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Basic Meteorology for Emergency Managers: Proactive Decision-Support for Severe Weather Events Dr. Kevin Kloesel and Mr. Dale.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Meteorology for Emergency Managers: Proactive Decision-Support for Severe Weather Events Dr. Kevin Kloesel and Mr. Dale."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Meteorology for Emergency Managers: Proactive Decision-Support for Severe Weather Events Dr. Kevin Kloesel and Mr. Dale Morris Oklahoma Climatological Survey University of Oklahoma Norman, OK 1.Training and Decision-Support Program for Public Safety in Oklahoma (OK-FIRST) 2.Severe Weather Products Available Nationally 3.Training and Other Weather Data Resources Goals Of This Presentation Improve communication with local NWS offices. Anticipate NWS warnings for better implementation. Eventually develop better decision-support systems.

2 What is OK-FIRST? An initiative by OCS to develop an all-hazard decision-support system for Public Safety Agencies (Emergency Management, Fire, and Police). Provides instruction on how to use and apply the weather data. Provides access to customized environmental information and products: Oklahoma Mesonet (115 station automated network) NEXRAD (~20 products from 15 radars + mosaics) National Weather Service text and graphic products   

3 OK-FIRST Decision-Support System Instructional material integrated into the decision-support pages aids interpretation of weather patterns and radar signatures.

4 Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts Oklahoma Fire Danger Model

5 Radar-Derived Rainfall Accumulation

6 The OK-FIRST “Curriculum” A week-long computer literacy and data interpretation workshop held at the University of Oklahoma/Oklahoma Weather Center Two-day “Assistant’s Workshops” Two-day Refresher Courses Combination of lecture materials and hands-on laboratory case-study exercises.  Completion of course provides an individual with certification to use the OK-FIRST system.  Often held regionally.  Participants must attend at least one refresher every 18 months to maintain certification.  Basic meteorology, system usage, and severe weather concepts for other officials besides the certified participant. 

7 Comprehensive glossary of weather terminology. Learning modules for basic metr. (e.g. fronts, seasons) Graphical examples of radar, NWS, and surface map products. Case studies of severe weather, flooding, and other events with online exercises and solutions.

8 One spotter was assigned to a location west of Moore. As the storms moved in, our spotter coordinator decided -- due to her OK-FIRST display -- to move the spotter a couple of miles south. It was this spotter who gave us first knowledge of the large wall cloud that eventually spawned the tornado that destroyed/severely damaged a dozen homes and apartment buildings. The spotter’s call -- along with a warning from NWS Norman -- caused us to activate our warning system, and we provided our residents about 10 minutes of warning. There were NO injuries or fatalities from the storm. The spotter later told us (numerous times) that had the EOC not moved him, he would not have been in the proper location to see the wall cloud! This scenario is EXACTLY what OK-FIRST was designed to do! It certainly worked here!!! — Gayland Kitch, City of Moore Emergency Management Impacts in Local Communities

9 Lincoln County Emergency Management Ben Springfield May 3, 1999 Tanger Mall was cleared of people before the storm arrived. Rural citizens were informed by updates broadcast on scanner and took shelter. Patients at Stroud Hospital were moved into hallways before debris filled the rooms.    Impacts in Local Communities

10 Independent Evaluation Evaluator’s Summary Finding  “The project changed the behavior of local public safety officials and their approach to decision-making. OK- FIRST [has] had a positive influence on the types of decisions they make, how they make those decisions, and when they are willing to make those decisions. They are able to provide assistance to support a wide range of government and public service functions – from providing information to schedule public works projects to deciding to cancel the little league tournament scheduled for the weekend. Thus, the benefits that can accrue from the application of the skills developed through OK-FIRST can be far ranging and varied.” — Dr. Thomas James, Institute for Public Affairs

11 Building OK-FIRST-like Systems in Your State Federal Grant Opportunities State Offices of Emergency Management, Departments of Public Safety Assistance from OK-FIRST Don’t forget to involve local NWS personnel (Warning Coordination Meteorologist)

12 Proactive Decision-Support for Severe Weather There are literally thousands of available weather products – results in bookmark clutter. ? ? ? What products do I use in what situation?

