88th Annual Meeting (20-24 January 2008)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Houston LDAR II network: An evaluation of LDAR derived parameters with traditional NLDN metrics in southeast Texas thunderstorms
Exhibit Hall B (Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Joseph W. Jurecka, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and R. E. Orville
Poster PDF (185.7 kB)
Since the early 1980s, researchers have collected and analyzed cloud to ground flash information using metrics such as the number of strokes in a flash (multiplicity), stroke current, and flash rate. In recent years, distributed networks capable of mapping lightning radio frequency sources at VHF frequencies have been established to examine total (cloud-to-ground plus intracloud) lightning. One such network is operational in the Houston area and is comprised of twelve sensors.

A comparison of flash parameters from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) is made with data obtained from the Houston LDAR II network. The work focuses on relating the multiplicity and peak current of lightning with the spatial extent, mean height, and volumetric extent of three-dimensional lightning as mapped by the LDAR network. It was shown that increasing multiplicities over the range one through five exhibit, on average, a lower flash extent. Higher order multiplicity was also found to suggest lower mean lightning source heights. Finally, there appears to be an inverse correlation between high peak currents and expanded flash extent.

LDAR data has also been found to be useful in short term aviation forecasting within the National Weather Service and a brief overview of this use is also presented.

Supplementary URL: