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Application of a 3D DBSCAN SCIT algorithm to the characterization of storm cells

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Application of a 3D DBSCAN SCIT algorithm to the characterization of storm cells
Washington State Convention Center
John Trostel, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Severe Storms Research Center, Atlanta, GA ; and J. L. Matthews

A newly developed 3 dimensional (3D) DBSCAN Storm Cell Identification and Tracking (SCIT) algorithm has been developed by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Severe Storms Research Center (SSRC). This 3D SCIT algorithm has been used to analyze the temporal evolution of several storm cell characteristics including lightning and other, more conventional cell parameters. Some of the lightning characteristics examined include the number and ratio of positive and negative flashes and the magnitude of flashes. Changes in lightning flash rates and ratios prior to the development of tornadic storms have been noted in past storms.

The flash rates and temporal characteristics determined using the new 3D DBSCAN algorithm are compared to results previously obtained from a severe storm outbreak determined using a less sophisticated two dimensional (2D) DBSCAN SCIT algorithm. The new 3D DBSCAN SCIT is also applied to severe storm events in Georgia in which the lightning characteristics have not been previously examined.