Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A New York State Mesonet Based Analysis of Squall Line Cold Pool Strength and Uses for Short Term Forecasting
by Reese, Daniel, M.S., State University of New York at Albany, 2019, 95; 22619203
Abstract (Summary)

The recently finished New York State Mesonet (NYSM) has a network of 126 standard surface sites and 17 vertical profiler sites across the state. This high density network allows for a wide range of potential uses in research and operational forecasting. One such use is in the area of severe thunderstorm forecasting, where mesoscale and storm scale features can become highly important. This thesis examines three case studies, events from 2017–2018 that produced long-lived, high impact squall lines which moved across the state. As the squall line’s cold pool has long been recognized to play a critical role in squall line evolution and maintenance (Rotunno et al 1988), several metrics are used to analyze each cold pool’s behavior using the NYSM standard sites while the vertical structure of the cold pools were analyzed using the profiler sites. The surface cold pool metrics are then correlated to metrics of damaging wind potential in the squall line, to find any potential relationship that may aide in short term forecasting.

It is seen in this thesis that short term changes in temperature, equivalent potential temperature (theta-e), and pressure are all useful metrics in assessing a squall line’s cold pool strength, though each has different benefits and drawbacks. The strength and maturity of the cold pool can also be assessed through the profiler sites, with stronger and more mature cold pools being deeper and more intense near the surface, with a stronger rear inflow jet aloft. Finally, statistical and spatial correlations are analyzed between time series of the three cold pool strength metrics and two time series of squall line wind damage potential, with time lagged correlations being calculated as well. It is seen that the short term changes in cold pool strength also served a role in indicating the potential for wind damage in the present and near future. Areas of increasing pressure rises are best correlated with areas of more concentrated Local Storm Reports (LSRs) at the same time, indicating a likely usefulness in nowcasting. Areas of increasing short term temperature and theta-e drops are best correlated with an increase in LSRs 15–30 minutes later, indicating a likely usefulness in short term forecasting of squall lines such as these.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thorncroft, Christ D., Bassill, Nick
Commitee:
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Meteorology, Atmospheric sciences
Keywords: Cold pool, Mesonet, Observations, Squall line, Thunderstorm
Publication Number: 22619203
ISBN: 9781085672696
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