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Understanding Oklahoma’s Weather and Climate: The Data, the Tools, and the Technology Jeffrey B. Basara Director of Research Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Oklahoma’s Weather and Climate: The Data, the Tools, and the Technology Jeffrey B. Basara Director of Research Oklahoma Climatological Survey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Oklahoma’s Weather and Climate: The Data, the Tools, and the Technology Jeffrey B. Basara Director of Research Oklahoma Climatological Survey University of Oklahoma Oklahoma SCAUG User Group Meeting 3 June 2010

2 The Oklahoma Climatological Survey  A state entity with specific legislative mandates housed at the University of Oklahoma in the National Weather Center. 1. To acquire, process, and disseminate, in the most cost effect way possible, all weather and climate information which is or could be of value to policy and decision makers in the state; 2. To act as the representative of the state in all climatological and meteorological manners both within and outside the state when requested to do so by the legislative or executive branches of the state government; 3. To prepare, publish, and disseminate regular climate summaries for those individuals, agencies, or organizations whose activities are related to the welfare of the state and are affected by climate and weather. 4. To conduct and report on studies of weather and climate phenomena of significant socio- economic importance to the state.

3 The Oklahoma Climatological Survey  A state entity with specific legislative mandates housed at the University of Oklahoma in the National Weather Center. 5. To evaluate the significance of natural and man-made deliberate and inadvertent changes or modifications in important features of the climate and weather affecting the state, and to report this information to those agencies and organizations in the state who are likely to be affected by such changes or modifications; and 6. To maintain and operate the Oklahoma Mesonetwork, a statewide environmental monitoring network which is overseen by the Mesonet Steering Committee, comprised of representatives of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University according to its Memorandum of Agreement. The director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey shall be accountable for executing the policies of the Mesonet Steering Committee.

4 Background – The Climate of Oklahoma Historically, the assessment of climate in Oklahoma is based on two observed variables – temperature and precipitation.

5 Background – The Climate of Oklahoma Historically, the assessment of climate in Oklahoma is based on two observed variables – temperature and precipitation.

6 Background – The Climate of Oklahoma Historically, the assessment of climate in Oklahoma is based on two observed variables – temperature and precipitation.

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8 Background  Weather and climate network covering 181,186 square kilometers-- Planned  Commissioned in 1994  Joint project between the Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.  Atmospheric measurements with 5-minute resolution, available to users within 5 minutes of collection  Subsurface temperature and moisture measurements at various depths  Over 4 billion observations archived

9 Technical Details  120 remote weather stations  3300 sensors and 250 computers linked  About 700,000 observations ingested each day  2-way communications  Solar powered  30-day storage in on-site dataloggers  Produce ~63,000 products and files for users each day

10 Real-time Products

11 Products Using Archived Data

12 Weatherscope Visualization Software

13 Outreach  Earthstorm: K-12 Outreach  150 teachers educated; Over 5000 students educated to use Mesonet data in the classroom  OK-First: Public Safety Outreach  450 emergency managers educated who rely on Mesonet data and services  OK-FIRE: Fire Manager Outreach  125 Oklahoma fire officials educated to use Mesonet fire products  Agweather: Agriculture Outreach  100s of farmers and ranchers educated how to use Mesonet products and models in their farm and ranch decisions

14 Outreach

15 OKC Micronet Network of 40 stations (4 Mesonet Sites, 36 Traffic Signal Sites): ~3 km station spacing. 1-minute Data Collection – Real-time and archive quality assurance (QA). 5+ year effort. True collaboration with Oklahoma City. All sites were deployed by 1 June 2008 and the network was commissioned on 8 November ,000+ observations are collected each day (including the 4 Mesonet stations).

16 Traffic Signal Station Wifi Node Ethernet Cable

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18 Urban Heat Island Example 11 December :00 am CDT Observations at 9 m Temperature = o C Weak Wind Case

19 OKC Micronet Webpage – okc.mesonet.org

20 OCS GIS Examples  Pilot study to provide more realistic estimates of hail occurrence.  An applied climatology of supercell thunderstorms and squall lines.

21 Hail Example  OCS was posed with the question “How much hail occurs?” The “right” answer didn’t exist  The Research Plan: Using the 15 WSR-88D radars in and around Oklahoma, determine how much hail occurred over a 3 year period. Weather Decisions Technologies Inc. (WDT; a partner for this project) has a product called HailTrax, which allows hail swaths to be produced from radar data. Use the Hailswath algorithm from WDT to create hail swaths for this period. Combine GIS and Radar Data as a new method to increase our understanding of the physical processes.

22 Recent Hail

23 Raw Hailswath Output Contoured Example for Significant ( > 2.00”) and Severe Hail ( > 0.75”) Hail Example – 5 April 2003

24 2003-Significant

25 Significant

26 Supercell / Squall Line Project  Develop a GIS storm climatology dataset of supercell and squall line storm modes across Oklahoma during to quantify the spatial occurrence of storms. ► Determine the spatial characteristics of each specific storm mode:  Where are high frequency maxima? Minima?  Where do storms most frequently initiate?  What are typical storm motions over different months? ► Determine potential meteorological applications of the GIS dataset

27 Radar Data  Level-II and Level-III radar data were obtained from the NCDC online archive for sites nearest storm report data at the corresponding times for all 332 events and viewed using GRLevel2 and the NCDC Java NEXRAD Viewer

28 Example Supercell Tracking May 3, 1999 KTLX radar at 00:07:25 UTC on 4 May 1999

29 Example Squall Line Tracking May 27, 2001 KTLX radar at 03:53:54 UTC on 28 May 2001

30 GIS Representation of Supercells Tracking Points Cell Tracks Supercell Tracks Supercell Swaths

31 GIS Representation of Squall Lines Tracking Points Squall Line Tracks Squall Line Polygons Squall Line Polygon

32 Supercell Monthly Spatial Frequencies JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember All Months

33 Supercell Track Density All Supercell Tracks

34 Squall Line Monthly Spatial Frequencies JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember All Months

35 Squall Line Initiation Density All Squall Line Initiation Lines

36 Squall Line Termination Density All Squall Line Termination Lines

37 Important References Basara, J. B., D. R. Cheresnick, D. Mitchell, and B. G. Illston, 2007: An analysis of Severe Hail Swaths in the Southern Plains of the United States. Trans. in GIS, 11, Basara, J. B., B. G. Illston, C. A. Fiebrich, P. Browder, C. Morgan, J. P. Bostic, A. McCombs, R. A. McPherson, A. J. Schroeder, and K. C. Crawford, 2010: The Oklahoma City Micronet. Meteorological Applications, DOI: /met.189. Hocker, J. E., and J. B. Basara, 2008: A ten year spatial climatology of squall line storms across Oklahoma. Int. J. Climatol., 28, Hocker, J. E., and J. B. Basara, 2008: A geographic information systems based analysis of supercells across Oklahoma. J. Appl. Meteor. and Climatol., 47, McPherson, R.A., C.A. Fiebrich, K.C. Crawford, R.L. Elliott, J.R. Kilby, D.L. Grimsley, J.E. Martinez, J.B. Basara, B.G. Illston, D.A. Morris, K.A. Kloesel, S.J. Stadler, A.D. Melvin, A.J. Sutherland, H. Shrivastava, J.D. Carlson, J.M. Wolfinbarger, J.P. Bostic, and D.B. Demko, 2007: Statewide Monitoring of the Mesoscale Environment: A Technical Update on the Oklahoma Mesonet. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 24, 301–321.

38 Questions?


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