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Cloud Climatologies for Rocket Triggered Lightning from Launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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We have conducted a study on the development of detailed climatological probabilities of violating cloud related Lightning Launch Commit Criteria LLCC used by Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center CCAFS and KSC. This study was conducted to provide the 45th Weather Squadron with improved capabilities for operational forecasting for launches from CCAFS and KSC. Our focus was on developing methods to produce climatological probabilities of violating one of the LLCC, the thick cloud layer rule. We developed a hybrid process of blending data from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis CFSR, meteorological aerodrome reports METARs, radiosonde observations RAOBs, and expert meteorologist data sets to create a merged data set for determining the probability of violating the thick cloud layer rule. Using our blended hybrid process, we computed cloud thicknesses, and probabilities of violating the thick cloud LLCC for each day of the year at 00Z and 12Z. Additionally, we conducted a sensitivity analysis to identify the potential for modifying the thick cloud LLCC. A primary result from our study is a sub-daily data set of the climatological probabilities of violating the thick cloud layer rule. We conducted eight validation case studies that demonstrated our calculated violations match well with observed violations. The development of a merged data set that provides more useful information than any one of the individual data sets is a technique that is likely to be useful in solving many other climatological problems.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE