Day 2 thoughts


Can there be a circle (or some reference) around the NUCAPS point that I am currently using for a sounding?  That way I have a reference on the map for where the sounding is that I am looking at.

Can more than two NUCAPS sounding be loaded into an AWIPS pane?  If so, would nice be able to compare soundings/environments more easily.

Having the ability to display one NUCAPS sounding when I have two loaded in Sharppy would be helpful.  Even when loading two soundings and only have one in “focus” the two soundings overwrite each other.  Can this setup be similar to AWIPS that allows us to have multiple soundings loaded and be able to turn one or both of them on when we choose?

Compared a couple NUCAPS soundings surface conditions to the obs for a couple locations and they look reasonable.

Looking at the forecast CAPE/CIN from NUCAPS, the gridded field for CIN is quite splotchy.  Bulls eyes of much higher CIN seem overdone compared to what is expected during the mid afternoon with full sun and with what the SPC mesoanalysis has.  This would make me question how accurate it is.   Looking at the forecast, there is no consistent trend with the CIN bulls eyes, which lowers my confidence in this field. The CAPE field is more uniform, though still splotchy.  The areas of higher CAPE are more consistent, giving me more confidence in this field than the CIN.  Is there a way to average out this field more to make it smoother?  If so, that would greatly increase my confidence in this parameter and my likelihood of using it in the future.

Noticed the surface based CAPE in AWIPS vs. Sharppy was quite a bit higher in Sharppy.

Compared the ML CAPE in a modified NUCAPS sounding in AWIPS and an unmodified NUCAPS sounding in Sharppy and the modified lined up much more closely with the SPC mesoanalysis page.  The the ML CAPE in the unmodified sounding in Sharppy was too low.  Surface based CAPE was actually more representative in the unmodified sounding.

As mentioned earlier, would be nice to compare more than two sounding points for NUCAPS to aid in comparing the environment more easily.

Having the NUCAPS 2m temperature and DP in F instead of C would be much more useable and easier to compare to surface observations.

Noticed the 2m temperature for the gridded NUCAPS was cooler by 5-8 C compared to the observations.  This makes me looks confidence with the CAPE and CIN plots if the surface temperatures are not accurate.  Is there a way to grid the modified NUCAPS data?  When I forecast I like to view parameters in a gridded fashion in the horizontal.  This helps me better understand what is going on with the environment.

Compared the NUCAPS 700-500mb lapse rates to those on SPC’s mesoanalysis page and found the NUCAPS was close, but on the cool side.

In our data sparse CWA, I can see these soundings as being quite useful, as long as forecasters understand the low levels (assuming below 850mb) are less likely to be representative.

Taking a look at the minimum flash area…

Difficult for me to really see any sort of trend with the 1 minute data.  Nothing really catches my eye.  The 5 minute data is much more easy to see trends.  

As mentioned yesterday, am able to see more valuable information with trends in the storm than with flash density.


Looking at the optical winds…

The background is a bit too dark.  Can the Lat/Lon be put below the imagery?  Having it above seems to detract from what is being displayed.  Adding state borders, cities, would add to the usability of this product, especially if these labels can be turned on and off.

I like being able to pan the image.

I can see this being handy for monitoring for LLWS for aviation, assuming there are clouds to track.  Could this data be merged with NUCAPS to plot shear and helicity?   

Changing the density of the vectors would be handy.  

Color coding the different levels and matching it to the key is easy to determine what level I am looking at.  

Could this track the speed of dust?  If so, could help determine how strong the winds are in dust storms.

Curious why the pressure levels are broken down into 200mb intervals.  Could the winds also be tied to theta levels to help with isentropic analysis?

Having contours for the winds would help limit information overload as far as what is being shown.  Being able to control the density of the number of wind vectors would help, however that could lose some data.  Contours of the wind vectors, say every 5 or 10 kts, could help summarize what the individual vectors are showing.



Sampling of Sub-Severe Convection Across the Southeast

Modified NUCAPS sounding appeared to have a better handle on the environment compared to baseline NUCAPS sounding. However, it also appears it might not be totally representative of the atmosphere given the partly cloudy conditions at the time RTMA data was pulled in. The SPC mesoanalysis page suggested MLCAPE upwards of 2500 J/kg in an uncapped environment.  Using the gridded mid level lapse rate product from NUCAPS we found the data to be representative. It verified well with what was shown in the NUCAPS soundings and matched with the values suggested by the SPC Meso Analysis page.


The NUCAPS mid-level lapse rates were fairly representative when compared to the SPC mesoanalysis page. This was further evidence that large hail was probably not going to be in the cards for the Jackson area today, but marginally severe wind gusts would be something to watch.


Prob Severe version 2 vs version 3, particularly in prob severe wind:

In this event, the prob severe there was a sig wx statement and severe thunderstorm warning put out by the Huntsville office. Around that time, the prob severe was increased specifically for the prob severe wind component. The version 2 had a prob severe value of 3% while the version 3 had a 53%.  Version 3 better captured the significance of the storm with a 40 mph gust reported around the same time.  This is significant since we were also discussing how filtering lower prob severe thresholds would be useful in decluttering the operational screen. We could have missed this event if that was the case (with version 2).

Based on this experience, we can see the vast improvement in the wind component of prob severe version 3.

21:16 UTC ProbSevere Sample (note V2 versus V3 differences in sample).
Local Storm Report of a measured 41mph wind gust in Colbert County AL, just north of the contoured ProbSevere storm.
1 Minute FED overlaid with ENTLN 5 minute (1 minute update) and GM Flash Point

GLM Observation:

Saw a steady lightning jump depicted in the GLM FED correlated with a storm that NWS Huntsville issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning on. Several mPING reports of wind damage (assuming sub-severe with no LSRs issued as of this time) which raises confidence that storms are intensifying. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this screenshot is seeing the parallax-correction in action when looking at the Flash Points.

Optical Wind:  

Still difficult to tell where you are geographically.  Suggestions to perhaps swap the lime green grid with the state outline colors.

Additionally, the time stamp gets cut off if you zoom in on the product and occasionally gets covered by the wind barbs themselves. Perhaps a floating time stamp would be better for this instance.

Time stamp for the image above.

A note about the timestamps:

The time stamps attached to the wind barbs appear to be formatted incorrectly, showing times like 21.97Z, note the actual time correctly formatted shown in the image below was actually 21:58Z.

– Groot and Dwight Schrute

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