92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Use of Total Lightning in Convection Growth and Decay Nowcasts
Cathy Kessinger, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and W. Deierling, E. Nelson, and M. Steiner

The Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) forecasters issue weather forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather to support range tests and routine activities. Lightning, in particular, poses a serious hazard for the workers, equipment and materiel at the ranges. To assist the forecasters, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has deployed the AutoNowcaster (ANC) system at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) and at the Redstone Test Center (RTC).

The ANC system is one of the key forecast tools in the ATEC Four-Dimensional Weather System (4DWX). The ANC is a data fusion system that utilizes NEXRAD and local radars, cloud-to-ground and total lightning data, numerical weather prediction, geostationary satellite imagery, as well as surface and upper air observations. The ANC produces 30 and 60 min nowcasts of convection initiation, growth and decay as well as 5-15 min nowcasts of lightning occurrence.

Currently, total lightning data are used within the ANC 5-15 min lightning nowcasts. However, within the ANC convective growth and decay nowcasts, total lightning data have had only recent use. Both WSMR and RTC have access to total lightning systems. In this paper, results are presented that show the value of using total lightning data in convective nowcasts. Further, results are shown that simulate a radar outage where total lightning is substituted and used to indicate convective evolution.

Supplementary URL: