Dr. William Gallus, Jr. – Mentor Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University


Accurate forecasting of MCSs is an incredibly important aspect of operational meteorology, given their propensity to cause damage to property and loss of life. Studies regarding MCSs vary greatly, but few examine parameter efficacy in predicting the initiation point of a given warm-season MCS in the Great Plains. This study examined the efficacy of five parameters: 700mb warm-air advection (WAA), 850mb mixing ratio, 850mb equivalent potential temperature advection (πœƒπΈ), surface frontogenesis, and 850mb convergence. 29 cases were analyzed in total. None of the analyzed parameters proved to stand out in accurately predicting an MCS initiation point in terms of distance from the parameter maximum to the MCS centroid, the direction of the parameter maximum with respect to the MCS centroid, and the latitude and longitude differences between the parameter maximum and centroid of the MCS. One parameter did have potentially useful results. 700mb WAA was found to be to the northeast in 50% of the cases, indicating a potential correlation. In general, there does not appear to be a parameter that works substantially better than others that forecasters should use above others when forecasting MCS initiation location.

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Samuel Luthi

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