in a stable, capped thermodynamic environment. Therefore, the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) was tasked to examine archived events of rapid stable cloud formation resulting in ceilings below 8000 ft, and document the atmospheric regimes favoring this type of cloud development.
     The AMU examined the cool season months of November to March during the years of 1993 {2003 for days that had low-level inversions and rapid, stable low cloud formation that resulted in ceilings violating the Space Shuttle Flight Rules. The AMU wrote and modified existing code to identify inversions from the morning (~10 UTC) Cape Canaveral, FL rawinsonde (XMR) during the cool season and output pertinent sounding information. They parsed all days with cloud ceilings below 8000 ft at TTS, forming a database of possible rapidly-developing low ceiling events. Days with precipitation or noticeable fog burn-off situations were excluded from the database. In the first phase of this work, only the daytime hours were examined for possible ceiling development events since low clouds are easier to diagnose with visible satellite imagery. Phase II of this work includes expanding the database to include nighttime cases which is underway as this abstract is being written.
     For the nighttime cases, the AMU will analyze both the 00 UTC soundings and the 10 UTC soundings to examine those data for the presence of a low-level inversion. The 00 UTC soundings will probably not have a surface-based inversion, but the presence of inversions or "neutral" layers aloft and below 8,000 ft will most likely help define the stable regime, being a thermodynamically "capped" environment. Occurrences of elevated low-level inversions or stable layers will be highlighted in conjunction with nights that experienced a possible development or onset of cloud ceilings below 8,000 ft. Using these criteria to narrow down the database, the AMU will then use archived IR satellite imagery for these possible events.
     This presentation summarizes the composite meteorological conditions for 20 daytime event days with rapid low cloud ceiling formation and 48 non-events days consisting of advection or widespread low cloud ceilings and describes two sample cases of daytime rapidly-developing low cloud ceilings. The authors will also summarize the work from the nighttime cases and describe a representative sample case from this data set.
     For the daytime cases, the distinguishing factor between the event and non-event days appears to be the vertical wind profile in the XMR sounding. Eighty-five percent of the event days had a clockwise turning of the winds with height in the lower to middle troposphere whereas 83% of the non-events had a counter-clockwise turning of the winds with height or negligible vertical wind shear. A clockwise turning of the winds with height indicates a warm-advection regime, which supports large-scale rising motion and possible cloud formation. Meanwhile, a counter-clockwise turning of the winds with height indicates cold advection or sinking motion in a post-cold frontal environment.

P2.9 Early Detection of the April 5, 2005 Anatahan Volcano Eruption using the Guam WSR-88D. Timothy P. Hendricks, NOAA/NWS WFO Guam

     The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Guam has to deal with many varied hazards in its 4.7 million square mile area of responsibility. While tropical cyclones are the number-one hazard, there are others such as strong monsoon events, El Nino-induced floods and droughts, earthquakes, grass fires, tsunamis, and high surf events. Over the last 3 years, volcanic ash and volcanic haze from the Anatahan Volcano, an island only 180 miles north-northeast of Guam, have become a concern for Emergency Managers, meteorologists and the aviation community. Shortly after 1600 UTC April 5, 2005, Anatahan erupted explosively. Reports indicated that the initial volcanic eruption reached heights of approximately 50,000, producing ash fall on the most populous of the Mariana Islands Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.  
   In a technical report from Michigan Tech University, Rose (1998) stressed the need for real-time radar data near active volcanoes since volcanic ash is a serious threat to aviation.  Rose (1998) also stated that timely information on the eruption s onset and intensity is vital to mitigate the hazards from ash clouds to the aviation community. The Anatahan eruption on April 5, 2005 was unique for it occurred well within the range of the Andersen Air Force Base (PGUA) WSR-88D Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD), located in Mangilao, Guam about 5 miles southeast of the weather station.   
   Over the years, many aircraft encounters with volcanic ash have occurred within minutes or a few hours of an eruption (Johnson and Casadevall 1994, Smithsonian Institution 2002). The best documented encounter occurred with the eruption of the Galunggung volcano in Indonesia in 1982, when a commercial airliner, a Boeing 747, lost power in all four engines. The aircraft fell from 39,000 feet, finally restarting the engines and recovering around 12,000 feet just in time to avoid ditching in the Indian Ocean. Jet aircraft engines can fail within minutes of encountering a volcanic ash plume. Furthermore, volcanic ash is highly abrasive and can severely damage windshields, aircraft turbines, and other internal engine surfaces. Volcanic ash can also clog up essential filters.  
    The goal of this paper is to present the chronology of the April 5, 2005 eruption of Anatahan using data from the PGUA WSR-88D and GOES-9 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite). In addition, the multiple agency coordination effort between WFO Guam, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) in Washington DC, the Honolulu Forecast Office (HFO), other US agencies, and local emergency and environmental agencies will be discussed.

P2.10 Cold-Season Coupled Upper-Level Jet Streaks in the Northeastern U.S. Part I: Weak Dynamic Cases.  Scott M. Rochette, State University of New York, College at Brockport, Chad M. Gravelle, Saint Louis University, Thomas A. Niziol, NOAA's NWS.

     A 10-season (1993 - 2003) climatology of coupled jet streaks east of the Rocky Mountains during the cold season (October through March) is developed.  Preliminary examination of the upper-level flow regime using the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset revealed 79 possible coupled jet streak occurrences during the period.  Using the General Meteorological Package (GEMPAK) with the NARR dataset, plan-view and cross-sectional analyses of the possible occurrences were analyzed to ensure the interaction of the jet streak circulations.  This revealed 39 coupled jet streak cases, which were then subdivided into weak dynamic and strong dynamic scenarios.   
     The weak dynamic cases (covered in this presentation) were characterized by modest surface circulations (MSLP > 1000 hPa) and open mid-tropospheric waves.  Composites of various parameters, computed before and during the time of coupling, will be presented via plan-view and cross-sectional analyses.  These results will then be compared with an individual case study to show the implication that coupled jet streaks have on winter weather and heavy precipitation, especially during relatively quiescent synoptic conditions (i.e. surprise snowfall episodes).

P2.11 Cold-Season Coupled Upper-Level Jet Streaks  in the Northeastern U.S. Part II: Strong Dynamic Cases. Scott M. Rochette, State University of New York, College at Brockport, Chad M. Gravelle, Saint Louis University, Thomas A. Niziol, NOAA/NWS

     A 10-season (1993   2003) climatology of coupled jet streaks east of the Rocky Mountains during the cold season (October through March) is developed.  Preliminary examination of the upper-level flow regime using the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset revealed 79 possible coupled jet streak occurrences during the period.  Using the General Meteorological Package (GEMPAK) with the NARR dataset, plan-view and cross-sectional analyses of the possible occurrences were analyzed to ensure the interaction of the jet streak circulations.  This revealed 39 coupled jet streak cases, which were then subdivided into weak dynamic and strong dynamic scenarios.   
     The strong dynamic cases (covered in this presentation) were characterized by significant surface circulations (MSLP < 1000 hPa) and moderate to strong (at least one closed height contour) mid-tropospheric troughs.  Composites of various parameters, computed before and during the time of coupling, will be presented via plan-view and cross-sectional analyses.  These results will then be compared with an individual case study to show the implication that coupled jet streaks have on winter weather and heavy precipitation during episodes of significant cyclogenesis.

P2.12 GOES Winter Precipitation Efficiency Algorithm. Robert Rabin, NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory and Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center, Jay W. Hanna, NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Services Division.

     Recent studies have shown the importance of snow microphysics for heavy snowfall.   Specifically, snow production and accumulation appears to be highly efficient when a maximum in saturated vertical ascent (level of non-divergence) is collocated within a narrow temperature range (centered at -15ºC).  This temperature range is favorable for efficient snow production as a result of the preferential growth of ice crystals by deposition.  In addition the dominant crystal type formed in this temperature range is dendrites which have been shown to be conducive for high snow to liquid ratios.   
     To highlight areas conducive for this highly efficient snowfall a GOES Winter Precipitation Efficiency Algorithm was developed by the lead author.  The GOES Winter Precipitation Efficiency Algorithm uses cloud products derived from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Sounder radiances to create an analysis of the height of the pressure level at -15ºC.  Further refinement of the analysis is conducted by including vertical velocity output from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) to highlight areas where the -15ºC pressure level is collocated with moderate lift (defined in the algorithm as -5µb/sec).

