NWS Lightning Science & Technology Program - Mitigating Impacts of Lightning on Lives and Property with Total Lightning Data and Comparison to Severe Weather Events
As of late Spring 2014, NOAA personnel had access to National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) CG lightning data (CONUS) and GLD 360 VLF lightning data (covering most of Western Hemisphere) from Vaisala Inc., as well as to the Earth Network Inc. Total Lightning Detection Network (ENTLDN) covering CONUS. NLDN data had been always available on AWIPS, but required a change of encryption code. GLD 360 data had been available in experimental mode between 2000 and 2010, went offline for 2-3 years, and then became available as an operational source of long range lightning activity in 2012. From September 2012 until present, NOAA forecasters and scientists have accessed ENTLDN data via ENI servers and have displayed the data via a visualization package called Streamer-RT, separate from the AWIPS environment. ENI has graciously offered to stream data (in pulse and flash formats) to 4-5 offices of NOAA that perform development of code that would enable the processing and visualization of total lightning data on AWIPS II; these offices can process and display the data on NCEP AWIPS (N-AWIPS) platforms. The goal of implementing advanced visualizations beyond Streamer-RT on AWIPS platforms is still reachable for many total lightning products. The initial set of products will include point locations of CG and Total Lightning (CG + IC), as well as simplified versions of gridded displays at defined temporal and spatial resolutions. Many developers have been involved with processing and display of current and future total lightning based products (not just with ENI data but with Lightning Mapping Array and new Vaisala data), and their interaction with AWIPS developers/coders will be paramount.