Analysis of Convective Parameters in South Florida (144)

Larry Kelly, NOAA/National Weather Service, Miami, FL

Thomas Gard, University of Miami

Stephen Konarik, NOAA/NWS Miami, FL

Kevin Scharfenberg, NOAA/NWS Miami, FL



Forecasters at the Miami National Weather Service Forecast Office complete a daily convective worksheet to analyze the potential for thunderstorms, severe weather, and heavy rainfall for the day. This analysis considers 13 parameters from the 1200 UTC Miami sounding. Although many studies quantify values of these parameters relative to severe thunderstorm potential in the U.S., there are none tailoring the values to South Florida. The objective of this study is to better understand dozens of parameters and associated meteorological conditions conducive to severe weather in the South Florida area. Using the RAOB program, which calculates numerous convective parameters from soundings, typical values that correspond to days with reports of strong (45-57 mph winds or hail less than 1 inch in diameter) and severe (tornadoes, 58+ mph winds, or hail at least 1 inch diameter) thunderstorms were determined. The verifying reports were collected from the office's internal database as well as the NCDC Storm Data publication. In addition to the results providing forecasters added tools in interpreting convective potential, they will be incorporated into the RAOB program itself, classifying the parameters as low, medium, or high threat for severe weather. The results are expected to improve the accuracy of convective forecasts for the Miami National Weather Service Office.