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A severe weather climatology for the WFO Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina County warning area
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  • Description:
    "This study documents a 13 - year climatology of damaging convective wind gusts (DW , defined as an instantaneous wind gust of at least 25 ms - 1 ) and large hail (LH , defined as hail that is at least 1.9 cm [ 3/4 inch ] in diameter) , and a 58-year climatology of tornadoes (TO) in the Greenville - Spartanburg, South Carolina (GSP) County Warning Area (CWA). The climatology analyzes severe weather occurrence in terms of long-term and seasonal frequency and favored time of day. These analyses reveal distinct differences between the climatology of the mountainous areas and that of the foothills and Piedmont. While DW are the most common form of severe weather over the region, the disparity between DW and LH frequency in the Piedmont is much greater than that of the mountains. Summer is the favored time of year for DW in the Piedmont, but portions of the mountains experience peak DW activity during the spring. TO are most frequent during the spring, suggesting that they are generally associated with large-scale, baroclinic weather systems. Meanwhile, the tendency for DW to peak in summer implies they are most typically associated with convection that develops in response to the diurnal heating cycle. Since LH peaks in the late spring and early summer, it may occur with organized storm systems, or with diurnal convection. It is inferred from the DW climatology that they typically occur in moist, weakly sheared environments, suggesting that localized wet microbursts are the most common form of severe weather event across the GSP CWA. Finally, while the early afternoon is the favored time of day for severe weather across the mountains, middle to late afternoon is more favored over the foothills and Piedmont. This reflects a progression of convection developing over the mountains during the early afternoon and moving downstream into the lower elevations later in the afternoon, a scenario that is often observed during the late spring and summer"--Abstract.
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