Warm Season Cloud to Ground Lightning Climatology for Georgia

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Steve Gregg, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; and S. E. Nelson

Warm season cloud to ground (CG) lightning causes significant impact to life and property in Georgia. It is the second leading cause of weather-related fatalities and causes the highest amount of property damage in the state. Forecasting convection and lightning in space and time with sufficient resolution and accuracy in the warm season has been an elusive goal. But with recent improvements in gridded forecasting techniques and understanding of convective initiation and evolution, explicit forecasts of convection and lightning on a sub-hourly scale are now feasible. This study will attempt to characterize warm season (June 1 September 30) CG lightning from the National Lightning Data Network (NLDN) from 2011 to 2013 in both space and time, and will further stratify the results into regimes of different low level wind directions and instability, as measured by mixed-layer Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). These results will allow tools to be developed to help explicitly forecast hourly probability of precipitation, convection and lightning probability in National Weather Service gridded forecasts.