Joshua Markel

Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Atmospheric Sciences

First Advisor

Matthew S. Gilmore


This study performed a detailed analysis of convective storms across the Contiguous United States from 77 case dates using a 4-member microphysics Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) ensemble and Stage IV gauge-adjusted radar derived precipitation. Dates included the 2016 NOAA Spring Forecast Experiment (SFE) with the remainder from 2010-2012. Quantitative attributes of precipitation objects in both simulations and observations were diagnosed using the Method of Object-Based Diagnostic Evaluation Time-Domain (MODE-TD). The microphysics schemes tested were WSM6, Thompson, Morrison, and Milbrandt.

Among all simulation case dates, compared to observations, the number of precipitation objects less than 90 km in length are overpredicted, with the WSM6 scheme greatest and Morrison scheme least. All simulation members also generally initiate and dissipate precipitation objects too early. For precipitation rates, the Morrison scheme predicts them best while the Milbrandt and WSM6 schemes overpredict the strongest rates. The microphysics biases found within this study should aid in the prediction of convective events.