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Severe Thunderstorm Forecasting: A Historical Perspective

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  • 1 Scientific Services Division, National Weather Service Central Region, Kansas City, MO 64106
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Abstract

Techniques that have evolved during the hundred years that scientific severe thunderstorm forecasts have been prepared are reviewed. The early empirical rules developed by Finley, Showalter and Fulks, Fawbush, Miller and Starrett, and others have been corroborated by more recent theoretical work. While significant efforts have been devoted to defining the severe thunderstorm environment, it is now obvious that these storms can occur under a variety of synoptic conditions. Severe thunderstorm forecasting consists in not only identifying the time and place that an environment compatible with such storms will exist but also in identifying suitable triggering mechanisms in that environment.

Abstract

Techniques that have evolved during the hundred years that scientific severe thunderstorm forecasts have been prepared are reviewed. The early empirical rules developed by Finley, Showalter and Fulks, Fawbush, Miller and Starrett, and others have been corroborated by more recent theoretical work. While significant efforts have been devoted to defining the severe thunderstorm environment, it is now obvious that these storms can occur under a variety of synoptic conditions. Severe thunderstorm forecasting consists in not only identifying the time and place that an environment compatible with such storms will exist but also in identifying suitable triggering mechanisms in that environment.

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