An assessment of the world wide merged cloud analysis using interactive graphics
Horsman, Stephen J.
Pfeiffer, Karl D.
Durkee, Philip A.
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The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) uses the World Wide Merge Cloud Analysis (WWMCA) to display cloud amounts onto a hemispheric stereographic projection map. The goal of this study was to verify the WWMCA against real-time surface weather observations in the same spatial and temporal scale. The utilization of MapServer, a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, to make these comparisons was essential in this study. The comparisons were 10 different Air Force bases across the continent of the United States for 16 days. Discrepancies existed between the drier climate and fair climate regions as compared to more active weather regions. Nellis and Travis AFB had higher number of verified observation as compared to the other eight bases. Maxwell AFB had the highest percentage of poorly verifying observations with 44% from the observer only results. Overall, the WWMCA did not verify well with a verification of 27% and a miss rate of 32%. Therefore, the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) needs to look at further improving cloud model output. This study shows some of the shortcomings of WWMCA cloud model data and the potential benefits to AFWA if improvements are made to cloud model output.
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