P2.13 The Record Setting Snowfall in New York City on February 11-12, 2006.  Nelson Vaz and Chris Jacobson, NOAA/NWS Upton, NY

     On February 11-12, 2006, a powerful winter storm dumped between 10 and 30 inches of snow across the Mid Atlantic region, with the highest snow totals stretching from Northern New Jersey through metropolitan New York City and into Western Connecticut. Snowfall rates of up to 4 inches per hour and whiteout conditions were widespread across the area during the height of the storm, prompting a major winter storm rating on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS).  In New York City's Central Park, where record-keeping began in 1869, 26.9 inches of snow fell between 4 PM (EST) Saturday February 11 and 4 PM Sunday February 12, breaking the previous all-time storm total record of 26.4 inches set during a storm on December 26-27, 1947.  
     With such a historic event affecting the biggest media market in the United States; it was no surprise that the storm garnered abundant news coverage. By Sunday night, media attention turned from the storm’s impact on the region to the validity of the record snowfall measurement at Central Park.  Numerous media requests filed into the local National Weather Service office for demonstrations on how snowfall is measured and to ascertain the validity in the record report.
     This poster presentation will describe how this storm provided the record amount of snowfall for the largest city in the U.S.  Collaborative observational data sets including those from satellite and radar will demonstrate that intense mesoscale heavy snow banding was responsible for record snow fall total in New York City.  In addition, measurement procedures at Central Park will be presented.   
     Finally, an analysis of snow fall versus liquid equivalents, which was accomplished in real time and considered air temperatures, will be presented.  This analysis strongly supports the validity of the measurement.  

P2.14 A Diagnostic Analysis of Mesoscale Snow Bands which Occurred on 26 February 2003. Michael J. Paddock, Saint Louis University, James T. Moore, Saint Louis University, and Charles E. Graves, Saint Louis University.

      During the time period from 9 - 20 UTC on      26 February 2003 mesoscale snow bands moved across east-central Missouri and southwest Illinois producing 2 - 4 inches of snow. Forecasting this event was challenging, as the only surface feature of note was an inverted trough, which formed in the presence of zonal flow aloft. Another interesting feature is the distinct separation between the snow bands and the broad precipitation shield to the south. This event does not fit the current conceptual model of snow band formation with moderate to strong cyclogenesis. This presentation will focus on the key physical processes associated with this short-lived mesoscale event, including frontogenesis and the reduction of equivalent potential vorticity. This case study illustrates key parameters associated with the new conceptual model depicted on an adjacent poster. This research is supported by NOAA CSTAR under award number NA03-NWS4680019.

Charles E. Graves, Saint Louis University, and James T. Moore, Saint Louis University.

     Meso-beta scale bands of snowfall of 3-6 inches associated with weak cyclogenesis often form in the Midwest during the winter, presenting a difficult forecast problem. An investigation of four of these events from February 2003 has revealed several common factors, which contribute to the mesoscale nature of the snow bands. A conceptual model depicting these critical kinematic and thermodynamic processes will be shown. A case study that demonstrates the key parameters useful for the short-term prediction of these mesoscale snow bands will be shown on an adjacent poster. This research is supported by NOAA CSTAR under award number NA03-NWS4680019.

P2.16 An Objective Guidance for Forecasting Lake-Effect Precipitation Based on Topographical Forcing Downwind of Lake Erie. Kerry Moyer, Geosciences Department Edinboro University of Pennsylvania,  and Rebecca Byars,  Edinboro University.

     Lake-effect precipitation can vary widely over a small geographic area. Accurately forecasting how much precipitation will fall at a given location throughout the duration of a lake-effect event remains as one of the chief challenges facing meteorologists in the Great Lakes region.  There are a number of factors which govern the highly variable nature of lake-effect events.  One of these factors is uplift from topographical features.  The uplift that occurs as air flows over topographic obstacles in its path acts to locally enhance precipitation rates. Wind-dependent forcing function maps were generated using Digital Elevation Model (DEM) files available from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Surfer µ cartographic software was used to merge the DEM files into a larger domain of interest and resample the data at a more appropriate spatial grid interval.  Once the topographic data set was assembled, a finite differencing scheme was utilized to compute vertical motion forcing functions at each grid point (except those points lying along the immediate periphery of the domain) for 18 different low-level wind directions.  Contour maps of the gridded vertical motion forcing function were then generated and overlaid upon a political base map background which facilitated an easier comparison with observed precipitation data.  It is anticipated that the results from this study will provide forecasters in this region with an objective source of guidance with which they may better isolate regions which are expected to receive locally heavier precipitation during lake-effect events.

P2.17 A Case Study of the Great Plains Blizzard of 27-28 November 2005.  Brian Pettegrew,  University of Missouri-Columbia,  John Stoppkotte,  NWS North Platte, NE,  Patrick Market,  University of Missouri-Columbia,  Chris Melick,  University of Missouri-Columbia,  and Amy Becker,  University of Missouri-Columbia

      An intense mid-latitude cyclone moved across the central Plains during the days of 27 and 28 November 2005. The result of this cyclone was to produce winds of hurricane force, while generating snowfalls of nearly a foot in some locations.  In the end, the combination of extreme winds, snowfall, and ice forced closure of hundreds of miles of interstate highways in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado. In addition, thousands of residences and businesses were without power for up to two weeks.  This review of the cyclone will encompass many aspects including synoptic and mesoscale analysis as well as a quick look at other unusual features of the storm.  Specifically, a unique trowal structure is examined in the context of banded precipitation production.  

P2.18 An investigation of the Radar Characteristics and the Environment of a Mesoscale Snowband that formed on 15 March 2004.  Emily Eisenacher,  Saint Louis University, Dr. James Moore,  Saint Louis University, and  Dr. Charles Graves,  Saint Louis University.

      Mesoscale snowbands cause locally heavy areas of snowfall; however, it is operationally difficult to predict the timing and location of mesoscale snowband formation.  For this reason, forecasting mesoscale snowbands becomes a matter of situational awareness and nowcasting, rather than predicting where the mesoscale snowbands and locally heavy snowfall will set up before it forms.  An investigation of the temporal and spatial radar characteristics of mesoscale snowbands along with an investigation of the environment provides more insight into the time tendency and the orientation of the mesoscale snowbands compared to the mechanisms  
that produce heavy banded snowfall.  Mesoscale processes such as frontogenesis, conditional symmetric instability, and equivalent potential vorticity and their time tendency are compared to  
the spatial and temporal evolution of the radar reflectivity of mesoscale snowbands.

P2.19 Investigating Stability Evolution of Snowstorms Featuring Lightning.  Larry L. Smith,  NWS Medford, OR, and Patrick S. Market,  University of Missouri-Columbia.

     Wintertime forecasting can be a difficult venture for the operational forecaster. Problems arise in predicting how significant a winter storm will be. Our recent work suggests that lightning can be a good indicator of a stronger storm system capable of producing heavy snowfall. These storms can produce up to (and greater than) six inches of snowfall in a short period of time. Therefore, understanding the nature of these lightning-producing snowstorms is beneficial to the operational forecasting community.  This study discriminates between thundersnow (TSSN) events and non-thundering snow events. Traditional forecasting tools, indices for forecasting the stability of the atmosphere in the warm season, are tested to determine if any thresholds exist in the atmospheric stability between TSSN and non-thundering events. Additionally, this study examines the implications of the height at which the -10C isotherm, the temperature of the first atmospheric charge reversal occurs, and where it is located with respect to the most unstable lifted parcel level (MULPL).  If the level at which the -10C isotherms is located is within a statically stable layer of the atmosphere, lightning tends not to occur.  This study shows that certain stability indices are better discriminators for TSSN than others.  It will also be shown that the stability tendency of TSSN events is quite different than that found in non-thundering snowstorms. In order to illustrate the results eight TSSN events are examined from several hours prior to lightning onset until several hours after the cessation of lightning in terms of stability and the results are compared to a set of seven non-thundering snow events. Paradoxically, TSSN environments are prone to stabilization while non-thundering environments are typically destabilizing.  

P2.20 Tornadoes from the Sun. Sokeland, W. P., Retired, Oakland City, IN.

