Improving Cape Canaveral's Day-2 Thunderstorm Forecasting Using Meso-ETA Numerical Model Output
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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The 45th Weather Squadron WS is responsible for the protection of billions of dollars worth of Air Force and NASA equipment from weather hazards. They produce a seven day planning forecast as one tool to support the space launch community. Improving this forecast can potentially save millions of dollars of government funds. This research focuses on the feasibility of improving the day two thunderstorm forecast by applying Meso Eta numerical forecasts to the Neumann-Pfeffer Thunderstorm Index NPTI. The NPTI is currently used by the 45th WS for same day thunderstorm probability forecasting utilizing the morning radiosonde as input. The perfect prognosis assumption was used when assessing the value of this technique. NPTI thunderstorm probabilities were calculated using input variables extracted from the day two Meso Eta. The NPTI output was verified against coincident thunderstorm observations taken at Cape Canaveral Air Station. Accuracy and bias statistics were used to calculate a forecasting skill score versus persistence. Statistically significant positive skill scores were produced, indicating that the proposed method is a potentially useful forecasting tool for day two thunderstorm probability forecasting. A test of NPTI over 20 years of climatology revealed a moderately accurate forecasting method.