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Determining the Relative Frequency of Occurrence of Local Cumulonimbus Activity through Discriminant Analysis

Darryl RandersonWeather Service Nuclear Support Office, Las Vegas, Nev. 89114

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Abstract

Discriminant analysis is used to develop a cumulonimbus prediction equation (Z index) for a single station during the period June through September. Based on dependent data, the Z index explains 43% of the variance, while the more commonly used K index explains only 34% of the variance in the same data set. Verifications with 4 years of independent data demonstrate that the Z index yields a lower seasonal Brier Score than the K index, precipitable water content, persistence and the climatological average of cumulonimbus activity for June–September. It is concluded that the Z index provides a meaningful first approximation to the probable development of local cumulonimbus activity during the period June–September.

Abstract

Discriminant analysis is used to develop a cumulonimbus prediction equation (Z index) for a single station during the period June through September. Based on dependent data, the Z index explains 43% of the variance, while the more commonly used K index explains only 34% of the variance in the same data set. Verifications with 4 years of independent data demonstrate that the Z index yields a lower seasonal Brier Score than the K index, precipitable water content, persistence and the climatological average of cumulonimbus activity for June–September. It is concluded that the Z index provides a meaningful first approximation to the probable development of local cumulonimbus activity during the period June–September.

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