     There are interesting physical effects accompanying tornadoes. Tornadoes produce unusual electrical activity, a magnetic field, negative telluric currents and light. The accepted model for the tornado funnel includes air and water vapor that may be circulating at sonic velocity, but the observed, scientifically measured and reported data previously mentioned cannot be generated by the suggested components of this model. As a result, a new tornado model is proposed. Tornadoes are mathematically modeled and checked and correlated against actual tornadoes in the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) Tornado Archive. Two long, standing debates, the method of population of the inner Van Allen belts with energetic protons and electrons and solar processes affecting earth’s surface weather, are discussed. The power produced in a tornado that simulates the famous tri-state tornado has a value of 1.4 million Joules/sec m2. Sokeland, W. P., (2005) SOLAR PILLARS OF FIRE: Part 1: Tornadoes from the Sun, Journal of Meteorology, UK, Vol. 30, No. 298 (April)

P2.21 Hurricanes from the Sun. Sokeland, W. P., Retired, Oakland City, IN.

     A hurricane is the remnant of a tornado over an ocean.  The possibility of an invisible hurricane or tornado is proposed.  Hurricane structural rainband data are correlated versus abundant elements in the solar wind using an ionic equation developed for light element walls surrounding tornadoes.  The first evidence of heavier ions than iron contained in hurricanes and implied in tornadoes has been detected.  The required abundances for the heavier ions indicate an extraordinary change in basic stellar physics and/or solar system evolution.  The means of hurricane intensification is proposed as a new tornado entering the hurricane eye.  The near land light show for a hurricane is explained due to the presence of positive ions in the hurricane eyewall.  The correlation for the spacing of ionic element walls with solar wind abundant elements in a cyclone and hurricanes is the proof of the new theory of electro-magnetic severe weather storm structure. Sokeland, W. P., (2006) SOLAR PILLARS OF FIRE: Part 2. Hurricanes from the Sun, International Journal of Meteorology, UK, Vol. 31, No. 308 (April)

P2.22 A Thermodynamic Comparison of Two November Tornado Outbreaks in Alabama.  Kristin Scotten, Michael Scotten and Mark W. Rose, NOAA/NWS Birmingham, AL.

     Since 2000, Alabama has experienced a significant increase in the number of tornado outbreaks during autumn, mainly in November, with some of these outbreaks causing loss of life.  Many of these autumn tornado outbreaks have occurred in highly sheared and weak to moderately unstable environments.
     This study compares two different autumn tornado outbreaks, 24 November 2001 and 28 November 2005, which occurred under similar synoptic patterns.  Though the large scale forcing for the events was comparable, the 2001 outbreak produced four times the number of tornadoes than the 2005 outbreak.  Not only were there more tornadoes with the 2001 outbreak, most of the tornadoes were stronger as well.   Both outbreaks were anticipated well in advance by model forecasts, the Storm Prediction Center , and Weather Forecast Offices.   
     Given the similarities in synoptic forcing and the disparity in tornado number and strength, it is important for meteorologists to research these types of events to recognize any mesoscale or thermodynamic clues which could differentiate the two systems.  In this case study, similar upper level dynamics were present, however subtle differences in mesoscale boundaries, mid level capping, instability, and low level convective available potential energy (CAPE) likely led to two very different outcomes in these tornado outbreaks.

P2.23 A Cloud to Ground Lightning Climatology for the Lower Great Lakes: Implications for Sea Breeze and Lake Effect Precipitation Forecasting. Scott M. Steiger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, SUNY Oswego, Robert Hamilton, NOAA/NWS, and Jason Keeler, SUNY Oswego.
     Cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash density climatologies have aided weather forecasters along the Gulf Coast for several years in predicting convective initiation and location.  Even though lightning activity is significantly less in the lower Great Lakes region of the United States, convection occurs year round and is influenced by these large bodies of water.  National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) data from 1989-2005 (17 years) show enhanced CG flash densities along the southern and eastern shores of Lake Ontario.  Large flash density values occurred in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, with a sharp gradient (decrease northward) along the southern Lake Erie shore.
     Winter (December, January, and February) exhibited minimal activity over Lake Erie, but CG flash density maxima were located over northern Lake Ontario oriented in southwest-northeast multibands (this pattern was most evident during the 00-12Z time period).  A band of enhanced activity along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline extending southeast of the lake was prevalent during the spring (MAM).  Lightning activity was minimal over Lakes Erie and Ontario during the summer (JJA).  There were also CG density relative minima in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, and enhanced lightning activity around Lake Ontario showed evidence of a sea breeze convergence zone during the summer.  A distinct density minimum occurred in central Pennsylvania, possibly associated with a valley.  During the fall (SON) a significant enhancement in CG flash density was observed immediately south of Buffalo, NY and along the southern coasts of Lakes Erie and Ontario.  A "hot spot" was over Oswego County during this time period.
     Future research includes testing hypotheses to explain these observations (lake-effect thundersnow processes, sea breeze convergence, and topographical effects).  A major thundersnow event occurred over Oswego, NY on 2 December 2005, when visually observed total flash rates (intra-cloud and CG) approached 1 flash (2 min)-1 for over 30 minutes.  We plan on thoroughly analyzing radar and NLDN CG data for this event, along with surface and upper-air observations to gain insight into this dangerous phenomenon (especially because the public does not expect it during a snowstorm).

P2.24 Inland Lake Surges Associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Lance Wood,
NWS Houston/Galveston, TX, Dave Schwertz, NWS  Houston/Galveston, TX, and Marty Pope, NWS Jackson, MS.

     The United States experienced more landfalling major hurricanes (4) during the 2005 hurricane season than in any previously recorded season. Two of these hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) made landfall along the northern gulf coast in regions which had not experienced a major hurricane in over 35 years. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that inland lake/reservoir surges associated with these hurricanes were unexpected and caused severe damage to dams at both Lake Livingston in Texas, and the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi.  
     Damage to both dams was in the millions of dollars as rip rap protecting the dams was washed away by high water levels and wave action. This wave action caused significant erosion to the exposed earthen dams. In both cases, the landfalling hurricanes tracked east of the lake/reservoir which allowed for a persistent and strong (>40 knots) northerly wind for several hours.  The nearly uniform wind direction being aligned along the main axis of the lake/reservoir caused water to pile up against the dams on the south ends of these bodies of water. The passage of Hurricane Rita marked the first occurrence of a significant hurricane induced lake surge on Lake Livingston. The last major hurricane to take a somewhat similar track to Hurricane Rita was Hurricane Audrey in 1957, well before the lake was created in 1969.  In that same year, Hurricane Camille moved over Ross Barnett Reservoir just 4 years after its dedication in 1965.  Water levels and winds that occurred as a result of Camille crossing the Ross Barnett Reservoir were documented in a study by the USGS in 1972, and will be compared to the water levels and winds that were generated by Hurricane Katrina as the hurricane made a close approach to the reservoir on August 29th, 2005.  
     Several hours after Hurricane Rita made landfall on September 24th, 2005, dam operators at Lake Livingston were fearful that the dam could break due to the significant damage that was occurring to the dam. Therefore, water was released at a high rate through the flood gates, and an evacuation of communities immediately downstream was ordered. Fortunately, the water releases from the dam quickly abated the failure danger. Details concerning the water discharge rates as well as damage pictures at both dams are provided for future reference.   

P2.25 Graphically Depicting the Hazardous Weather in southern middle Tennessee and north Alabama. Brian C. Carcione, NWS Huntsville, AL, Christopher P. Darden, John M. Coyne, Timothy W. Troutman, and  Jason E. Burks, all from NWS Huntsville, AL.

     This paper will document the new technology advances that have allowed for the depiction of hazardous weather information of NWS Huntsville, Alabama. The need to convey visual-based hazardous weather information to local and state emergency management, the media and the public led to the development of a series of graphics that depict the types of hazardous weather threats that are most predominant in southern middle Tennessee and north Alabama.  
     The graphical hazardous weather outlooks (GHWO) on the NWS Huntsville, Alabama web site include specific criteria to activate SKYWARN spotters across the Tennessee valley, three levels of flash flood threats, five thunderstorm threat levels, winter weather threat types and probabilities of occurrence and predominant weather threat types. The graphical hazardous weather outlook complements the text-based hazardous weather outlook (HWO) products that are issued by NWS Huntsville. These HWO products provide a fine-tuned assessment of threats for the NWS s customers across southern middle Tennessee and north Alabama.  
     Since the graphical hazardous weather outlook has been implemented, positive customer feedback has led to further changes and improvements to the products. This feedback has led to the reception of more timely and accurate forecast and warning information by EMAs, media and the public.

