Outstanding Publication Award

James Wilson and Daniel Megenhardt

Using 32 days of data from the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification (CaPE) field project in Florida, this paper shows how the area's longer-lived multicellular storms - those more likely to cause serious damage - are sustained. Analysis shows that the formation and duration of these storms is related to the vertical wind shear and storm motion relative to two recurring boundaries, the East Coast Sea Breeze Front and the West Coast Front. By calculating the boundary-relative cell motion, forecasters can use these findings to improve storm forecasts, including those issued by automated systems. This represents a fundamental advance in short-term storm forecasting, with the findings already being applied in New Mexico, Alabama, Virginia, and Australia.

Wilson, J. W., and D. L. Megenhardt, 1997: Thunderstorm initiation, organization, and lifetime associated with florida boundary layer convergence lines. Monthly Weather Review, 125, 1507-1525