89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 5:15 PM
An assesment of cloud-to-ground lightning warning at Dugway Proving Ground using Kennedy Space Center algorithms
Room 131A (Phoenix Convention Center)
Margaret B. Kimball, U.S Army, Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, UT; and F. W. Gallagher
Poster PDF (86.7 kB)
Predicting cloud to ground lightning onset and cessation is one of the most crucial and challenging jobs of forecasters at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground (DPG). Test safety plans require that all test operations cease and participants seek shelter when cloud to ground lightning is within 15 km. Prior studies have utilized Electric Field Mills and National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) data to develop a warning algorithm for cloud to ground lightning around the Florida Spaceport at Cape Canaveral, FL (Murphy et. al., 2008). By utilizing a combination of NLDN detected nearby cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and increasing values of the electric field within the target warning area, a warning criterion is established.

Similar to Kennedy Space Center (KSC), the DPG has installed a network of 28 field mill stations with an areal coverage of approximately 2000 km2. While the climate of the two locations is quite different the available instrumentation and data sets are identical. This study assesses the accuracy of the Murphy cloud-to-ground lightning warning algorithm at DPG.

Verification statistics including the False Alarm Ratio, Failure-to-Warn, and Success ratio are computed for the summers of 2006, 2007, 2008 for DPG and compared to the results presented for KSC. The verification statistics indicate that the algorithm's performance at DPG is comparable to the performance at KSC. Finally, the verification statistics of the automated objective algorithm are compared to the performance of subjective forecaster issued warnings at DPG for the same period.

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