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A numerical and climatological investigation of deep convective cloud patterns in south Florida




McQueen, Jeffery T., author
Pielke, Roger A., author
Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, publisher

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Climatological characteristics of thunderstorm activity over South Florida are presented by processing and compositing digital visible and infrared satellite imagery collected during the summer of 1983. To describe the physical processes associated with the occurrence and patterning of the satellite observed deep convection, averaged quantities of numerous synoptic variables were calculated for days which made up the satellite composites. A three-dimensional mesoscale model is also utilized to investigate the physical processes associated with the deep convection patterns over South Florida. The model incorporates the interaction between the sea breeze forcings and the synoptic flow as well as the effects of variations in the ground surface characteristics. The satellite composite results demonstrated that the deep cumulonimbus activity over South Florida on synoptically undisturbed days during the summer is strongly focused in specific geographic regions of the peninsula. Moisture availability on the synoptic scale was found to be the most important control on the percentage of afternoon deep convective cloud activity. Also, strongly correlated with the amount of afternoon deep convective cloudiness over the peninsula was the morning (0800 EST) deep cumulus activity over water. The specific locations of thunderstorm activity were mainly found near maximums in sea breeze and local scale convergence of low-level moisture and wind. The patterns of these sea breeze fields are controlled by the different types of ground surface, and by the speed and direction of the synoptic flow.


July 1985.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 168-171).

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Thunderstorms -- Research -- Florida
Convection (Meteorology) -- Florida


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