MELBOURNE, FLA. — Dr. Steven Lazarus, Florida Tech assistant professor of meteorology, has received a $97,000 grant from NASA to extend an ongoing
collaborative effort in meteorology between Lazarus and NASA’s Short Term Prediction Research and Transition center (SPoRT).
The project involves development of a model climatology of the sea breeze circulation. “An advantage of using a model is that, unlike observations, model
data are available everywhere,” said Lazarus.
Researchers will configure a model over a forecast region that includes the eastern Gulf of Mexico, peninsular Florida and the Florida coastal waters of
the western Atlantic. They will conduct model simulations using high-resolution sea surface temperatures to create a low-level wind-dependent climatology
of the sea breeze and related circulations.
Results from the simulations will be used primarily in two ways. First, they will promote better understanding of the sea breeze under different low-level
flow scenarios; and second, they will help in evaluating aspects of the model physics — especially the marine boundary layer and precipitation.
Ultimately, this work would help improve mesoscale weather forecasts and help guide model development and model improvements. Mesoscale systems are larger
than individual thunderstorms, but smaller than weather systems with horizontal dimensions of several hundred miles.