7.4 Characterization of Optical Energy Output in Thunderstorms to Enhance Severe Thunderstorm Identification

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 3:45 PM
North 225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Christopher J. Schultz, NASA MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and L. D. Carey, N. Curtis, K. M. Calhoun, and D. E. Bruning

The successful launch of two Geostationary Lightning Mappers (GLMs) aboard the GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites provides a new opportunity to continuously characterize lightning in storms over a geostationary field of view. The GLM provides information on flash location, flash area, and the optical intensity of the light that reaches the satellite sensor from the lightning. Numerous studies have demonstrated the value that lightning flash rates and flash area provide to identify intense thunderstorms and locations of strong updrafts. However, less understood is the magnitude and trends in optical output in a spectrum of thunderstorms, and its application to monitoring of hazardous convection. Herein, a large sample assessment of thunderstorms within the CONUS is examined to determine the temporal behavior of optical flash information relative to other radar derived and traditional lightning indicators (e.g., lightning jump). The overall goal of the work is to examine the value added of optical energy information to real-time nowcasting of hazardous weather to inform operational end users of the utility of the new parameter from the GLM instrument.
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