Name: Daniel Tripp
Title: A New Look at Southern Great Plains Winter Weather Through the High-Resolution Lens of UAVs
Location: NWC 5600
Time: 3:00 PM
Series: Weather and Climate Systems
Abstract: In the southern great plains, winter weather can have large impacts due to heavy icing and inadequate mitigation resources. The boundary between cold arctic air from the north and warm gulf moisture to the south is a consistent forecasting challenge for models even in the short-term. Studies have shown that the vertical temperature and relative humidity profiles play a key role in determining precipitation type. Even as little as a 0.5K change in temperature has been shown to alter the precipitation type observed at the surface. This study illustrates the advancements of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) technology and demonstrates the utility for UAVs in winter weather environments.
A climatology of winter storm reports was constructed for the state of Oklahoma in preparation for UAV sampling. The 2018-2019 winter season was sampled with a UAV at the Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station and was able to capture rain, ice pellet, freezing rain, and freezing drizzle soundings. Several of these flights were compared for agreement against radiosondes and the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). Results from these findings suggest a promising future for UAVs improving boundary layer measurements and winter weather forecasting.