Monday, 12 January 2009
Lightning forecasting before the first strike
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Cloud to ground (CG) lightning causes nearly a billion dollars of property damage and approximately 90 fatalities a year. Yet lightning warning facilities are minimal at best, and warnings primarily occur after the first strike even though there is a strong, but simple correlation with radar data and the vertical temperature profile. Such a simple correlation allows numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to forecast the lightning threat without the implementation of microphysics models to simulate cloud, hydrometeor development, and electrification. This paper describes an algorithm developed for nowcasting of the lightning threat before and after the first strike, forecasting the lightning threat using Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, and a performance assessment of the technique.