9.4 Vertically Integrated Ice (VII): an operational lightning forecasting tool

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 4:45 PM
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
Brian Hoeth, NOAA/NWS, Houston, TX; and D. A. Hood, M. Keehn, and M. Mosier

Forecasting the onset of lightning is a great challenge in an operational setting. The NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) at NASA's Johnson Space Center routinely issues lightning advisories (watches) and alerts (warnings) for lightning within five nautical miles of the Center. The SMG has been using standard base and derived radar products, satellite, National Lightning Detection Network, and Houston Lightning Detection And Ranging data to aid in the forecast process. Recently, the SMG collaborated with the NWS Forecast Offices in Houston/Galveston and Fort Worth/Dallas to add the Vertically Integrated Ice radar-derived product from the Houston WSR-88D radar. This presentation will describe the Vertically Integrated Ice product and show examples of how the SMG is using it operationally to assist in forecasting lightning. Initial feedback from the SMG forecasters has been positive in regards to the usefulness of the product. The strengths and weaknesses of the product will be discussed along with suggestions for future work that can be done to potentially further improve lightning forecasts.
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