Flash Size and Rates Relative to the Evolving Kinematics and Microphysics of the 29 May Kingfisher Supercell Observed during DC3

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 11:00 AM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Elizabeth DiGangi, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and D. R. MacGorman, C. L. Ziegler, M. I. Biggerstaff, D. Betten, and E. C. Bruning

A supercell thunderstorm formed as part of a cluster of severe storms near Kingfisher, OK on 29 May 2012 during the Deep Convective Clouds & Chemistry (DC3) experiment. This storm produced 5 hail, an EF-1 tornado, and copious lightning over the course of a few hours. For part of the storm's lifetime, observations were obtained from mobile polarimetric radars and a balloon-borne electric field meter (EFM) and particle imager, while aircraft sampled the chemistry of the inflow and anvil. In addition, the storm was within the domain of the 3-dimensional Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (LMA), and the WSR-88D radar KTLX. Flash rates, very high frequency (VHF) source densities, and charge analyses are examined to give an overview of the storm's electrical nature.

For this paper, the focus is on the evolution of the flash size distribution as it relates to the kinematics and microphysics of the storm for the ~30-minute period when triple-Doppler coverage was available. Flash rates were increasing rapidly during this time. The initiation locations and flash extent density of flashes are determined, as well as their timing and areal extents. These flash parameters are then compared to storm microphysics and kinematics as observed by radar and as retrieved in a Lagrangian analysis. The inferred charge structure of the storm and its evolution are also compared to these flash parameters. When the storm matures, flashes in an around the updraft are typically small, and they tend to increase in size as distance from the updraft increases.