34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


Behavior of lightning and updrafts for severe and non-severe storms in northern Alabama

Elise V. Schultz, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and W. A. Petersen

The relationship between updraft, precipitation ice, and lightning flash rate is hypothesized to be the physical connection between a lightning “jump” signature and manifestations of severe weather. Herein we further examine this connection using dual-Doppler wind retrievals, dual-polarimetric radar and total lightning data collected in and around Huntsville, Alabama. The retrieved three-dimensional wind fields were compared to total lightning flash rates and precipitation ice computed using UAH/NSSTC ARMOR dual-polarimetric data. Particular attention was paid to the timing of updraft and precipitation ice pulses relative to changes in the lightning flash rate.

Our results indicate that consistent underlying relationships exist between updraft, precipitation sized ice, and lightning flash rate. However, the correlation strength differed between storm types with non-severe and single cells storms performing the best overall in this study. The relationship between total precipitation ice mass and mean lightning flash rate for the non-severe and single cell storm types exhibited the best linear correlation within the study. Other relationships evaluated include comparisons between the variables of total and mean precipitation ice mass and precipitation ice water path, updraft volume, and mean lightning flash rate. The comparisons involving updraft volume to the various precipitation ice variables yielded the lowest correlation values. Temporal differences in the lightning flash rate with the remaining variables was also analyzed, however, this did not significantly affect the result of the prior comparisons with no temporal difference.

Poster Session 6, Severe Weather and Mesoscale Meteorology
Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, President's Ballroom

Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page