Identifying Patterns of Warm-Season Convective Initiation over Northwest Mississippi
Raborn, Amanda Marie
AdvisorDyer, Jamie L.
CommitteeWood, Kimberly M.
Brown, Michael E.
The lower Mississippi River alluvial valley (LMRAV) in northwestern Mississippi is characterized by a flat landscape and predominantly agricultural land use. The fluctuations in surface heat flux throughout the crop cycle due to land cover modifications are thought to have an impact on the regional weather. This research analyzes changes in convective patterns over the LMRAV based on the rapid variations in land cover as a result of the seasonal harvest cycle. Focusing on synoptically weak days between 2012-2016, data from the GOES 13-15 satellite visible imagers were used due to their 1-km spatial resolution and ability to distinguish lower clouds over a warm surface. By comparing the spatial and temporal patterns of convective clouds, the study confirmed that convective patterns do change based on land cover evolution resulting from the harvest cycle. These changes were likely a result of low-level thermal and moisture changes resulting from variations in evapotranspiration.