Monday, 12 January 2009
Predicting lightning potential on different time scales—a conceptual model and first results
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Range forecasters at the Army Test and Evaluation Command's White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) are responsible for issuing forecasts and hazardous weather warnings in support of range tests and routine range activities. Lightning poses a serious hazard for the workers and equipment. This work aims to develop a lightning prediction system for short (e.g. < 30 minutes) and longer (up to several hours) lead times. To predict lightning on very short time scales the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Auto-Nowcaster (ANC) system is used (see E. Nelson et al., this conference). For prediction of lightning on longer time scales, the skill of a combination of model forecasts and climatological parameters is tested. From the model forecast, microphysical and dynamical cloud parameters are used to compute areas of lightning potential threat. Sounding information as well as radar and lightning climatology will also be used to identify these areas. First results of a performance of such a blended system will be presented.