Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Byrd, Sylvia

Committee Member

Fountain, Brent

Committee Member

Cheek, Wanda

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Surface heterogeneities cause differential heating that can generate mesoscale convective boundaries, sometimes leading to cloud development and enhanced localized precipitation. A preferred cloud pattern has been identified across Maryland and the Delmarva Peninsula region from 1998-2006 through the detection of cumuliform clouds on days when synoptic-scale forcing is weak. Hourly visible Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) imagery data are used to identify convective cloud masses. This allows quantitative description of the frequency and spatiotemporal extent of the clouds, helping forecasters gain insight into when and where they are likely to develop. Despite the inability to determine the underlying causes of the distinct cloud pattern, primarily due to the complex land cover, results indicate that the land receives significantly higher average total cloud cover than the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware receiving the highest average total cloud cover per state. Average total precipitation amounts follow this same trend on synoptically-weak days.