P2.26 Characteristics of Cool Season Severe Environments in the Ohio Valley (1995-2006). Bryan Smith NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Indianapolis, IN and Ball State University, Muncie, IN, Chad Omitt, NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Indianapolis, IN, and Jared Guyer, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK
     While the spring and summer months are typically the severe weather climatological peak for the Ohio Valley, severe thunderstorms and deadly regional tornado outbreaks can occur during the cool season months (e.g., October-March).  In an effort to better document and improve operational forecasting of these events, this study focuses on cool season severe thunderstorm environments in the Ohio Valley for the 1995-2006 cool seasons.    
     Most supercell tornado events in the Ohio Valley during the cool season are characterized by low instability/high shear environments.  Preliminary findings suggest small changes in available instability can be responsible for distinct changes in storm mode and severity.  One example of a storm in this environment was the 6 November 2005 Evansville, Indiana supercell that spawned a deadly F3 tornado.  In addition to investigating Doppler radar data, this study will focus on the synoptic and mesoscale environments for each cool season event.  

P2.27 The Evansville Area Tornado.  Christine Wielgos and Patrick J. Spoden, NOAA/NWS Paducah, KY, and Ron Przybylinski,  NOAA/NWS St. Louis, MO.

     A large tornado that caused F3 intensity damage touched down during the early morning hours of 6 November 2005 in northwest Kentucky and moved at speeds close to 35 m s-1 into southwest Indiana. Part of the 41 mile track included the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park, where it caused twenty fatalities (twenty-four total fatalities along the path length) and hundreds of injuries occurred.   
     This presentation will review the near-storm environment associated with the Evansville and other nearby tornadic supercells. The supercells formed in a high shear, low CAPE environment. Low-level moisture rapidly traveled northward towards the mid-Mississippi Valley region during the late evening hours through early morning hours of 6 November 2005 with surface dewpoints reaching near 17 oC.  This resulted in 0-1 km most unstable CAPE values near 1000 J/kg.  Magnitudes of 0-1 km storm-relative helicity values from the RUC model also increased leading up to tornadogenesis and reached values near 400 m2s-2. Vertical Wind Profilers from the WSR-88D at WFO Paducah and the Doppler Radar near Evansville, Indiana showed that the mid-to-upper level jet increased from 40 ms-1 to 50 ms-1 just prior to tornadogenesis.  
     The storms moved across the Lower Ohio Valley region in the form of supercell clusters. As the mid-level jet impinged upon the supercells, storm-scale rotation dramatically increased and tornadogenesis rapidly occurred. This case will show the importance of rapid warning decision making in an environment that was not clearly tornadic before the tornadoes developed. A detailed radar examination will be provided.   

P2.28 A Thermodynamic Investigation of the Early Afternoon Wet Microburst Pre-Storm Environment over Southern Alabama and the Western Florida Panhandle. Jeffrey M. Medlin, and Jack Cullen, NOAA/NWS Mobile, AL.

     Using Eglin Air Force Base, Florida afternoon rawinsonde sounding data, this study investigated the thermodynamic characteristics of the summertime U.S. Gulf Coast wet microburst environment. Uniquely, these soundings sampled the troposphere during a period (1700-2100 UTC) of weak vertical wind shear, peak boundary layer mixing and thermodynamic instability prior to the release of deep convection. Using data over a six year period (1998-2003), mean soundings were generated to operationally distinguish between wet microburst event and non-event days (i.e., days with thunderstorms, but no microbursts). A composite of summer month mean soundings was generated to illustrate the effects of seasonal progression on the regional thermal and moisture vertical profiles.                                 
     The event day mean sounding is warmer and more moist below the melting level and vice versa above. It possesses a greater surface to freezing level lapse rate and a higher absolute value of boundary layer moisture compared to the non-event mean sounding. The chance of a wet microburst occurring becomes relatively higher when mixed-layer convective available potential energy >3095 J kg-1, surface-900 hPa mean mixing ratio >17.6 g kg-1, surface-freezing level lapse rates >7.97 C km-1 and relatively lower when mixed-layer convective available potential energy <1350 J kg-1, surface-900 hPa mean mixing ratio <13.5 g kg-1, surface-freezing level lapse rates <6.84 C km-1. Seventy-five percent of the non-event mixed-layer convective available potential energy distribution is <1350 J kg-1, which in itself, provides a great deal of confidence when forecasting the non-event. Not unlike past studies, results reveal that in order for a microburst to occur in this type of environment, enough thermodynamic instability must first exist in order to produce a strong enough updraft to reach well into the dry layer.

P2.29 The Primary Teleconnection Mechanism (PTM)…Trigger Mechanism that Controls Recurring Cycles of the El Niño, Hurricane Landfalls and other Weather/Climate Cycles. David Dilley, Global Weather Oscillations Inc.

     El Niño events and other short-term climate oscillations have been extensively studied for decades, but oceanographers and meteorologists have had great difficulty isolating the primary physical mechanism(s) that creates and controls these oscillations. The objective of GWO’s 15 years of ongoing research was to isolate the Primary Teleconnection Mechanism(s) (PTM) that causes short-term climate oscillations, and then correlate them with historical climate data to obtain accurate forecast models.  One such research project correlates the PTM with sea surface temperatures in the tropical South Pacific Ocean where the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forms.  By doing so, GWO found a 100 percent correlation between the 22 PTM cycles and the occurrences of all 22 El Niños dating back to 1921.  GWO has documented a near 100 percent correlation between PTM cycles to regional droughts, regional floods, hurricane strike probabilities and regional seasonal precipitation.  GWO has found that the * Primary Teleconnection Mechanism (Dilley-PTM) * is the primary mechanism that controls many weather cycles, and that by using the PTM as a forecast model, these weather cycles can be forecast years in advance.

Session: Weather Impact on Aviation

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters Missions and the 2005-2006 Tropical Cyclone Season.  Invited Speaker: Major John Gordon, United States Air Force Reserve, Keesler Air Force Base, MS.

     Today, a typical hurricane warning costs over $250 million due to preparation, evacuation, and lost commerce. Narrowing the warning area could save around $1 million per mile of coastline, and also lend greater credibility to forecasts and foster more controlled and limited coastal evacuations. Furthermore, as coastal populations continue to grow, evacuation decisions need to be made earlier; a few areas already require over 48 hours to clear in advance of a major hurricane.  
     The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base flies several different missions including Low Level Invests, Tropical Cyclones, Buoy Drops, Winter Storms and research missions.
Tropical Cyclone Missions
     When conditions favorable for hurricane development are observed, either by surface observation or by weather satellite, the National Hurricane Center (NHC), alerts the flying weather crews. The Hurricane Hunters begin flying tropical storm systems whenever they pose a threat, from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (west of longitude 55W), across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and also in the vicinity of Hawaii. Their job: Using WC-130 J model aircraft to determine the precise location, motion, strength, and size of the storm, and transmit the information by satellite to the NHC. The crews provide extremely detailed measurements of the temperature, humidity, pressure and winds in the lower to mid troposphere. The aircraft are capable of collecting research-quality data down to one second intervals. This highly accurate information has improved hurricane forecasts by 25%. In 2004 and 2005, the unit flew nearly every day since July 4th, sometimes into two different storms simultaneously. The unit flew three category 5 storms, KATRINA, RITA, and 2 mile wide WILMA in October.    
     In 2005, the above average tropical cyclone forecast came to fruition with major hurricanes DENNIS and EMILY occurring early in the year, and Category 5 storms KATRINA and RITA occurring during the peak of the season. 2005 was also the first tropical cyclone season on record to go through the entire alphabet in the Atlantic basin.  The 2006 tropical cyclone season is once again forecast to be above normal.  In Cleveland, you will see an incredible amount of horizontal and vertical meteorological data, along with some amazing pictures inside and outside of the aircraft from the 2006 season.  

Generation and Application of Gridded Aviation Forecast Parameters in GFE and AvnFPS.
Chris Leonardi, NOAA/NWS Charleston, WV.

     The National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD), a product of NOAA National Weather Service,  provides high-resolution forecasts for a variety of "public" forecast parameters.  In its present form, aviation elements are not included.  From point-based forecast generation to dynamic route forecasts, a national database of gridded aviation parameters could provide a wide array of valuable services to the aviation community.
     WFO Charleston, WV is providing experimental gridded ceiling height and surface visibility information. Also, the Gridded Forecast Editor (GFE) and Aviation Forecast Preparation System (AvnFPS) software are being used to generate first-guess Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs) from the gridded parameters.  This presentation will detail the tools and methodology used in the forecast process, as well as the challenges and successes that we have encountered thus far.

