321 NCAR AutoNowcaster performance using total lightning and NLDN data

Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Cathy Kessinger, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. Nelson, W. Deierling, and N. Oien

Handout (607.1 kB)

The NCAR AutoNowcaster produces time- and space-specific, short-term predictions of thunderstorms. This nowcasting system uses a data fusion technology within a fuzzy logic framework to replicate the thought processes that a human forecaster utilizes to anticipate the initiation, growth and decay of thunderstorms from a variety of input data sources. In the past, the AutoNowcaster has relied on Doppler weather radar as the primary observation data source with auxiliary data from satellite imagery, numerical model prediction, soundings and surface mesonets. For the past few years, the use of total lightning and National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) data have been tested as inputs into the AutoNowcaster to examine their potential to enhance its performance skill for storm growth and decay nowcasts. The total lightning data originates from the Lightning Mapping Array at the Army Test and Evaluation Command White Sands Missile Range. Validation results from the convective seasons of 2008 and 2009 are presented.
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