Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Brian Tang

Abstract

The greater Albany region is unique in regards to its terrain. The various mountain ranges and river valleys play a significant role in convective patterns due to modification of flow. The purpose of this research is to compare the days of convection, both severe and non-severe, to the large scale flow pattern. Lightning data from the National Lightning Detection Network was used to analyze the role terrain plays in organizing convection and the associated lightning. The greater Capital Region was divided into 0.1° grid boxes, and the number of total lightning strikes (both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground) was recorded within that box for each convective day. The days were then analyzed to find the flow directions using the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR). After analysis these events were predominantly in the westerly and southwesterly synoptic-flow regimes. The results show that the flow direction does have an influence on the preferred locations of lightning and convection in the greater Capital Region of New York.

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