The Fog Remote Sensing and Modeling (FRAM) Field Project And Preliminary Results.
Ismail Gultepe, Environment Canada, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Res. Sec., Science and Tech. Branch.

     The purpose of the Fog Remote Sensing And Modeling (FRAM) field project is to characterize fog formation, evolution, and dissipation in continental and marine environments, and then to use the derived results in numerical simulations and remote sensing applications. Phase 1 of the project took place during the winter of 2005-2006 in southern Ontario. Phase 2 of the project took place during the summer of 2006 in Nova Scotia along the Atlantic coast. These phases focus on winter continental fog and summer marine fog, respectively. Observations include droplet, ice, and aerosols sizes and concentrations from optical probes, visibility from a visibility meter, liquid water path from a microwave radiometers (MWR), and inferred fog properties such as mean volume diameter, liquid water content, number concentration, and fog regions from satellites. The results were used to develop microphysical parameterizations which could be incorporated in numerical forecast models. During the winter of 2005-2006, an increased frequency of fog formation was observed in southern Ontario relative to the 30-year climatology. It is suggested that the combination of snow on the surface during several rain events caused this increase in frequency. Rain falling on a snow surface resulted in a release of latent heat which caused evaporation of snow, higher boundary layer saturations, and fog formation. Overall, the mechanisms for fog formation, along with some model simulations using the derived microphysical parameterizations were discussed.

Cold Season Fog in the Northern Mid-Atlantic States: Spatial Characteristics and Behaviors by Synoptic Weather Regimes.  Paul J. Croft, Kean University, and Aaron N. Burton, Kean University.

     Fog is a major factor for airport operations and understanding the factors that generate widespread versus localized fog under varying synoptic weather patterns is of importance to forecasters and airport terminal managers. Therefore the occurrence of fog during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 winter seasons (December through February, 180 days) was examined based on the frequencies of fog occurrence for 14 stations in the northern Mid-Atlantic States. Data were obtained for each site from monthly climatic summaries available online to determine both the frequency of fog occurrence days (i.e., at least one station reporting fog on that date) and those days when dense fog was also reported. The intent was to identify the spatial characteristics and behaviors of fog according to the prevailing synoptic weather regime. The spatial distribution was analyzed with regard to patterns of maxima and minima with the coverage considered by each event type. When more than 10 stations reported fog, the event was classified as widespread (i.e., 71% of the stations experienced fog); when the number of stations was 4 to 10 it was considered to be discontinuous  (29% to 71% of all stations); and when less than 4 sites recorded fog it was defined to be  localized  (or isolated, less than 29% of all locations).
     An initial examination of the data indicated 141 fog events, or days when fog occurred at one or more stations, occurred 78% of the study period (two cold seasons). Plots of fog frequencies clearly identified patterns of maxima in specific coastal and mountain regions (e.g., KISP and KMPO). Fog events by synoptic type indicated 58 were associated with high pressure, 40 with low pressure, and 43 with fronts. These basic synoptic types were also examined with regard to the location of the synoptic features relative to New Jersey (e.g., to the south, southwest, west, et cetera). Of these, events with low pressure positioned to the south and southwest produced widespread fog in every instance. Warm fronts had the highest percentage (32%) of stations reporting dense fog during an event. Non-event days (no fog in the study region) were also examined and classified by synoptic type in order to evaluate null cases with regard to variations in their dynamic features from those cases which produced fog. The findings were then considered through an examination of the 2005-2006 cold season to apply and test the methodology and discern the robustness of the results. Attempts were also made to improve identification of fog coverage through the use of satellite imagery and animations as well as by inspection of hourly surface observation data to determine the processes leading to fog occurrence.

Aircraft Icing Risk and Maximum Icing Altitude Estimates from GOES: Verification of the Experimental Product.  Gary P. Ellrod,  NOAA/NESDIS (Retired),  and Andrew Bailey, Raytheon.       

     In early 2004, an experimental product derived from GOES Imager data that shows areas of potential aircraft icing, combined with cloud top heights from the GOES Sounder, became routinely available on a NOAA/NESDIS Web page.*  The combined product is referred to as 'ICECAP' (Icing Enhanced Cloud-top Altitude Product). The risk of icing (yes or no) is determined with the help of three GOES IR channels, and the visible channel during daylight hours. Operational cloud top heights are provided only for likely areas of icing, color-coded in six thousand foot intervals.  
     Verification data has been collected on the GOES icing product by means of the Real-Time Verification System (RTVS) operated by NOAA's Earth Systems Research Laboratory.  A separate study was performed to evaluate the quality of the cloud top heights in the context of inflight icing situations.  This paper will summarize those results, using Probability of Detection for both icing and no icing, False Alarm Rate, True Skill Statistics, and Relative Operating characteristics, for a two year period.  The statistics showed that the GOES icing risk product verified somewhat better than the National Weather Service (NWS) AIRMETs for moderate or greater icing, but not as well as the operational NWS Current Icing Product (CIP), which is derived from a blend of numerical model, radar, satellite, and pilot report (PIREP) data. The ICECAP cloud top heights were determined to be representative of the maximum height of icing conditions based on comparisons with aircraft pilot reports. Although ICECAP is not as effective as the CIP, it is nonetheless a good first-look, satellite only product for assessment of current icing conditions. Since it does not require PIREPs and radar data, it is especially well-suited for remote areas.

Using a Mesoscale Model to Identify Convective Initiation in an Air Route Traffic Control Center/Center Weather Service Unit (ARTCC/CWSU) Environment.  Warren Snyder,  NOAA/NWS WFO Albany, NY,  Mark R. McKinley,  CWSU Oberlin,  and Allison R. Vegh, SUNY Brockport.

Thunderstorms account for 24% of all air traffic delays by significantly diminishing the National Airspace System s (NAS) capacity to route aircraft.  The NAS is managed at Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel, who receive their weather forecasts and data from co-located Center Weather Service Units (CWSU), operated by the National Weather Service.  This study provided real-time mesoscale model output from the Work Station Eta (WSEta) to one of these CWSUs located at Oberlin, Ohio.  The model data was assessed to determine whether thunderstorm/ convective initiation are forecastable from model fields during the first 24 hours. In addition anecdotal evidence was sought to determine the data s usefulness to the CWSU forecasters.  This study, using a 29 case dataset from August 2004 to June 2005 over the Oberlin CWSU area of responsibility, identified three WSEta meteorological parameters that were credible predictors of thunderstorm initiation: hourly convective precipitation, 700 hPa omega, and 250 hPa divergence. The results from this study and the utility of the WSEta will be presented.  In addition work in progress using much more accurate National Lightning Detection Network Data will be presented. These cases look at the summer of 2005 across the Oberlin CWSU and compare the model forecast of convective initiation using these parameters, and the NLDN strokes.  This data looks quite promising with most of the events within one to two hours and under 100 km.  
A Weather Decision Aid for Unmanned Aircraft Missions. David Knapp, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, NM, Edward Measure, David Sauter, and Terry Jameson all with the US Army Research Laboratory.

     The development and employment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has significantly expanded over the past few years to serve a wide variety of aviation uses.  The U.S. military s use of UAS in operations at all levels of the atmosphere has produced a requirement for fine-tuned precision weather forecasts and enroute updates of weather conditions which have not been met by current forecasting and data presentation capabilities.  Military forecasters who support UAS missions and their UAS customers are faced with the need for pinpoint enroute UAS weather sensitivity predictions to plan and execute the UAS missions.  The current operational tactical decision aid (TDA) for weather effects on UAS requires repetitive operator tasks in order to produce a complete assessment along the planned flight route. An automated UAS Weather TDA which addresses the complexity of forecasting the weather for a 4-D UAS flight route is under development.  The TDA will use rules-based and physics-based prediction methods for the generation of atmospheric effects. It will combine 2-D, 3-D and 4-D visualizations and data presentations to fuse available and subsequent updates of spatial and temporal forecast information for tailored prediction of weather impacts on the UAS.  The TDA will also include technology to optimize the planned flight route taking into account all aspects of the flight mission profile. The TDA will employ intelligent agents to automate routine tasks involved in product generation and will update the weather database for creating these products with Nowcast data (0-3hr forecasts) when available.  The TDA technology under development will be suitable for military and civilian UAS uses, to include UAS flights patrolling the continental and coastal borders of the Unites States.

Interactive Weather Visualization Tools For The U.S. Armed Forces.  R Bruce Telfeyan, HQ Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt AFB, NE, and Major Daniel M. Rozema, USAF, HQ Air Force Weather Agency.

