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J. A. Ernst

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Hans J. Lugt and Ernst W. Schwiderski

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Local boundary layer approximations of first order are computed for the steady laminar convection flow of a semi-infinite medium, which is produced by nonuniform axisymmetric heating or cooling of an infinite horizontal surface. Velocity, pressure, and temperature profiles as well as Nusselt numbers are presented for the Prandtl numbers 0.7 and 7, and for various Grashof and Eckert numbers. Critical Grashof numbers for a heated surface exist beyond which the flow field becomes unstable. A cooled surface always yields stable motions.

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O. H. DANIEL, H. W. BRANDLI, and J. ERNST

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Sean Ernst, Joe Ripberger, Makenzie J. Krocak, Hank Jenkins-Smith, and Carol Silva

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Although severe weather forecast products, such as the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) convective outlook, are much more accurate than climatology at day-to-week time scales, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms claim dozens of lives and cause billions of dollars in damage every year. While the accuracy of this outlook has been well documented, less work has been done to explore the comprehension of the product by nonexpert users like the general public. This study seeks to fill this key knowledge gap by collecting data from a representative survey of U.S. adults in the lower 48 states about their use and interpretation of the SPC convective outlook. Participants in this study were asked to rank the words and colors used in the outlook from least to greatest risk, and their answers were compared through visualizations and statistical tests across multiple demographics. Results show that the U.S. public ranks the outlook colors similarly to their ordering in the outlook but switches the positions of several of the outlook words as compared to the operational product. Logistic regression models also reveal that more numerate individuals more correctly rank the SPC outlook words and colors. These findings suggest that the words used in the convective outlook may confuse nonexpert users, and that future work should continue to use input from public surveys to test potential improvements in the choice of outlook words. Using more easily understood words may help to increase the outlook’s decision support value and potentially reduce the harm caused by severe weather events.

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