NWS Implementation of Total Lightning in AWIPS2

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Brian C. Motta, DOC/NOAA/NWS, Boulder, CO

The National Weather Service (NWS) has been evaluating the forecast, warning, and decision support services associated with Earth Networks' Total Lightning data. Studies of total lightning have revealed promising indications that forecast and warning lead times may be extended for thunderstorms producing significant severe weather.

The NWS formed a Total Lightning Implementation Working Group to gather requirements from across the agency and provide a forum for Subject Matter Experts to contribute to the implementation planning. Among the tasks that the group encountered were the selection of the basic data set parameters, understanding network capability/performance/coverage, use of network-specific analyses, and displays with other data sets.

The NWS Training Division has worked closely with Earth Networks and lightning experts across the Weather Enterprise to ensure demonstration of total lightning applications in NOAA Testbeds prior to operational implementation in the forecast and warning process. There are many issues which still require clarification. Some of those issues included terminology (across the lightning community), utilization and comparison with other total lightning data sources, and optimal applications, analysis techniques, and displays for operational personnel.