S147 Analysis of Lightning Observations from Intense Convection in Argentina

Sunday, 12 January 2020
Gregory E. Melo, Univ. of Louisiana, Monroe, Monroe, LA; Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and T. J. Lang

Lightning data gathered from the RELAMPAGO (Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/Microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations) field project was processed to create data products, as well as animations and charts to help analyze thunderstorms in the Cordoba province of Argentina. The RELAMPAGO field project ran for about 6 months (November 2018 through April 2019) and had a network of 11 Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) stations. These LMA stations listen in Very High Frequency (VHF) channels for static caused by lightning and time stamp the noise source using Global Positioning System (GPS). Time-of-arrival analysis of the noise sources at each LMA station enables mapping their 3-D positions. The 3-D lightning dataset gathered from these LMA stations can be used to look at the bulk structure of a thunderstorm and understand how it evolves over time. Focus was placed on creating Level 1 (VHF lightning source locations), Level 2 (lightning flash identification), and Level 3 (gridded lightning observations such as flash extent density) data products and associated quicklook imagery and animations for the last portion of the LMA deployment, 11 February through 19 April 2019. Ample notes were made of lightning behavior and network performance for each thunderstorm day. LMA data prior to 11 February 2019 had already been processed.

Using Jupyter notebooks, further analysis was done when coincident in situ precipitation charge observations were available for thunderstorm cases on 20 December 2018 and 17 March 2019. These case days provide the ability to compare and contrast both normal polarity (17 March) and anomalously charged (20 December) storms. Time series plots were made for mean flash altitude, mean flash area, mean flash total energy, and flash rate near the precipitation charge sensor, and compared to precipitation charge time series. Sensitivity studies were performed using adjustments to minimum points per flash and maximum distance from the precipitation charge sensor.

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