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The Washington D.C. Lightning Mapping Array (DCLMA)

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Capitol Ballroom AB (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Scott D. Rudlosky, NOAA/NESDIS, College Park, MD; and D. Kahn, S. J. Goodman, R. J. Blakeslee, J. Bailey, and K. Ambrose

The Washington D.C. Lightning Mapping Array (DCLMA) is a joint demonstration project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and 10 local site hosts. The DCLMA has been operational since 2007, providing detailed 3D lightning observations that inform decision makers about the severe weather and lightning threats. The network consists of 10 sensors that monitor very high frequency (VHF; MHz) radio waves (radiation sources) emitted by lightning. These total lightning observations provide detailed insights into the structure and evolution of convective storms, and help protect lives and property. This paper illustrates many uses of DCLMA data, including severe storm research, public safety outreach efforts, and preparations for the next generation geostationary satellite series (GOES-R), which will house a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). Several recent projects have helped improve the visibility of the DCLMA and demonstrate its value for severe weather analysis and public outreach. This paper describes these recent efforts and discusses several significant weather events in the D.C. region that provided opportunities to collaborate with the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang (CWG).