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Project TitleAnalyzing the Importance of Model Physics in Simulating Environments Associated with Tornadogenesis Within Tropical Cyclones
SummaryThe objective of this internship will be to complete a project analyzing the importance of model physics (particularly cumulus and boundary layer physics) in simulating environments associated with tornadogenesis within tropical cyclones. Numerous tornado-producing tropical cyclones will be simulated using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model with varied model physics to assess the sensitivity of those simulations on the selection of boundary layer physics and cumulus physics.
Job DescriptionTornadogenesis within tropical cyclones is a poorly understood process, primarily owing to the difficulty in isolating the tornado environment within the larger tropical cyclone environment. There is general knowledge that the right front quadrant seems to be most favorable for tornado formation, but recent work has revealed that common severe weather diagnostics have limited capability in predicting tornado formation within the tropical cyclone environment. The purpose of this project will be to assess the importance of numerical weather simulation model physics in simulating the tornado environment for previous major landfalling US hurricanes. In particular, the intern will be responsible for simulating multiple model physics configurations for boundary layer physics, cumulus physics, and cloud microphysics for five major landfalling hurricanes. In addition, the intern will be calculating severe weather diagnostics for the resulting simulations and assessing sensitivity of the resulting diagnostics to the selection of the differing parameterizations. The intern will compare 24 different model physics combinations (two cumulus parameterizations, three boundary parameterizations, and four microphysics parameterizations) for five major landfalling hurricanes that produced tornadoes on the US mainland. The intern will be using the Weather and Research Forecasting model to complete all simulations (a total of 120 simulations). A custom code written by the supervisor will be used to compute severe weather diagnostics on the resulting WRF fields, and the R software will be used to analyze sensitivity results and possibly develop a logistic regression model that diagnoses tornado environments within the hurricane simulations (as a means for identifying sensitivity of the model in assessing tornado environments).
Use of Blue WatersThis project will require extensive use of Blue Waters for both completing the 120 simulations of hurricane events and for computing the severe weather diagnostics for each event. Severe weather diagnostics require considerable integration that involves extensive computation time, which lends itself well to the Blue Waters system. We expect roughly 1000 hours of computing time will be required to complete the simulations portion of the work, after which the sensitivity analysis will be completed on a different machine.
Conditions/QualificationsSome programming and Linux experience is helpful, but meteorology experience and knowledge will be more important.
Start Date05/31/2018
End Date05/31/2019
LocationMississippi State University Department of Geosciences
Mississippi State, MS 39762-5448
Lauren Pounds