     The Air Force Weather Agency’s (AFWA’s) GrADS-based interactive visualization tool, (called IGrADS, for Interactive GrADS), enables forecasters to pick a wide variety of forecast products tailored to the needs of their customers. IGrADS is available over the AFWA s webpage, JAAWIN (https://weather.afwa.af.mil) and has been operational since early 2002.  It is also available over the SIPRNET and JWICS.  The interface enables forecasters to create (potentially) many hundreds of millions of varieties of visualized or alphanumeric products designed to meet their customers  needs.  These products range from meteograms, user-defined meteograms, forecast skew-Ts, vertical cross-sections, forecast maps (including four-panel variations), worldwide cloud analyses, and eight different types of alphanumeric meteorological output.  Forecasters have the option of choosing from among eight operational numerical forecast models, two of which are global and six regional mesoscale models.  The most extensive product lines are available for AFWA s MM5.  This will be supplanted with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model once it is declared operational.  IGrADS users can choose any display region they desire, can animate forecast data, and can bookmark frequently needed charts, then recall them with current model data whenever required.  The presentation highlights recent expansions of IGrADS capabilities in response to customer requests, including four-panel chart options, ceiling/visibility charts, and isotachs on vertical cross-section charts.  Additionally, AFWA recently pioneered a new Java-based interactive visualization tool called the Weather Interactive Data Display System (WIDDS), allowing forecasters to interact with terrestrial weather data and tailor visualizations to fit the their.  WIDDS was borne out of the warfighter’s desire to have interactive display of both weather observations (METARS, SPECIs and Synoptics) and
      Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts for the entire world.  The application can also display data specific to aviation interests, including AIREPS and PIREPS.  The WIDDS interface enables forecasters to not only zoom into an area of interest but also to select parameters such as data density, data fields (such as altimeter, ceiling, visibility, cloud amounts, and others for METARS) and various METWATCH controls to meet specific warfighter needs.

Weather Theory for Pilots. Terry T. Lankford, FAA (retired), Murphys, CA

     General aviation weather-related accidents remain at almost the same level as they have for decades. This in spite of the advances in weather reporting and forecasting that have occurred over the same period. Both government and industry continue to recommend improved weather education for pilots, dispatchers, and controllers. However, little has filtered down to the operational level.
      The NWA Aviation Weather Committee has been working on this issue for several years. Our focus addresses the problem of relating "theory" to the "real world." To this end we have develop an interactive training program: Weather Theory for Pilots.  Last year we provided a "Status Report" on our progress. Since then we have accomplished an Association review. We are continuing to update the program based on Association and user comments and recommendations. With our goal of publishing the program "nation wide" now in sight, this presentation will provide an update on the project and our vision for future development.

Session: Severe Weather II

A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2006.  Invited Speaker: Greg Carbin, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK.

     This presentation will provide an overview of hazardous weather episodes significantly impacting life and property within the United States during 2006.  Selected events will be presented in chronological order and described with photos, maps, and loops of satellite and radar data.  While many of the events selected for this talk captured the attention of both the media and the public, some of these meteorological memories faded away with time.  This review will highlight some of the “big stories”, as well as smaller short-term events.  Included in the presentation will be a major snowstorm, significant severe weather in the Midwest and South, and wildfires on the Plains.  Along with a meteorological description, an impact summary will also be provided for each of the selected events.
     Given the national scope and varied responsibilities of the Storm Prediction Center, weather events of significant impact, ranging from severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreaks to wildfires and winter storms, are forecast and analyzed regularly. This provides SPC forecasters with a unique opportunity to interpret data related to extreme weather conditions regardless of location over the United States. This uniquely diversified experience, and the availability of high-resolution archived datasets, provide for the development of this type of presentation.

Regional Variations in Sounding Derived Significant Severe Weather Parameters. Jeffrey P. Craven, NOAA/NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan WI.

     A great deal of progress has been made in identifying that significant tornadoes are usually associated with strong vertical wind shear and relatively low cloud bases.  Deep layer vertical wind shear, low level vertical wind shear, and Lifted Condensation Level (LCL) heights have been well correlated with an increased risk of strong tornadoes.
     Initial studies have looked at datasets from across the lower United States and throughout the year.  The current study attempts to describe regional and perhaps seasonal variations in instability, vertical wind shear, and convective cloud bases to refine some of the thresholds established from national studies of sounding derived parameters.  
     The core focus of the data analysis was to attempt to distinguish between environments that produced very severe wind gusts and/or very large hail but not strong or violent tornadoes.  Preliminary results suggest that only subtle differences exist in these environments.

Sounding Analog Retrieval System (SARS). Ryan Jewell, NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK.

     SARS is a sounding analog matching system that compares a sounding to a database of historical severe weather proximity soundings.  Based on several key parameters, the system returns matches with their date, location, and associated severe weather report. The matches come from a combined database of nearly 2000 proximity soundings for severe hail, supercells, and tornadoes. The matching parameters are based heavily on components of the SPC Significant Tornado and Significant Hail Parameters, but also incorporate additional fields. Parameters used include most unstable and mixed layer CAPE, mixing ratio of most unstable parcel, 0-3 km,0-6 km, and 0-9 km shear, 0-1 km SRH, LCL height using mixed layer parcel, 700-500 mb lapse rate, and 500 mb temperature.
     In addition to providing the forecaster with historical sounding matches, SARS has been calibrated to produce probabilistic forecast output based on the number and types of analog matches. While this portion of SARS research is in its initial stages, preliminary results suggest that based on the distribution of matches, a skillful forecast can be obtained, such as whether or not hail will be extremely large, or whether supercells will be tornadic or non-tornadic.   
     SARS is being tested at the SPC using observed and model forecast soundings within an experimental version of the NSHARP sounding analysis system, and using model grid point output from the NAM, NAMKF, and RUC to provide CONUS displays of regions where sounding analogs are available.  Of course, when model data are used as input, the ability of analog systems such as SARS to provide useful forecast information is largely dependent on the model forecast accuracy.  Thus, if a model does not predict key matching fields such as CAPE correctly, appropriate analogs may not be found.  Examples will be shown to illustrate forecast applications using observed and model data.

Using Flow Regime Lightning and Sounding Climatologies to Initialize Gridded Lightning Threat Forecasts for East-Central Florida. Winifred Lambert, ENSCO, Inc., David Short, ENSCO, Inc, Matthew Volkmer, NWS Melbourne, FL, David Sharp, NWS Melbourne, FL, and Scott Spratt, NWS Melbourne, FL.

     Each morning, the forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL (NWS MLB) produce an experimental cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning threat index map for their county warning area (CWA) that is posted to their web site (http://www.srh.weather.gov/mlb/ghwo/lightning.shtml). Given the hazardous nature of lightning in East Central Florida, especially during the warm season months of May September, these maps help users factor the threat of lightning, relative to their location, into their daily plans. The maps are color-coded in five levels from Very Low to Extreme, with threat level definitions based on the probability of lightning occurrence and the expected amount of CG activity. On a day in which thunderstorms are expected, there are typically two or more threat levels depicted spatially across the CWA. The locations of relative lightning threat maxima and minima often depend on the position and orientation of the low-level ridge axis, forecast propagation and interaction of sea/lake/outflow boundaries, expected evolution of moisture and stability fields, and other factors that can influence the spatial distribution of thunderstorms over the CWA.
     The lightning threat index maps are issued for the 24-hour period beginning at 1200 UTC each day with a grid resolution of 5 km x 5 km. Product preparation is performed on the AWIPS Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), which is the standard NWS platform for graphical editing. Currently, the forecasters create each map manually, starting with a blank map. To improve efficiency of the forecast process, NWS MLB requested that the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) create gridded warm season lightning climatologies that could be used as first-guess inputs to initialize lightning threat index maps. The gridded values requested included CG strike densities and frequency of occurrence stratified by synoptic-scale flow regime. The intent is to improve consistency between forecasters while allowing them to focus on the mesoscale detail of the forecast, ultimately benefiting the end-users of the product.
     Several studies took place at the Florida State University (FSU) and NWS Tallahassee (TAE) in which they created daily flow regimes using Florida 1200 UTC synoptic soundings and CG strike densities, or number of strikes per specified area. The soundings used to determine the flow regimes were taken at Miami (MIA), Tampa (TBW), and Jacksonville (JAX), FL, and the lightning data for the strike densities came from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). The densities were created on a 2.5 km x 2.5 km grid for every hour of every day during the warm seasons in the years 1989 2004. The grids encompass an area that includes the entire state of Florida and adjacent Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters. Personnel at FSU and NWS TAE provided this data and supporting software for the work performed by the AMU.
The CG strike density grids were first stratified by flow regime and then by time in 6- and 24-hour increments while maintaining the 2.5 km x 2.5 km resolution. A CG frequency of occurrence was calculated for each flow regime by counting the number of days on which lightning occurred in each grid box and dividing that number by the total number of days in the flow regime. Two types of CG strike density climatologies were calculated: flow regime and conditional. In both cases, the strike density values were first summed in each grid box over all days in a flow regime. The flow regime climatology was calculated by dividing the summed densities by the number of days in the flow regime. This can be interpreted as the average number of strikes in each grid box per flow regime day. The conditional climatology was calculated by dividing the summed densities by the number of lightning days in a flow regime. It is called a conditional climatology because it is conditional on the occurrence of lightning. It can be interpreted as the average number of lightning strikes per lightning day during a flow regime. The NWS MLB forecasters use the frequency climatology values as proxy inputs for lightning probability, and the density climatology values as proxy inputs for CG amount when creating the daily lightning threat index map.
Based on a request from NWS MLB forecasters, the AMU conducted work on a second phase to create composite, or average, soundings for each flow regime using the morning soundings at MIA, TBW, JAX and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (XMR). The forecasters compare the current and forecast soundings to the composite soundings, allowing them to refine the lightning threat based on the differences between the climatological and current/forecast soundings. The observed and forecast sounding stability parameters are also compared to those of the composite soundings for each regime to assist the forecaster in making adjustments to the lightning threat.  
     This presentation will describe the lightning threat index map, show examples of the climatological CG lightning densities and frequencies of occurrence based on flow regime and discuss how they were created, and show examples of the composite soundings for each flow regime.

