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The Use of Hourly Model-Generated Soundings to Forecast Mesoscale Phenomena. Part II: Initial Assessment in Forecasting Nonconvective Strong Wind Gusts

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

This paper presents results from pilot studies of the use of model-generated hourly soundings to forecast nonconvectively produced strong wind gusts. Model soundings from the operational Eta and Meso Eta Models were used for a period of 14 months in 1996 and 1997. Skill does exist in forecasting strong to damaging surface wind gusts, although the forecasts are at the mercy of the model-based boundary layer stability forecast. The wind gust forecasts are more accurate during the daytime, when the boundary layer depth and stability is more accurately forecasted and also more conducive to vertical mixing of boundary layer winds. The results of this preliminary evaluation show that the model sounding–based forecasts provide a reasonable prediction tool for nonconvective strong wind gusts. Additionally, the results warrant more complete evaluations once the dataset has grown to sufficient size.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Robert E. Hart, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, 503 Walker Bldg., University Park, PA 16802-5013.

Email: hart@ems.psu.edu

Abstract

This paper presents results from pilot studies of the use of model-generated hourly soundings to forecast nonconvectively produced strong wind gusts. Model soundings from the operational Eta and Meso Eta Models were used for a period of 14 months in 1996 and 1997. Skill does exist in forecasting strong to damaging surface wind gusts, although the forecasts are at the mercy of the model-based boundary layer stability forecast. The wind gust forecasts are more accurate during the daytime, when the boundary layer depth and stability is more accurately forecasted and also more conducive to vertical mixing of boundary layer winds. The results of this preliminary evaluation show that the model sounding–based forecasts provide a reasonable prediction tool for nonconvective strong wind gusts. Additionally, the results warrant more complete evaluations once the dataset has grown to sufficient size.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Robert E. Hart, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, 503 Walker Bldg., University Park, PA 16802-5013.

Email: hart@ems.psu.edu

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