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Tropical cyclone rapid intensity change forecasting using lightning data during the 2010 GOES-R Proving Ground at the National Hurricane Center

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 5:00 PM
Tropical cyclone rapid intensity change forecasting using lightning data during the 2010 GOES-R Proving Ground at the National Hurricane Center
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
Mark DeMaria, NOAA/NESDIS, Fort Collins, CO; and J. Knaff, M. J. Brennan, J. L. Beven II, R. T. DeMaria, A. B. Schumacher, J. Kaplan, and N. W. S. Demetriades

The next generation NOAA geostationary satellite system, beginning with GOES-R, will include a geostationary lightning mapper (GLM). The GLM will provide nearly continuous measurements of total lightning activity with a location accuracy of about 10 km. A number of studies with ground-based lightning detection networks suggest that lightning activity in tropical cyclones is correlated with subsequent intensity changes. To familiarize forecasters with the new capabilities of GOES-R, there are a number of Proving Ground demonstrations being run with the National Weather Service, where GOES-R data and products illustrated with proxy data from existing satellite and other data sources. During the summer of 2010, the National Hurricane Center is participating in the Proving Ground. To highlight the GLM's potential capabilities for improving tropical cyclone intensity forecasts, an experimental version of the operational Rapid Intensity Index (RII) was developed that adds predictors from lightning measurements. Separate algorithms were developed for Atlantic and eastern North Pacific storms. The experimental RII was developed from lightning measurements from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) from 2005-2009. Data from the Vaisala Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360) lightning network is being used for the real-time tests in 2010. WWLLN and GLD360 primarily measure cloud to ground strikes, but crude normalization factors are applied to estimate the total lightning counts. Results from the 2010 real time runs will be described, including a comparison of the validation of the RII with and without the inclusion of the lightning data.

The views, opinions and findings in this report are those of the author and should not be construed as an official NOAA or U.S. Government position, policy or decision.