Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Omar A. Nava, PhD.


Strong winds from downbursts pose a significant hazard to personnel and launch operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The CCAFS/KSC complex has a robust mesonet from which an 18 year (1995-2012) warm-season convective wind climatology (WSCWC) was developed (Koermer 2017). While the frequency of downbursts in the area has been determined, the frequency at the individual tower locations has not. The 5-minute peak wind data from the WSCWC was analyzed to determine the geographic distribution of downburst frequency across Spaceport Florida. For this project a downburst was determined by the threshold of peak wind speeds greater than or equal to 35 kt. Data for each individual tower in the mesonet was analyzed to determine the frequency of downburst at that grid point. A distinct pattern emerged that showed downburst maxima near the coast and minima mostly over the mainland. It was hypothesized that Florida flow regimes have a significant influence on thunderstorm initiation and subsequent downbursts (Dinon et al. 2008, McCue et al. 2010, Lupo 2013).

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DTIC Accession Number