Observations of Sea-breeze Fronts Along the Houston Gulf Coast
Kocen, Michele 1962-
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Observations of sea breeze fronts along the Houston Gulf Coast were used to correlate meteorological conditions with remote sensing observations. The aim of this study was to find patterns in cloud and weather parameters during the progression and development of the sea-breeze front as it relates to the Houston geographical conditions. Houston sea-breeze is affected by both the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay waters. Often the sea-breeze produces convective single-cell rain showers. By observing patterns in the sea-breeze the goal was to better predict whether the sea breeze will produce rain showers. Specific parameters obtained included wind direction and speed, air pressure, air temperature, dew point, and relative humidity, as well as sea surface temperature. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-88D) Doppler data were used for cloud patterns and verification of rain showers. Two years (2011 and 2012) with distinctly different conditions were chosen for this study. 2011 was considered a drought year for Houston and 2012 was more of a normal climate year. Data were collected for four months of each year (June-September) based on highest probability of having a sea-breeze event. Radar and satellite data was reviewed first for possible sea-breeze days, single-cell rain shower days, and to eliminate visible rain that was caused by synoptic events. Sea-breeze days were then confirmed by looking at the meteorological conditions at various sites around the Houston area. The monthly recognizable days varied from 2 to 16. On average only 2 days a month had both single-cell rain showers and recognizable sea breeze conditions. The sea breeze could not be shown to be the cause of the showers. Overall this study provides a month by month climatology of all recognizable sea-breeze days in the Houston area.