1189 A Study of WRF-Generated Lightning Strike Forecasts for the Southern Sierra Nevada

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Alison F. C. Bridger, San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA; and D. Nguyen

Lightning strikes pose a number of risks including: damage to infrastructure (e.g., power poles); loss of life; and wildfire initiation. Accurate forecasts of lightning strikes would be very useful to the firefighting community (e.g., Calfire in California), to electricity supply companies (e.g., PG&E in California), and to recreational users (e.g., backpackers). The WRF model now has several algorithms which can produce lightning forecasts of products including flash density and strike count.

We present simulations with WRF focused on the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Convective activity in this region occurs in summer in association with moisture surges coming north from the North American Monsoon. Our initial goal is to accurately reproduce the general pattern of observed strikes via comparison with historical NLDN data. We will examine how well each/any of the algorithms can reproduce the observations.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner