CSTAR Update – notes from the quarterly conference call on 02 December

A conference call with the principal investigators, the collaborative investigators, students, and other NWS participants with the ongoing CSTAR project was held on 02 December. Some notes from the call are shown below.

Participants included Dr Lackmann, Dr Aiyyer, Bryce Tyner, Keith Sherburn, Jason Davis, and Jordan Dale (NCSU), Pat Moore, Larry Lee (GSP), Faye Barthold, David Roth (HPC), Reid Hawkins (ILM), Steve Zubrick (LWX), David Glenn (MHX), Jim Hudgins, Stephen Keighton (RNK), Michael Stickler, Barrett Smith, and Jonathan Blaes (RAH).

Tropical cyclone inland winds
• Irene provided the opportunity for a real time case study, NDFD data was locally captured and provided by Reid (ILM).
• A post Irene assessment conference call was held on October 4th with notes from this call summarized on the blog – TC Wind Project Conference Call Notes and Post Irene Assessment (10/4/11).
• Larry Brown at AKQ completed some work investigating gust factors at some locations associated with Irene in eastern Virginia – Irene winds at points vs gust factor. Some follow up discussion noted the importance of boundary layer height with these wind gusts.
• Bryce has acquired some 1 or 5 minute resolution ASOS data during Irene and is planning additional analysis.
• Bryce met with Dr Basu (NCSU) and discussed boundary layer issues relating to tropical cyclones and surface winds & wind gusts.
• A team led by Reid with help from Frank/Bob (CHS) and Gail (RAH) will create a short set of unified set of training slides that ER WFOs could easily incorporate into their tropical cyclone training.  The materials will be completed by spring and will likely include the items below:
o Demonstrate the problem, examples of poor collaboration abound
o Illustrate the inexact nature of the TCM product by noting the limitations the NHC deals with in creating the TCM (Brennan slides)
o Provide the NDFD verification from this project which notes a consistent high bias in wind forecasts
o Provide initial guidance on quality land reduction factors and some sort of TCM product correction factor
• Nick Petro (WCM RAH) on behalf of the tropical cyclone inland winds team, presented agenda item 11-48, Improvements to process to create tropical cyclone wind/wind gust grids in GFE at the 2011 NOAA Hurricane Conference.  The agenda item was a request that the Tropical Hazards Team and GFE developers work with the NC State-NWS CSTAR group to add additional science and improve collaboration in the creation of wind and wind gust grids associated with tropical cyclones by updating the TCMWindTool and creating a new TCWindGustTool.
• The agenda item was agreed to, and will be carried forward. The AWIPS program office will be approached to provide support at GSD for a variety of tropical cyclone items including improvements directly related to this project.
• David Roth mentioned that there was discussion at the NOAA Hurricane conference of an effort to assemble a rather comprehensive training package for tropical cyclones for NWS forecast staff, perhaps similar to the current AWOC course.  This potential training resource would be an excellent opportunity to share findings and techniques derived from the tropical cyclone related components of the CSTAR project. Jonathan will reach out and contact members of this project to explore collaboration with our CSTAR group.
• Bryce will be looking at developing land reduction and gust factors with a goal of providing guidance for land reduction/gust factors for multiple different thermodynamic profiles
• The next call for the group is planned for January 2012.

