Database Design for the Evaluation of On-shore and Off-shore Storm Characteristics over East Central Florida

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Monday, 5 January 2015
A.A Simpson, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL; and J. G. Wilson and R. G. Brown

Data from multiple sources is needed to investigate lightning characteristics over differing terrain (on-shore vs. off-shore) by comparing natural cloud-to-ground lightning behavior differences depending on the characteristics of attachment mediums. The KSC Lightning Research Database (KLRD) was created to reduce manual data entry time and aid research by combining information from various data sources into a single record for each unique lightning event of interest. The KLRD uses automatic data handling functions to import data from a lightning detection network and identify and record lighting events of interest. Additional automatic functions import data from the NASA Buoy 41009 (located approximately 20 nautical miles off the coast) and the KSC Electric Field Mill network, then match these electric field mill values to the corresponding lightning events. The KLRD calculates distances between each lightning event and the various electric field mills, aids in identifying the location type for each stroke (i.e., on-shore vs. off-shore, etc.), provides statistics on the number of strokes per flash, and produces customizable reports for quick retrieval and logical display of data. Data from February 2014 to date (at time of submission) covers over 50 unique storms. Comparison of lightning characteristics for on-shore and off-shore events and the potential for seasonal differences will be evaluated, including electric field strength, peak current, polarity, and number of strokes per flash.