Impacts of Land Use Land Cover on the Life Cycles of Thunderstorms

Authors: Weibo Liu*, Florida Atlantic University
Topics: Physical Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: LULC, Thunderstorms, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Different LULCs have different influences on thunderstorms and rainfall. The most dramatic anthropogenic LULC modification of natural environment is arguably urban development. There is a large body of literature that illustrates the urban rainfall effect around the world. Water bodies can lead to increased availability of local moisture and may impact mesoscale circulation. Irrigation and wet soil can also increase thunderstorms. The general consensus from the previous research indicates the existence of rainfall anomalies in and around different LULCs. So far, there is no observational and modeling effort that studies the effects of LULC by examining the life cycles of individual thunderstorms. This research examines the effects of different LULCs such as water bodies, urban areas, wetlands, and forests on the life cycles of thunderstorms. The study area is the whole Florida state. Florida has one of the highest average precipitation levels of any state, in large part because afternoon thunderstorms are common in much of the state from late spring until early fall. Hurricanes pose a severe threat each year, particularly from August to October. The study spans a period of five years from 1 May 2014 to 31 October 2018, and only includes warm/wet seasons (May-October) each year. Thunderstorm life cycle extraction uses an improved centroid-based storm tracking algorithm. Then the life cycle of a thunderstorm is linked to the LULCs.

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