High Shear Low CAPE (HSLC) convection
• Monthly conference calls continue on the 4th Thursday of the month and are well attended.
• Data for the list of HSLC cases that the team identified has been requested from SPC. [Subsequent to the quarterly call, the SPC mesoanalysis data has been downloaded and unpacked for all dates identified in the event spreadsheet.]
• With two students working on the project, the problem can be examined in multiple angles.
• Keith Sherburn will be working on a parameter based climatology. The desire is to develop composite parameters to better anticipate HSLC events and tornado or no tornado events in particular.
• Jason Davis will be working on radar based climatology of HSLC events including an analysis of tornado vs. no tornado cases, examining convective mode, along with radar interrogation strategies such as azimuthal shear and mesocyclone change algorithms. Jason is currently evaluating the WDSSII software.
• WFO GSP continues to develop the first case study which should provide a sample case study to evaluate, with the eventual goal of agreeing on a standard case study setup/layout.
• Once a standard case study setup/layout is agreed to, the desire is for participating WFOs to produce nearly a dozen comprehensive cases studies of different events.
• During the call it was noted that WFO Birmingham AL (BHM) is working on a project relating to HSLC events and QLCS events in particular. Jonathan contacted Kevin Laws (SOO BHM) and learned that BHM has an aggressive timeline and some of the focus of their project will be in warning services. Jonathan and Kevin agreed to keep each other updated on their respective projects.
• After a recent call, the team expressed an interest in working with the Warning Decision training branch (WDTB) to incorporate the results of this project into the AWOC severe training program. WDTB is already working on putting together their budget and goals for FY13 and the CSTAR HSLC items will likely get incorporated into that training cycle. We are still waiting to hear back from them on what the next steps should be in the dialog between WDTB and the CSTAR project. Reaching out early in the process should work out well and allow us to get in their budgeting and planning process. This is very good news and provides an excellent mechanism to get research results into the hands of forecasters.
• The next call is scheduled for January 26, 2012.

QPF associated with tropical cyclone boundary interaction
• Jordan Dale, a Penn State graduate, arrived in August, and this project will serve as the foundation for his master’s thesis.  Jordan is getting spun up on the project and has been performing a literature review.
• The project is gaining more focus and will be examining the predictability of inland surface boundaries and their impact on tropical cyclone QPF. This project will examine the interaction of tropical cyclones with weak or marginal boundaries. The goal is to identify what processes determine if a boundary will form and then determine the resulting distribution of precipitation and wind.
• One particular question will focus on how much does evaporational cooling in the pre-storm environment set the stage for subsequent QPF.
• Previous work examined the role of evaporational cooling and the subsequent development of a surface boundary, on the precipitation distribution associated with Tropical Storm Hanna.  For Hanna, the evaporational cooling and boundary appeared to modulate the QPF, but the change was not extreme. At least in this case, it was noted not to over emphasize CAD and diabatic processes.
• A conference call was held on 3 November and notes from the conference call are on the blog.
• WFO Raleigh NC State student volunteer Rebecca Duell recently identified a total of 54 Tropical Cyclones (TCs) that moved through the CSTAR study domain since 1995. This list of tropical cyclones will be used to identify cases for this project. More details on the methodology to identify the tropical cyclones is available on the blog.
• The candidate cases noted above were assembled into a spreadsheet and they should provide a starting point for investigation and case identification. Dr. Gary Lackmann and Jordan Dale are currently working to trim the list down to a manageable subset of cases for further investigation.  Once that list is available, they will likely be looking for input from the WFOs and other CSTAR participants.
• The next call is tentatively schedule for the second week of January.  Once a meeting time is determined, a regular meeting time will be established for regular monthly calls.

Tropical cyclone initialization
• Briana Gordon, who was working on this project, graduated this fall, completed her MS and now works in the weather enterprise.
• Research results for this project, which were preliminary, are hoped to be shared via a journal article in the future
• Dr Lackmann has agreed to create and present a webinar for an operational audience on how TC initialization is accomplished and how this impacts operational NWP. The date of the training is still to be determined but it will likely be in late May. The goal is to provide a baseline of knowledge (bogusing, vortex relocation, etc) to forecasters and share with them the strengths and limitations of each system in a way that would be helpful for forecasters.

Other items
• The 6 month CSTAR progress report was submitted in late November. Electronic copies were provided to the CSTAR SOO’s and MIC’s. Jonathan will send along copies to the CI’s.
• Participants are encouraged to add blog entries as interesting events or discoveries are made.
• A fall workshop to be held in Raleigh is in the works. PIs, CIs, and SOOs have been contacted to identify a good period while considering the NWA conference, SLS conference, and travel budget concerns. Initial input suggests that a workshop on 15-16 November might work best.
• The next quarterly call is scheduled for Friday, February 24th at 300 PM.

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This entry was posted in CSTAR, General Information, High Shear Low Cape Severe Wx, TC and Boundary QPF, TC Improved Initial Conditions, TC Inland and Marine Winds. Bookmark the permalink.

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