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AMU Operational Examples - Radar and Outflow Boundary Detection

The AMU develops tools and techniques for customer's operational weather analysis and display systems.

Radar and Outflow Boundary Detection

Radar and Outflow Boundary Detection

The AMU staff develops solutions to work with customer's operational systems to include the Meteorological Interactive Data Display System (MIDDS) and the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). The AMU has also developed operational tools for customers to use with Microsoft® Excel© and web browsers.

The links below contain select examples of operational tools developed by the AMU for our customers.


Radar and Outflow Boundary Detection MIDDS and AWIPS Tools
Brush fire results in a tornado at KSC Anvil Threat Sector
Objective Lightning Probability
Excel-based Tool Web-based Tool
Upper-level Winds Assessment Climatology of Lightning Probability

Radar and Outflow Boundary Detection

This loop of radar reflectivity illustrates the difficulty in forecasting at KSC and CCAFS. It shows numerous complex boundary interactions initiated by the sea breeze, thunderstorms and a brush fire. These boundary interactions result in a tornado at KSC.
  • In frame 1 (1526 UTC) there are no discernable boundaries.
  • In frame 5 (1550 UTC) the brush fire can be seen as a yellow-orange region near the center of the image in northeast Orange County.
  • In frames 5-10 (1550-1626 UTC) the plume from the brush fire can be seen moving southeast as thunderstorms begin to form in the western region of the images that are also moving towards the southeast.
  • The sea breeze is difficult to detect until frames 17-20 (1711-1727 UTC) where it can be seen on the mainland just west of KSC and moving west. Also during this time, thunderstorms are seen at the top of the image propagating to the south, likely along the sea breeze front.
  • A thunderstorm is evident downwind of the brush fire by frame 30 (1817-1822 UTC) and the thunderstorm north of KSC continues to move south.
  • A very distinct circular outflow boundary is visible from the brush fire thunderstorm beginning with frame 33 (1831-1837 UTC) and it is this outflow that generates a new storm on northwest KSC in frame 39 (1902-1906 UTC).
  • A tornado was observed at KSC and is depicted by the dark green reflectivity at the south edge of the thunderstorm over northern KSC in frame 48 (1947-1951 UTC).
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AMU Fact

A wildfire, the sea breeze and thunderstorm outflow boundaries resulted in a tornado at Kennedy Space Center in July 1995.

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