Using Total Lightning Cell Tracking to Improve Convective Nowcasts

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Mark Hoekzema, Earth Networks, Germantown, MD

The density of data from the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network, the largest total lightning detection network, has made it possible to track individual thunderstorms by using clustering algorithms to group flashes. Lightning cells can be tracked each minute for lightning density, area, direction and speed. Merging and splitting of cells can also be determined using the same clustering algorithms to follow the core of the thunderstorms as they develop, decay and regenerate. Using this lightning cell data with speed and direction, forecasts in the nowcast time frame (0-3 hours) can be greatly improved by applying convective probability adjustments to each time step. Results will show that tracking lightning cells and forward propagating these cells in time and space generate much improved convective forecasts across the entire continental U.S.