9.1 A Composite of Lightning Observations for Verification within the United States Air Force

Thursday, 10 January 2019: 3:45 PM
North 225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Christopher J. Melick, 557th Weather Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, NE; and W. T. Sedlacek, R. J. Craig, and K. D. Burris

The United States Air Force has recently focused on verification of convective and severe weather events that impact assets within the continental United States. For this purpose, the 16th Weather Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base has plans to utilize a variety of observational datasets to identify the occurrence of lightning. This mixture of ground truth sources will include ground-based lightning detection networks, Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system proxy products, as well as the GOES-16/17 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). These independent measures of lightning occurrence and activity will be combined together into a composite system similar to what has traditionally been done for ensembles with numerical weather prediction. Instead of highlighting forecast uncertainty and a range of likely outcomes, the current version for observations can help in cross validation of convective events. Prototype example products for hourly lightning density will be offered which include composite means, maxima, minima, and exceedance probabilities. Finally, for the purposes of comparison and evaluation, corresponding ensemble hourly forecast displays will also be created. Once similar type observations are available for overseas domain areas, future plans will include an expansion globally to produce corresponding lightning verification skill scores.
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