13 Proactive Decision-Support for Severe Weather Before the Event The remainder of this talk During the Event NWS Warnings & Severe Weather Statements Radar Products Tornadoes: Reflectivity, Storm-relative Velocity Hail: Reflectivity, Vertically-Integrated Liquid Winds: Reflectivity, Velocity After the Event (documentation/training) Local Storm Reports Other databases, news reports, etc. Archived warning/radar products

14 Before The Event Products Use for situational awareness Use to alert sister agencies for heads-up Use to pre-deploy resources Products issued from 7-10 days prior to the event to hours before the event.

15 U.S. Hazards Assessment NWS Climate Prediction Center (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov) 7-10 day outlook Issued weekly on Tuesdays Covers fire weather, winter weather, flooding, severe weather, and drought

16 Convective Outlooks NWS Storm Prediction Center (http://www.spc.noaa.gov) 1,2,3 day outlook Categorical and Probabilistic Outlooks Accompanying discussion

17 Day 1 Outlook outlines areas for severe thunderstorm development 6 to 30 hour outlook issued 5 times daily: 06Z (the initial Day-1 outlook, valid from 12Z to 12Z) 13Z and 16Z (the "morning updates," valid until 12Z) 20Z (the "afternoon update, " valid until 12Z) 01Z (the "evening update," valid until 12Z) Convective Outlooks    Day 2 Outlook issued twice daily: 08Z and 18Z valid for 24 hours beginning at 12Z the following day 

18 ¾” hail 50 knot (58 mph) wind tornado What Makes Severe?

19 Convective Outlook Terminology Focused on the ingredients for severe weather The stability/instability of the atmosphere Mechanisms to release the instability Mechanisms to generate upward motion Atmospheric moisture + Atmospheric moisture + vertical motion = explosive vertical motion + Precipitation wind shear? = Severe Weather

20 Stability The tendency for air when slightly displaced vertically to return to its original position Related to the change of temperature with height (lapse rate) and warm air rising/cool air sinking Terms related to stability = CAPE, Cap, Lifted Index

21 Vertical Temperature Profiles Balloon observations Twice daily in the U.S & 1200 UTC (6 AM/PM in winter) (7 AM/PM in summer)

22 Vertical Temperature Profiles surface ~5,000 ft ~18,000 ft ~30,000 ft

23 Vertical Temperature Profiles surface ~5,000 ft ~18,000 ft ~30,000 ft

24 Vertical Temperature Profiles surface ~5,000 ft ~18,000 ft ~30,000 ft

25 Vertical Temperature Profiles surface ~5,000 ft ~18,000 ft ~30,000 ft

26 Dew Point Deep Moisture Temperature surface ~5,000 ft ~18,000 ft ~30,000 ft

27 CAPE = 1207 CAPE = 2183 Lifted Index= -6 Sounding Indices “Positive” Factors CAPE = Convective Available Potential Energy Related to updraft strength CAPE above 1000 moderately unstable CAPE above 2500 very unstable CAPE above 3500 extremely unstable LI or LIFT = Lifted Index Somewhat crude method to measure instability (500 mb only) LI over 0 stable LI 0 to -3 marginal LI -3 to -6 moderate LI -6 to -9 very unstable LI below -9 extremely unstable sfc ~5kft ~18kft ~30kft

28 CAPE = 1207 Temperature Inversion (T incr. w/ height) also known as Cap SW Winds Air from Mexican Plateau “~Negative” Factors sfc ~5kft ~18kft ~30kft

29 Cap (Warm Air Aloft) 850 mb (~5,000 ft) temperature

30 Notice the “ridge” in the Central Plains and the “troughs” in the east and west. The trough is where you observe low 500mb heights (low thickness values and cold temps.). The ridge is where the highest thickness values (and highest temps.) are observed. Ridges and Troughs

31 TROUGH ‘TROF’ TROUGH RIDGE

32 Experience and physics tells us we have cold (dense) air at the poles, and warm (less dense) air in the tropics. Cold air takes up less space (more dense) than warm air. The Earth is constantly trying to reach an equilibrium (moving warm air poleward and cold air equatorward). Ever-changing ingredients stirred by troughs and ridges bring the changing weather conditions that we observe on Earth. Ridges and Troughs

33 Northern Hemisphere The real world - Notice the global “connectivity”

34 This is what we are used to, weather in “the box”.

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37 TROUGH ‘TROF’ TROUGH RIDGE

