Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Kevin S. Bartlett, PhD.


Summer thunderstorms pose the greatest forecast challenge for the United States Air Force's 96th Weather Flight (96WF) which provides weather support for Eglin Air Force Base (AFB). Located on Florida's panhandle, Eglin AFB encompasses the Department of Defense's largest range complex which covers 134,000 sq mi (347,000 sq km) of water and 724 sq mi (1875 sq km) of land. Due to the base's coastal location and unique coastline geometry, sea breeze is a dominant forecast consideration for thunderstorms. The 96 WF currently utilizes an empirical method, called WINNDEX, developed by former staff meteorologist Roger Winn to aid in thunderstorm forecasts. It combines the use of 12 UTC sounding data and nomograms to provide a forecast for Eglin's main base area and its land range. This study sought to compare the forecasts of the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model and WINNDEX. Final results indicated HRRR forecast skill surpassed WINNDEX in most metrics which included percent correct, probability of detection, false alarm rate, bias, critical skill index, Heidke Skill Score, Peirce Skill Score, and timing error.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Meteorology Commons