Exploring a new Approach to Improving Severe Weather Warning Lead Times using GFE. Andy Roche, NOAA/NWS WFO Charleston, WV.

     Several dynamic and thermodynamic parameters describing the state of the atmosphere conducive to the formation of severe thunderstorms are available from observations and numerical prediction sources.  Other composite parameters have been developed and refined at the Severe Prediction Center (SPC) to aid in forecasting areas favorable for significant severe thunderstorm development.  These parameters assist in the diagnosis of the environment in which severe thunderstorms develop and occur.  However, putting a better method of predicting the precise timing and location of deep convection in the hands of the forecaster is needed to facilitate a next generation warning service which improves severe warning lead times by double or more from current levels.  This presentation will explore a technique developed at WFO (Weather Service Office) Charleston, West Virginia for the forecasting of areas of severe thunderstorm development using GFE (Graphical Forecast Editor).
     The formation of severe thunderstorms depends on the interaction of lift, shear, instability and available moisture.  The combination of these conditions has an important effect on the convective updraft strength.  The convective available potential energy (CAPE), convective inhibition (CIN), and mid level lapse rates are directly related to updraft strength, and have been widely used as diagnostic quantities for assessing severe thunderstorm potential.  Boundary layer (BL) convergence has also been found to be highly effective in highlighting mesoscale boundaries often acting as convective initiation triggers.  Other parameters like deep shear, storm relative helicity (SRH), and precipitable water (PW) are known to enhance or suppress convective initiation.   
     The availability of higher resolution model output has made the forecasting of these parameters in realtime possible.  The new approach using GFE focuses on those parameters that provide detailed information about the most favorable location for development each hour in the short term forecast period.  The technique enables the forecaster to analyze these factors collectively and detect areas more favorable for severe convection in a more accurate time and spatial resolution.  From this, it is expected that severe thunderstorm development can be forecast.  
     A Python-coded Smarttool in GFE has been developed to calculate and relate the selected parameters.  Common areas where CAPE, BL convergence, and lapse rate coincide are highlighted as severe threat areas.  These threat areas can be enhanced by exceeding thresholds of deep shear or SRH, or suppressed by certain thresholds of CIN and PW fields.  This Smarttool allows the forecaster to select which layer of BL convergence and mid level lapse rate they consider to be more representative to a particular weather situation.  In addition, the user can select which model they believe to be best suited to a particular weather situation.  Using the tool, an hourly forecast severe hazard grid can be created narrowing down the locations where the atmosphere is forecast to be best suited to support the development of severe convection.  It is anticipated that by combining this with the observed development and movement of storms on radar, situational awareness will be improved resulting in longer warning lead times in some situations.

Effects of Cell Mergers into the Inflow Flank of Supercells on Tornadogenesis.  Mark R. Jarvis and Theodore W. Funk, NOAA/NWS Louisville, KY

     It is well known that classic, discrete supercell thunderstorms produce an inordinate amount of severe weather, including large hail, straight-line winds, and weak-to-violent tornadoes. However, the majority of storms actually are non-tornadic. Therefore, much research over the years has been dedicated to differentiating tornadic from non-tornadic supercells and determining processes associated with low-level tornadogenesis. Such research includes near-storm environmental characteristics (e.g., LCL height, low-level humidity, 0-1 km shear and helicity, mid-level storm-relative winds, etc.), quality of the rear flank downdraft, persistence of the mid-level mesocyclone, and effects of storms propagating along pre-existing or storm-induced boundaries.  Determining when supercells will become tornadic remains a distinct challenge for NWS forecasters responsible for protecting life and property.  
    Recently, forecasters at WFO Louisville (LMK) have observed a key Doppler radar signature across the Ohio Valley which may prove helpful in this challenge. In a number of cases, individual cells propagating quickly east or northeastward merged into the inflow (usually southern) flank of well-established, but non-tornadic supercells. In many cases, the merger caused rapid storm strengthening and low-level tornadogenesis within 1-3 volume scans after the merger. The merger apparently provides the necessary enhanced low-level moisture convergence, boundary interaction, and vertical stretching into the storm s mid-level mesocyclone to initiate the tornado. Documented literature on this type of isolated cell-supercell merger process and its effects on tornadogenesis appear to be somewhat limited.  
    WFO LMK forecasters have incorporated this observation into its storm interrogation methods to help improve tornado warning decisions for supercells, and potentially increase lead time while reducing false alarms. This presentation will show various animated radar examples of the merger process and subsequent storm evolution. Causes for tornadogenesis also will be mentioned. It is hoped that this presentation will share valuable information and augment the warning decision process for all meteorologists.

Hurricane Rita Tornado Outbreak. Dan Byrd, and Greg Garrett, NOAA/NWS Jackson MS.

     Hurricane Rita made landfall between Sabine Pass, Texas and Johnson s Bayou Louisiana at 02:38 CDT on September 24, 2005. Rita made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane but at one time was a Category 5 over the Gulf of Mexico and was the 3rd strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin with a pressure of 897 and winds of 175 mph. The highest observed peak wind at landfall was 116 mph in Port Arthur TX. The system  slowly moved north over Louisiana as a Tropical storm and then moved east over southern Arkansas into northwest Mississippi as a tropical low.
     Severe weather was spawned from the outer edges of Rita over the Jackson Mississippi County Warning Area (CWA) and lasted about 36 hours from Saturday into Sunday evening. There were a total of 55 tornadoes in the Jackson CWA over the two day period from the 24th to the 25th of September. The tornadoes included one F3, seven F2 s, 13 F1 s and 24 F0 s. The F-3 Tornado touched down near Clayton Louisiana and tracked northeast for 14 miles to 6 miles north of Waterproof. The tornado destroyed a church and two homes and one of the homes 2nd floor was torn off and deposited about one-quarter mile down the road. There was also several other homes and cars damaged or destroyed. There was one fatality in Humphrey’s county and 16 injuries CWA wide. I will discuss the low cape, high shear environment as the storm progressed east and the reasoning behind the number of tornadoes, why the tornadoes persisted during the nighttime hours Saturday night, and how this event was the largest outbreak ever in our CWA and how it stacks up historically.  

