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Evaluation of Alberta Hail Growth Model Using Severe Hail Proximity Soundings from the United States

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  • 1 Storm Prediction Center, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | 2 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Abstract

A one-dimensional, coupled hail and cloud model (HAILCAST) is tested to assess its ability to predict hail size. The model employs an ensemble approach when forecasting maximum hail size, uses a sounding as input, and can be run in seconds on an operational workstation. The model was originally developed in South Africa and then improved upon in Canada, using high quality hail verification data for calibration. In this study, the model was run on a spatially and seasonally diverse set of 914 modified severe hail proximity soundings collected within the contiguous United States between 1989 and 2004. Model output was then compared to the maximum observed hail size for each proximity sounding. Basic verification statistics are presented, showing that the HAILCAST model exhibits considerable skill that can be of use to the operational severe weather forecaster.

Corresponding author address: Ryan Jewell, Storm Prediction Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072. Email: ryan.jewell@noaa.gov

Abstract

A one-dimensional, coupled hail and cloud model (HAILCAST) is tested to assess its ability to predict hail size. The model employs an ensemble approach when forecasting maximum hail size, uses a sounding as input, and can be run in seconds on an operational workstation. The model was originally developed in South Africa and then improved upon in Canada, using high quality hail verification data for calibration. In this study, the model was run on a spatially and seasonally diverse set of 914 modified severe hail proximity soundings collected within the contiguous United States between 1989 and 2004. Model output was then compared to the maximum observed hail size for each proximity sounding. Basic verification statistics are presented, showing that the HAILCAST model exhibits considerable skill that can be of use to the operational severe weather forecaster.

Corresponding author address: Ryan Jewell, Storm Prediction Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman, OK 73072. Email: ryan.jewell@noaa.gov

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