Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


The usage of radar data in the development of thunderstorm climatologies was investigated. Thunderstorm data for three WSR-88D radar and eight surface stations in North Dakota in the USA for 2002-2006 were analyzed in order to develop a reliable database for the thunderstorm cells in the state. The analysis results obtained from radar data matched with that obtained from the surface data and also with the results obtained by previous researchers. It was found that June and July are the peak months and late- aftemoon to early-morning is the peak time for thunderstorms. Each year, there are 19 to 35 thunderstorm-days at a particular place in North Dakota and 9 to 14 thunderstorm-days with peak wind reports with an overall average peak wind speed of 59.4 km/hr all over the state. The presence of the Missouri river and Lake Sakakawea leads to the presence of a high thunderstorm-initiation-frequency belt in the mid-western part of the state. The life cycle analysis for individual thunderstorm cells in North Dakota was also done and it was found that the average lifetime of thunderstorm cells is 23.6 minutes, the average track- length is 21.8 km and the average forward speed is 59.0 km/hr and the average heading varies with month from north-west to north, north-east and east directions. The distribution patterns and the life cycle characteristics of thunderstorm cells obtained in this research can further be used to develop a parametric risk model for North Dakota and southern Manitoba.



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