An Investigation into the Impacts of Land Use/Land Cover on Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Activity

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Nathan Owen, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS; and P. G. Dixon

Cloud-to-Ground (CG) lightning activity for synoptically-weak days during the years 2001 2011 was analyzed across the lower Mississippi River valley. The goal was to determine whether certain land use/ land cover (LULC) types were more conducive for convective thunderstorms' generation of CG lightning than other LULC types. Results indicate that forested regions receive more CG lightning than any other LULC type represented in the study area. However, results also indicate that CG lightning activity can be enhanced locally by very large and/or sprawling areas of urban LULC. For example, Memphis, Tennessee, exhibits statistically higher CG lightning in urban areas compared to the other LULC types in the immediate vicinity. Alternatively, Little Rock, Arkansas, Texarkana, Arkansas, Shreveport, Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, still exhibit the typical pattern of forested areas receiving statistically higher CG lightning than other LULC types.