June 28, 2018 to July 12, 2018
Project Location: 
Central Florida
Project Description: 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Convective-Boundary Research Engaging Educational Student Experiences (ERAU CBREESE 2.0)

Principal Investigators: Shawn Milrad, Chris Herbster, and Dan Halperin
Where: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
When: 28 June -12 July 2018
Facilities: CSWR Doppler on Wheels and Moblie Mesonet



Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Convective-Boundary Research Engaging Educational Student Experiences 2.0 (ERAU CBREESE 2.0) was a 15-day Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) and Mobile Mesonet (MM) educational deployment from the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the NCAR Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) Program. ERAU CBREESE 2.0 ran from 28 June–12 July 2018 across Central Florida. Building off the success of ERAU CBREESE in May 2015, the educational deployment was designed to observe and measure sea-breeze processes and convection during the warm season, with a specific focus on Central Florida sub-regions that contain multiple mesoscale breezes and boundary collisions. It was the first LAOF educational deployment to involve both a DOW and MM.

The ERAU Principal Investigators (PIs) were Dr. Shawn Milrad, Dr. Chris Herbster, and Dr. Dan Halperin. ERAU CBREESE 2.0 was offered as a “Summer B” (second summer term) three-credit course for ERAU undergraduate Meteorology majors and minors. Nine ERAU students participated in the course (2 meteorology majors, 7 meteorology minors). We had seven Intense Observing Periods (IOPs) over the length of the deployment, as shown in Fig. 1.

Figure 1: Google map of Central Florida with DOW deployment locations for the seven IOPs marked by the blue pins. Five of seven IOPs were focused on the Cape Canaveral area, with the remaining two focused on Tampa Bay.

The objectives of ERAU CBREESE 2.0 were to:

  • Incorporate the DOW, MM, and other mobile observational tools into a three-credit course that provides experience in real-time data collection and analysis.

  • Perform scientific and educational outreach to the Central Florida community, including K–12 students.

  • Investigate sea-breeze processes and related convection in two Central Florida susubregionsCape Canaveral and Tampa Bay) that are known for multiple mesoscale breezes and boundaries, boundary collisions, and prolific warm-season lightning. Specific scientific questions to be investigated include:

    • What percentage of secondary boundary collisions and/or mergers accentuate existing convection? Specifically: bay, lake, and river breezes in both sub-regions will sometimes intensify pre-existing sea-breeze thunderstorms. As such, what are the distinguishing characteristics of mesoscale circulations in intensifying events?

    • What role do local secondary (i.e., bay, lake, river) breezes play in lightning initiation and frequency?

The remainder of this report is organized as follows: section 2 recaps IOP and class procedures, section 3 details outreach activities, section 4 reviews PI and student assessments of the deployment, and section 5 discusses lessons learned and future work.