[Eoas-seminar] Meteorology MS Defense for Amanda Sava, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 3:30 PM, EOA 1044 and on Zoom

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Tue Mar 17 11:04:07 EDT 2020

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https://fsu.zoom.us/j/608220250                                                                             Meeting ID: 608 220 250

Meteorology Seminar

Amanda Sava

Master's Meteorology Candidate

Title:   Unexplained nocturnally forming lightning in the ccafs/ksc area

Major Professor:  Dr. Henry Fuelberg

Date: March 24, 2020                              Time: 3:30 PM

Location: EOA Building room 1044


Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center (CCAFS/KSC) experience thunderstorms on an almost daily basis during the warm season (May through September). Most thunderstorms occur during the afternoon and are accurately forecast. However, on rare occasions, thunderstorms form at night with no apparent cause. These unexpected events can catch forecasters off-guard, leading to missed lightning watches and unexpected dangerous situations. The goal of the present research is to address the lack of knowledge about these unexplained nocturnally forming lightning events near CCAFS/KSC and provide forecasters with additional information about the events. The study area is a rectangle centered on the Space Shuttle Roll-Out at KSC and is oriented parallel to Florida's coast. Lightning flash data from the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) and the National Lightning Detection Network, and radar data from the National Weather Service Melbourne (NWS MLB) were used to identify case nights and null nights, and generate a climatology of case nights. Then, 24 different variables that consider atmospheric moisture, hydrostatic stability, and wind shear were investigated to identify a possible discriminating parameter between case nights and null nights. Results showed that July had the greatest occurrence of case nights, and that the greatest frequency of first flash times was at 0500 UTC, about 5 h after local sunset. The results also revealed that case nights had a slightly greater potential for convection, but unfortunately there was no variable that had a statistically significant difference at the 95% confidence interval between case nights and null nights.

Shel McGuire
Florida State University
Academic Program Specialist
Department of Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Science
1011 Academic Way, 2019 EOA Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306

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