Airport Lightning Warnings with NLDN Cloud and Cloud-to-ground Lightning Data

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 2:15 PM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ronald L. Holle, Vaisala, Inc., Tucson, AZ; and N. W. S. Demetriades and A. Nag
Manuscript (1.7 MB)

A recent study evaluated the value of significantly upgraded cloud pulse detection by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) to warn of cloud-to-ground lightning (CG) at locations such as airports. The 2013 NLDN upgrade resulted in 50% cloud flash detection efficiency and 95% cloud-to-ground flash detection efficiency. The prior study (ILMC 2014; ICAE 2014, ICLP 2014) found that adding improved NLDN cloud lightning improved the probability of detection for CG warnings by about 10%. That study used NLDN data from six weeks in late 2013, mainly over Florida. The new dataset will be for a much longer period during the warm season of 2014 over a broader area across the United States. An additional expansion of the prior study will be to consider smaller airport areas to emulate the value of lightning data for issuing warnings for segments of large airports, or for all ground operations at small airports. In addition, the value of improved cloud pulse detection will be considered during the 2013-2014 winter season during thunderstorms along the Gulf of Mexico. The goal will be to examine whether warnings during lower winter CG flash rates may show more improvement with the addition of cloud pulses than during the warm season. Warning statistics are evaluated with and without cloud lightning data. The statistics include probability of detection (POD), duration of warnings, false alarm ratio (FAR), and number of storms reported. The impact of varying outer radii, inner verification areas, and end-of-storm wait times will be examined.