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39 Air Mass Classification

40 Temp Moisture continental DRY maritime MOIST polar or (arctic) COLD tropical WARM cP (or cA) COLD & DRY mP COLD & MOIST cT WARM & DRY mT WARM & MOIST Air Mass Classification Based on temperature (cold/warm) and moisture (moist/dry) characteristics of source region

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46 Ridges, Troughs, Fronts: Why Do We Care? Area between trough and downstream ridge is preferred area for large-scale rising motion

47 Ridges, Troughs, Fronts: Why Do We Care? Surface winds converge along/ahead of fronts/drylines = rising motion

48 OKZ TXZ ARCHER TX-CLAY TX-COTTON OK-JEFFERSON OK-STEPHENS OK-WICHITA TX- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...DUNCAN OK...WICHITA FALLS TX 347 PM CDT SUN APR TONIGHT...AN 80 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. SOME THUNDERSTORMS MAY BE SEVERE. TEMPERATURES STEADY OR SLOWLY RISING INTO THE LOWER 60S. SOUTHEAST WINDS AROUND 15 MPH..MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 70S. SOUTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH..MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE UPPER 40S. WEST WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH BECOMING NORTH EARLY IN THE MORNING..TUESDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 70S..TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS IN THE MID 40S..WEDNESDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 70S..THURSDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE LOWER 50S AND HIGHS IN THE MID 70S..FRIDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE MID 50S AND HIGHS NEAR 80..SATURDAY AND SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE MID 50S AND HIGHS IN THE MID 70S. $$ Zone Forecast Good first look, but other products provide much more specific information

49 MOISTURE ADVECTION AND ISENTROPIC LIFT NORTH OF TX FRONTAL BOUNDARY CONTINUE TO TEAM UP WITH FAVORABLE MID-LEVEL FORCING AND UPPER- LEVEL DIVERGENCE TO PRODUCE WIDESPREAD PRECIP AND EMBEDDED CONVECTION ACROSS MUCH OF AREA. SAME STORY TONIGHT AT LEAST ACROSS N AND E PARTS OF AREA AS UPPER LOW OVER NM CONTINUES SLOWLY E TOWARD OK. MINOR TO NONEXISTANT DIURNAL TEMP TRENDS TONIGHT...AND IN FACT TEMPS MAY RISE SLOWLY BENEATH LLJ AS SURFACE MOISTURE IS DRAWN N-WARD. CATEGORICAL POPS TONIGHT ACROSS MOST OF N AND E CWA. POPS DECREASING FROM SW TO NE MON...WITH LOW POPS EXTENDED INTO MON EVE ACROSS E ZONES BENEATH UPPER COLD POOL AND PROGGED LIFT. Forecast Discussion

50 AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK 342 PM CDT SUN APR SEVERE POTENTIAL... MAIN THREAT WILL BE S OF OUR CWA...BUT AREA SW OF KSPS IS ALSO A BIG CONCERN. IF SURFACE WARM FRONT AND ASSOCIATED CLEARING/ DESTABILIZATION IN WARM SECTOR PULL N INTO OUR TX ZONES...THREAT OF TORNADOES WILL INCREASE ACCORDINGLY. ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT HAIL THREAT FROM ELEVATED STORMS FARTHER NE INTO MUCH OF CWA THRU TONIGHT AS LL MOISTURE INCREASES BENEATH MID-LEVEL COOLING. CENTRAL OK PROGGED TO DESTABILIZE OVERNIGHT TO MUCAPES OF OVER 1200 J/KG. THEN THERE'S MONDAY. TIMING WILL BE CRITICAL...BUT IF ANY CLEARING/ HEATING OCCURS...AREAS E OF N-S SURFACE FRONT AND NE OF SURFACE LOW WILL DESTABILIZE ENOUGH FOR A THREAT OF COLD-CORE CONVECTION AND ASSOCIATED LARGE HAIL. FLASH FLOODING... CURRENT PLAN IS TO CONTINUE WATCH TONIGHT IN SE AS IS. PRECIP HAS BEEN LIFTING N OF WATCH AREA TODAY BUT CONTINUES TO REDEVELOP S-WARD TO NEAR RED RIVER...IN AREA OF FAVORABLE WARM ADVECTION. THIS IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE OVERNIGHT...WITH GREATEST THREAT OF EXCESSIVE RAINFALL IN SATURATED AREAS OF SE OK. Forecast Discussion

