CSTAR High-Shear Low-CAPE Conference Call Notes – November 2015

The call was held on Tuesday, November 24th, from 11AM to noon. There were participants from NC State, AKQ, FFC, GSP, ILM, MHX, and RAH.

A recording of the call is available at… https://goo.gl/gtuKbw

1) Research update from Jessica King on the HSLC process study using modeling and emulated radar sampling.   The slide deck is available for downloading at https://goo.gl/r8difO

king•    The CAPE increases among the different cases are all affected differently by changes in the surface temperature, the surface moisture, and changes in the upper level temperature.
•    Non-events typically have small or negative changes in SBCAPE due to changes in surface temperature.
•    We see the most differences in low-level shear between the events and the non-events during the late evening and overnight hours.
•    Events tend to have much higher SHERB-S3 values than the non-events in the simulations.

2) Research update from Dianna on the Predictability with Ensembles and Downscaling project. The slide deck is available for downloading at https://goo.gl/5JSWH1

fanciscoDianna provided a recap of her project which is nicely summarized in her slides that are available at the link above.  In an oversimplification, the project includes 3 steps…
•    Start with a list of parameters – Include all parameters that could affect the development of the severe environment and severe event of interest
•    Next step is the model selection – Program selects the most valuable parameters that give smallest forecast error and assigns coefficients for each parameter
•    Final product is a statistical model that provides a binary answer, it will occur or it will not occur.  Or a probability answer, e.g. probability of tornado.

Dianna is requesting input and she set up a Google document where we all can give suggestions on potential parameters (predictors), and document anything else we think would be useful when creating a predictive equation for specific severe events in HSLC environments.  Spatial and temporal resolution for each parameter is also needed.

Some items she would like added include…
1)    Add parameters to list
2)    Specific timing that parameter value is important
3)    Spatial and temporal resolution needed
4)    Any additional words of wisdom

3) VORTEX-SE Workshop

Dr Parker provided a summary of the recent VORTEX-SE workshop that was held in Huntsville AL earlier in November.  The goal of the workshop was to develop a roadmap for a larger, more sustained program associated with NOAA/NSF/NASA partners if Congress chooses to fund it in the future. Currently, there was only one year of funding provided which resulted in a somewhat hurried rollout that includes the current funding for 9 projects and a small field campaign in the spring of 2016.

Attendees at the workshop were roughly broken down with 1/3 of participants from the research/academic community, 1/3 from operations including CSTAR participants (Kevin Laws, Steven Latimer, Steve Nelson, Chris Darden, Jeff Waldstreicher, Steve Keighton and Dr Parker among others), and 1/3 from the social science community.

One of the drivers for the project is that fatalities from tornadoes are higher in the Southeast than elsewhere in the country. It is thought that this is the result of meteorological and non-meteorological factors such as a propensity for nocturnal/cool season events with lower SA, quality of building construction, education, etc.  Over 100 pages of meteorological and social science notes were developed during the workshop. The field campaign will take place in the late winter and spring, tethered to the Huntsville AL region with a desire to sample 4 to 6 cases, hopefully including a HSLC case or two.

4) CSTAR Workshop

There was a discussion about a potential CSTAR workshop in the spring. NWS ER SSD is interested in supporting ER participants with travel funds to participate in a combined CSTAR and ER sub regional workshop.  Given the potential involvement of many academic partners in the VORTEX-SE filed project this winter and spring as well as some other organizational needs, it was thought a workshop in May would be preferable.

We are looking for folks to help organize the CSTAR aspect of the workshop. Adam Baker and Keith Sherburn have already offered and we’ll need another ER SOO or two to help with the ER sub regional workshop part of it.

5) Next conference call

Our next call was initially scheduled for Tuesday, December 22nd, but given the holidays along with approaching exams and winter break, call participants opted to hold the next call in January on Tuesday, January 26th at 11am.

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