Land Cover Types Associated with Warm-Season Convective Cloud Enhancement in Northeastern Mississippi
Worley, Crystal Francis
In northeastern Mississippi, land cover types vary from agriculture, forests, urban surfaces, pasture, to bodies of water. Substantial evidence exists supporting the contribution of land cover and land cover discontinuities, or physiographic transition zones, to cloud formation on synoptically benign days in many areas across the globe. However, research is lacking on the specific type of land cover and/or land cover discontinuities that convection favors in the warm season. The objective of this study was to develop a synoptically benign convective cloud climatology for northeastern Mississippi and compare this climatology to land cover to determine whether a relationship between land cover type and convective cloud enhancement exists. The study shows a statistically significant clustered pattern occurring in the study area. In addition, enhanced convective events appear to favor land use regions of evergreen needleleaf forest; dryland, cropland, and pasture; and savanna. The study indicates that these three land cover types occur significantly more frequently for the enhancement points than in the study area. The findings support the existence of a significant relationship between land cover and convective enhancement in northeastern Mississippi and provide opportunities for additional future research on relationships between land cover and convection to improve forecast applications and our knowledge of mesoscale circulations.