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Lake Nona students make splash at 100th AMS conference

Lake Nona High School was only high school to present at conference

Students from Lake Nona High School shared their project at the 100th American Meteorological Society Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
Students from Lake Nona High School shared their project at the 100th American Meteorological Society Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. (WKMG)

BOSTON, Massachusetts – Students from Lake Nona High School shared their projects at the 100th American Meteorological Society Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lake Nona was the only high school to present at the conference.

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AP Calculus teacher Kimberly Chafin and students HaeJean Kwun, Henry Okonkwo, Matthew Fraze and Nathan Waskiewicz worked on different projects with the 45th Weather Squadron.

This is the fifth year of a collaborative research program between the students and the 45th Weather Squadron.

The program consists of three individual studies:

  • Evaluation of lightning launch commit criteria
  • Florida weather-related fatalities
  • Tropical cyclone deaths in the contiguous United States

Group 1 analyzed the frequency of lighting in launch commit criteria violations finding the “cumulus cloud rule” was the leading weather factor during launch countdowns.

This happened, particularly during summer afternoons.

The study has been used for mission planning, training, launch forecasting and setting research priorities for improving launch opportunities at the eastern range.

Group 2 studied weather-related fatalities in the state of Florida showing lightning has shown the only statistically significant trend over the past 30 years. The sources of weather deaths can be used to guide weather safety education for the public.

Group 3 analyzed the fatalities related to Tropical Cyclones in the Contiguous United States.

The study shows since Hurricane Katrina, rainfall has emerged as the number one killer during tropical cyclones.

The 45th Weather Squadron has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on improving lightning launch commit criteria as a result of this collaborative research program with Lake Nona High School.


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