51 EXTENDED... ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT EVENT LIKELY FOR LATTER HALF OF WEEK. MOST OF THE MED-RANGE MODELS NOW TRENDING MUCH DEEPER AND FARTHER S WITH THE MIDWEEK TROF MOVING INTO THE W...BUT ARE STILL AT ODDS WITH STRENGTH OF THE ONE UPSTREAM. LEAD SYSTEM NOW THREATENS TO BECOME ANOTHER WET AND WILD ONE IN THE THU-FRI TIME FRAME...AND PROBABLY INTO SAT ESPECIALLY IF MRF IS RIGHT. SINCE GULF WILL BE RELATIVELY UNAFFECTED BY THE PRESENT SYSTEM...LL MOISTURE RETURN SHOULD BE MUCH FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT AHEAD OF THE NEXT ONE. POPS WILL BE INCREASED ALL AREAS THU AND FRI...AND CONTINUED/EXTENDED INTO SAT/SUN AS ALL MODELS MAINTAIN A WET/ACTIVE PLAINS LONGWAVE PATTERN WITH EASTERN RIDGE AND WESTERN TROF. NO CHANGE IN TEMPS. FCSTID = 24 OKC / HBR / SPS / GAG / PNC / DUA / Forecast Discussion

52 HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK 1204 PM CDT SUN APR THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK... THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT FOR EXTREME SOUTHWEST PORTIONS OF WESTERN NORTH TEXAS. THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON INTO MONDAY MORNING ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF WESTERN NORTH TEXAS AND PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA..LOCATION... THE MODERATE RISK IS SOUTHWEST OF A LINE FROM CROWELL TO ARCHER CITY. THE SLIGHT RISK IS GENERALLY WEST AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM ALVA...TO CHICKASHA...TO MADILL..TIMING... ALTHOUGH THUNDERSTORMS ARE ALREADY OCCURRING...THE THREAT OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MODERATE RISK AREA IS EXPECTED FROM AROUND 3 PM THROUGH MID EVENING. IN THE SLIGHT RISK AREA THE THREAT OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL EXIST THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT. Hazardous Weather Outlook

53 .DISCUSSION... SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BEEN WIDESPREAD ACROSS OKLAHOMA AND NORTH TEXAS THROUGH MUCH OF THE MORNING HOURS AND WILL PERSIST ACROSS PARTS OF THE AREA THROUGHOUT THIS AFTERNOON. THESE THUNDERSTORMS AND THE ASSOCIATED CLOUDINESS WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP THE AIRMASS COOL AND RELATIVELY STABLE. HOWEVER...SKIES MAY PARTIALLY CLEAR LATER THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN SECTIONS OF NORTH TEXAS. IF THIS CLEARING OCCURS... ADDITIONAL SURFACE HEATING COMBINED WITH INCREASING AMOUNTS OF LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL ALLOW THE ATMOSPHERE TO BECOME INCREASINGLY UNSTABLE...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE MODERATE RISK AREA..OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER... HEAVY RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO FALL SUNDAY AFTERNOON INTO MONDAY MORNING IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA WHERE A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT THROUGH TONIGHT. PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS PRODUCT /WGUS64 KOUN OR OKCFFAOKC/ FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE FLASH FLOOD THREAT. Hazardous Weather Outlook

54 Mesoscale Convective Discussion SPC MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0324 FOR RED RIVER REGION OF OK/TX CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM POTENTIAL... WW WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED SHORTLY FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL TX/SRN OK ALONG THE RED RIVER. PARTIAL CLEARING IS AIDING DESTABILIZATION NORTH OF SLOWLY RETREATING WARM FRONT ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL TX THIS AFTERNOON. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS HAVE DEVELOPED ALONG/NORTH OF THE BOUNDARY FROM STONEWALL COUNTY TO THROCKMORTON COUNTY...WITH GRADUAL NWD DEVELOPMENT EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. THERE IS SOME CONCERN THAT NEAR SFC-BASED SUPERCELLS WILL SPREAD NORTH OF WARM FRONT WITH VERY LARGE HAIL...AND POSSIBLY A FEW TORNADOES. FARTHER NORTH INTO OK...ELEVATED INSTABILITY WILL INCREASE AHEAD OF LARGE SCALE FORCING WITH LOW LEVEL WARM ADVECTION EXPECTED TO ENHANCE ELEVATED DEEP CONVECTION/LARGE HAIL THREAT.

55 Surface Maps and Radar Reflectivity


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