31st Conference on Severe Local Storms Call for Papers


The 31st Conference on Severe Local Storms (31SLS), sponsored by the AMS and organized by the AMS Committee on Severe Local Storms, will be held 21-25 October 2024 in Virginia Beach, Virginia & Online. 

Severe Local Storms: Supporting the Next Generation of Observations, Theory, and Practice

Oral and poster presentations are solicited on a broad range of topics related to severe local storms and their associated hazards, including tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds, damaging winds, and extreme precipitation. We invite presentations on studies ranging from physical understanding of severe convective storms and their processes and hazards, to forecasting and nowcasting severe storm events, to how we educate, train, and communicate information about severe local storms to the next generation of scientists and the public. We especially encourage submissions for presentations focusing on convective storms in the Eastern United States, communication of severe weather concepts in the classroom and beyond, and how we can leverage increasingly large sets of observations and model data to produce novel insights into the processes of severe storms.

Presentations on the following scientific themes are solicited:

Advances in Satellite-Based Approaches to Understanding Severe Storm Dynamics

Satellites have long been used to identify the potential for severe weather and assess certain information about severe storms. This session focuses on recent advances related to any use of satellite data and/or storm-top features. We invite presentations that use observations or modeling to understand storm-top features, storm dynamics and/or their connections to severe hazards.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: A New Frontier in Severe Local Storms

The rapid adoption of AI/ML as tools to both forecast severe storms and understand their dynamics demonstrates the widespread impact these tools are having on our community. This session solicits abstracts that cover a range of AI/ML applications in the SLS domain, including but not limited to, forecasting at all ranges of scales, explainable and interpretable AI, physics-informed learning, model development, deep learning techniques, and the research-to-operations transition. We also encourage submissions that discuss lessons learned and null results when applying AI/ML to SLS research questions to fully understand the limits of these new tools.

Climate Change, Large-Scale Processes, and Drivers of Severe Weather Variability

Understanding the driving factors that lead to the highs and lows of severe weather occurrence in response to large-scale patterns, oscillations, or phenomena is increasingly important. This session focuses on topics including how a changing climate will influence severe storm events and hazards, how climate oscillations modulate frequency through teleconnections at the synoptic scale, and how the frequency of these events has changed in the past.

Communicating Severe Weather Concepts in the Classroom and Beyond

Severe convective storms often inspire awe and substantial interest in the general public, as well as students taking courses in meteorology. Yet, storms are also a source of many misconceptions and misunderstandings, and it can be challenging to successfully communicate their complex physical processes both within and outside of the classroom. This session welcomes recent efforts leveraging novel approaches for communicating concepts regarding severe weather, including classroom activities, forecaster training, unique approaches to outreach, and new ways to visualize data.

Hail, Hailstorms and Microphysical Processes
Hail is the fiscally most impactful of the hazards produced by severe local storms, and can arise through a variety of physical processes that are not well constrained. This session welcomes contributions that focus on theoretical modeling and observational studies of hail formation, growth and melting, methods to detect and estimate the size of hail, physical properties of hailstones, and the environments that produce them.

Heavy Rainfall and Flash Flooding: Observations, Theory, and Forecasting

Rainfall-induced flash floods yield some of the most deadly, costly, and disruptive impacts to societies worldwide. This session welcomes contributions addressing short- and medium-range forecasting of extreme rainfall rates, including recent developments in machine-learning methods, translation of these forecasts into impact-based forecasts, along with observational, remote sensing, and field studies.

Interdisciplinary Research on Severe Storms and Public Usage of Information

In recent years, it has been recognized that a variety of societal, social, and behavioral factors contribute to public perception and response to weather information and warnings. This session will focus on understanding the social factors influencing high-impact storm events, how we effectively or ineffectively communicate warnings, and how we can increase resiliency to mitigate severe storm mortality and damage.

Modeling Simulations of Severe Convective Storms

Analysis and prediction of convective storms through high-resolution numerical modeling continues to advance owing to increases in computational power, as well as novel high-resolution observational datasets. This session welcomes contributions using high-resolution modeling simulations and advanced techniques such as data assimilation to better understand underlying processes in all types of severe convective storms, as well as their evolution and associated hazards.

Recent Insights from In-Situ Field Campaigns

Field campaigns provide a wealth of high-resolution information regarding the environment, structure, and local-scale processes of severe local storms that are unobtainable without direct observation. This session welcomes contributions related to findings from recent field campaigns or unique case observations and the use of observed near-storm data.

Severe Convective Storms in the Eastern U.S.

The Eastern U.S. is home to a complex environment for severe convective storms, owing to the climatological tendency for atypical environments supporting storms and hazards, as well as the presence of complex terrain and maritime influences. This session solicits contributions exploring case studies, field observations, simulations, and other work focusing on storms occurring within the Eastern U.S.

Severe Storm Statistics and Climatology

Acknowledging the recent and ongoing advancements in the availability of high-quality and high-resolution datasets to study severe storm characteristics and their environments, we solicit novel analyses based on large samples of severe storms. This theme is directed toward campaign-wide analyses of recent field observations, years or decades of observations from local storm reports, mobile platforms, ground-based radar, satellite imagery, and ballooning platforms, and comparably extensive numerical modeling experiments.

Supercell Processes, Evolution, and Hazards

Supercell thunderstorms are well-known for their intensity, longevity, and spectrum of associated hazards. Theoretical modeling or observational studies related to supercell structure, processes, microphysics and environments are solicited for this session.

Using Radar to Analyze and Predict Severe Storms

Radar provides a wealth of near real-time information regarding the structure and internal processes of severe local storms. This session welcomes contributions that focus on new or novel radar observation techniques, analysis of individual storms or associated phenomena, and how radar observations continue to evolve in support of field campaigns.

The next generation of scientists are a critical part of the severe local storms community, and we strongly encourage submissions for oral and poster presentations from both early career and student presenters. Students will be eligible for monetary awards for both oral and poster presentations. Travel awards will be available for student attendees and more information on funding opportunities for student travel will be made available soon in a separate announcement. Special sessions and events are being planned to provide professional development opportunities for early career scientists and students. 

Please submit your abstract electronically online at http://ams.confex.com/ams/ by the deadline date of 23 May 2024. An abstract fee of $120 (payable by credit card or purchase order) is required at the time of submission. Please note that some abstracts may not be accepted, depending on program constraints, relevance, and merit of subject matter. In such cases the abstract fee will be refunded. Authors should indicate their preference for an oral or poster presentation during abstract submission; those authors presenting more than one paper should clearly indicate which they prefer for a possible oral presentation. Oral presentation slots are limited; thus, authors may only request one oral submission, but are welcome to present multiple posters. Early career and student authors of posters may be asked if they are interested in giving a short 2-3 minute talk (i.e., lightning talk) to highlight their poster.

For additional information please contact either of the program chairs: Casey Davenport, [email protected] or John T. Allen, [email protected].