Matt Parker, GSP (Justin Lane), CAE (Mike Cammarata), CHS (Frank Alsheimer), FFC (Trisha Palmer and Steve Nelson), HUN (Andy Kula), LWX (Steve Zubrick), MHX (Bob Frederick), RAH (Michael Strickler and Jonathan Blaes), RNK (Steve Keighton)
II. Internal Collaborative Research Site (Jonathan Blaes)
J.B. and collaborators are working on establishing an Internal Collaborative Research Site (ICRS) via Google Sites. This will be a password-protected website for sharing data, files, and other resources among project participants. The ICRS would likely replace the e-mail list for purposes of sharing “sensitive” information among participants. It will require all participants to establish a Google account.
There was some discussion regarding appropriate use of Google Sites vs. the CIMMSE blog. The most fundamental difference is that the blog can be accessed by the public, while the ICRS cannot. Therefore, while the blog would remain the preferred method for general scientific discussion, finalized case studies, etc., the ICRS would be used to share information that is not appropriate for public consumption. However, these uses will likely evolve as familiarity with the ICRS increases.
Action Item: All participants agreed that the ICRS held promise and should continue to be developed. (JB and collaborators)
III. Case Identification Progress
It was reiterated that qualifying HSLC cases were events characterized by CAPE (SB and/or ML) of ~= 35 kt. For the time being, the period of study can be limited to 2006-present.
All participating WFOs were at varying stages of the case identification process. However, most offices had identified at least some cases. Most offices were using the same case ID methodology: collecting storm reports from Storm Data and then utilizing the SPC mesoanalysis national sector archive to diagnose CAPE and shear during the time of the event(s). FFC, GSP, and LWX were also aware of some potential null cases. (In this context, “null” indicates an HSLC environment existed, but no severe weather reports were received.) Steve Zubrick indicated it was important to differentiate between “null” events in which convection did not develop and those in which non-severe convection occurred.
There was some discussion among the WFOs regarding the nature of events (i.e., severe weather type and coverage) that should be documented. Some offices have only examined “high-end” events and/or tornadoes, while others have looked at all events. Matt Parker pointed out that it would be beneficial to identify HSLC events of all type and scope, including isolated/marginal events. While the primary focus of the study will likely be on the more “high end” events, the more marginal events can be used as a kind of control group.
CAE and GSP pointed out that they did not look at the entire year when searching for cases. CAE examined September through April and GSP examined September through May. Both offices agreed that there would be few, if any non-tropical HSLC cases outside of these months during the five-year study period. However, this may not be the case for offices further north.
Date, time of day, values of CAPE (SB,ML, and MU), 0-6 km shear, 0-1 km shear, the type of severe weather (tornado, hail, wind), scope/coverage of severe weather, and convective mode should all be documented once cases are identified.
Action Item: It was generally agreed that each office would complete potential case identification by the next conference call (24 February). (All WFOs)
Some concern was expressed about the lack of detail/large contour interval and spatial projection of the SPC national sector archive hindering our ability to be precise when documenting CAPE and shear numbers. It was pointed out that WFO RAH maintains an archive of regional mesoanalysis sectors.
Action Item: RAH should explore means of providing all project participants with access to their archive of SPC regional sector mesoanalysis data. Steve Zubrick has volunteered to assist RAH in making this data available. (Steve Zubrick and JB)
Matt Parker would like to begin the process of consolidating cases into one “Master” spreadsheet containing all of the cases identified by each WFO. There was some discussion regarding the best way of accomplishing this.
Action Item: Matt Parker will set up a spreadsheet in Google Docs that can be edited by all participants. WFOs will add to this spreadsheet as new cases are identified. If this proves to be too cumbersome, GSP will volunteer to maintain the case spreadsheet/database for the project.
IV. Future Conference Calls
It was agreed that having the regularly scheduled conference calls once a month will benefit the project, as this allows ample time for the WFOs to plan and is the best way of ensuring we’re all on the same page. While it will be difficult for all participants from any single WFO to attend a given conference call, the schedule should allow for at least one representative from each WFO to participate.
The next conference call will be 24 February 2011.