A Radar Perspective of the Early Morning           6 November 2005 Tornadoes: Challenges.    
Patrick J. Spoden, NOAA/NWS Paducah, KY, Ron Przybylinski, NOAA/NWS St. Louis, MO,  Christine Wielgos and Rick Shanklin, NOAA/NWS Paducah

     In the early morning hours of 6 November 2005, two tornadoes, which caused F3 damage, touched down within minutes of each other in western Kentucky. One tornadic supercell known as the Evansville tornadic storm, moved into southwest Indiana, through the southern end of the city of Evansville, and produced a tornado that resulted in a 41-mile continuous damage path.  A second tornadic supercell located 40 miles to the south produced a tornado that resulted in an 11-mile long damage swath.  
     The storms which produced the tornadoes were sampled by up to four Doppler radars, yet due to storm speed, tilt, and other sampling issues, the true location of the mesocyclones associated with the tornadoes was not always clear to the radar operators.  
     One challenge of the Evansville tornadic supercell was the difference in mesocyclone location depending upon which radar was being used. Transitioning from the KPAH WSR-88D to the KVWX Doppler Radar allowed for the determination of a more exact location of the mesocyclone.
     The southern tornadic supercell moved essentially parallel to the radar beam from the KPAH WSR-88D which indicated a low-level gate-to-gate shear value of approximately 50 kts. At the same time, this supercell was moving generally perpendicular to the radar beams from the KHPX WSR-88D and indicated a low-level gate-to-gate shear close to 100 kts. Warning forecasters need to be aware that such striking differences in magnitudes between the two WSR-88Ds can occur and affect the decision making process compared to utilizing radar data from only one site.   
     This presentation will review the radar data to emphasize importance of these sampling issues and their impact on warning operations and procedures and upon the training program at the NWS Forecast Office in Paducah, Kentucky.

Analysis of the Tornado Damage Track from the 6 November 2005 Evansville Indiana Tornado: Observations and Perspectives. Ron W. Przybylinski, NOAA/NWS St. Louis, MO, Ricky Shanklin, Pat Spoden,  and Christine Wielgos, NOAA/NWS Paducah, KY

     An analysis of the tornado damage assessment from the November 2005 Evansville Indiana Tornado is reviewed and presented.  The tornado initially touchdown in northwest Kentucky, two miles north of Smith Mills and traveled across the Ohio River three times southwest and south of Evansville. The tornado then rapidly traveled east-northeast and caused significant damage at the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park, extreme southeast side of Evansville, where twenty fatalities occurred. From this point, the tornado traveled northeast and caused significant home damage to several subdivisions northwest and north of Newburgh Indiana. The tornado damage width varied from 300 to 500 yards. The sub-divisions were located on rolling terrain. An industrial park located on an elevated region, 2.5 miles northeast of the subdivision and 4  miles northeast of Newburgh was directly hit by the tornado. Several steel-framed structures within the industrial park were severely damaged or destroyed. Steel fence posts just east of several damaged structures showed a well defined convergent damage pattern while several I-beams were twisted within some of the structures. The tornado continued northeast damaging several farmsteads and rural homes south and east of the community of Booneville Indiana. Four fatalities and several injuries occurred over this region of Indiana. The tornadic damage path was continuous and showed an estimated overall length of 41 miles. Six smaller areas or segments embedded within the overall path reached F3 damage intensity. Multiple vortex damage patterns were also uncovered at three locations along the path of the tornado while damage paths of three satellite tornadoes were documented. This was one of the most damaging early cool season tornado events in Indiana-Kentucky history. This presentation will focus on damage assessment conducted during the days after the Evansville tornado event.  We will focus on some of the hardest hit areas along the damage path and show indicators suggesting F3 damage.  

A Case Study of the April 2, 2006 Killer Mid-South Tornado Outbreak. Jonathan L. Howell and Jason F. Beaman, NOAA/NWS Memphis, TN

     On the evening of April 2, 2006, an outbreak of tornadoes occurred over the NWS Memphis County Warning Area.  In total, five tornadoes produced F3 intensity damage, one tornado produced F2 intensity damage, and two tornadoes produced F1 intensity damage.  Three of the F3 rated tornadoes resulted in the deaths of 24 persons across three counties (Pemiscot County, MO, Dyer County, TN, and Gibson County, TN) along with hundreds of injuries.  The 22 tornado related deaths in northwest Tennessee is the highest number of fatalities in western Tennessee since 1952.    
     This case study will offer a thorough analysis of the synoptic and mesoscale conditions that produced this classic severe weather outbreak.  There were three tornadic supercell thunderstorms that impacted the Mid-South.  The first supercell thunderstorm affected northern portions of the region and was responsible for all of the fatalities.  This storm was a classic long-tracked cyclical supercell, which produced 4 of the 8 tornadoes as it tracked 280 km across the NWS Memphis County Warning Area.  The second supercell thunderstorm of the day developed along a mesoscale boundary that was left in the wake of the first supercell thunderstorm.  This supercell thunderstorm was a classic right moving storm and produced the second tornado that resulted in F3 intensity damage across Gibson County TN.  The third supercell thunderstorm of particular interest occurred in Cross County, AR.  This storm produced another strong tornado that tracked along the southern portions of Cross County and resulted in additional F3 intensity damage.  The storm then weakened as it moved east into adjacent Crittenden County.  The Cross-Crittenden Counties supercell thunderstorm was not as long lived as the first supercell storm.  However, the storm did move along an old convective outflow boundary during the time of tornadogenesis.   
     In addition to the meteorological analysis, this presentation will highlight some of the sociological factors that may have contributed to such a high death toll, as well as some of the lessons learned from this event.  Possible solutions will be offered in the hope of mitigating such fatalities in future strong and violent tornadoes.

The Great Lakes Cyclone Windstorm of November 12-13, 2003: A Synoptic-Dynamic Case Study. John A. Knox, University of Georgia.

     On November 12-13, 2003, a strengthening mid-latitude cyclone crossed the upper Midwest from Minnesota to the lower Great Lakes.  High winds with gusts up to 76 knots caused over $20 million in damage, two deaths, and six injuries from Iowa to Michigan.  In northern lower Michigan, the windstorm was said to have been the worst in several decades.
     Storm event summaries from the National Weather Service offices across the Great Lakes region attributed this hazardous wind event to a variety of causes: a cold frontal passage, a tight pressure gradient, strong cold air advection, a strong high moving in behind a strong low, and a deep tropopause fold.  For operational forecasting purposes, it is desirable to have a deeper and more consistent understanding of the dynamics behind such events.
     In this case study we investigate the origin of the damaging winds, emphasizing the possibility that the high winds were related to the stratospheric intrusion and tropopause fold associated with the deepening cyclone.  We examine the development of this cyclone across the upper Midwest using a variety of meteorological data, including an improved high-resolution hourly total column ozone product from the GOES Sounder.  We will attempt to use this and other remote sensing products to diagnose the mesoscale dynamics of the tropopause fold and correlate its evolution in space and time with the development of strong surface winds.  Time permitting, we will also discuss possible linkages between the dynamics of this storm and the famous "Edmund Fitzgerald" storm in November 1975.

A Case Study of the April 18th, 2006 Supercell in Livingston County, Missouri. Jose Miranda, University of Missouri-Columbia, and George Limpert, University of Missouri-Columbia.

     During the afternoon of April 18, 2006, several supercells developed over Northwest Missouri including two which produced tornadoes. The setup featured weak dynamics and moderate thermodynamics but was not a classic setup for development of supercells.  Merging of surface boundaries enhanced forcing allowing convection to break through the cap and develop. Further interaction with surface boundaries along with merging of cells enhanced rotation and contributed to the tornadic nature of the supercells. Forecasts
based on RUC model output verified quite well both

in radar imagery and visually at the surface, and indicated a heightened tornado potential over Northwest Missouri. Despite well-defined supercell structures observed on the ground and by radar along with detection of strong rotation by doppler radar, only one tornado warning was issued for the cells. The lone warning was based on a spotter report of a funnel cloud shortly before a tornado struck the western side of Chillicothe, MO.

An Overview of the 12-13 March 2006 Severe Weather Outbreak Over the Southwest Missouri Ozarks. John P. Gagan, NWS WFO Springfield, MO, and Gino Izzi, NWS Springfield, MO.

     During the evening hours of 12 March and early morning hours of 13 March 2006, four supercell thunderstorms and a squall line of thunderstorms swept across the Southwest Missouri Ozarks.  
     Thirteen tornadoes occurred (three F0s, four F1s, three F2s and three F3s) which destroyed 202 homes, damaged 366 additional structures, and resulted in two fatalities and thirty-five injuries.  In addition, there were
over one hundred additional reports of large hail (up to baseball size) and wind damage.  This was the largest outbreak of severe weather in the area since the 4 May 2003 severe weather outbreak.  This presentation will offer an overview of the atmospheric conditions that contributed to this significant severe weather episode.