Cloud and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Activity Associated with Hurricane Arthur

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 2:00 PM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Amitabh Nag, Vaisala Inc., Louisville, CO; and R. L. Holle

Hurricane Arthur traveled from south-southwest to north-northeast along the east coast of the United States over the period of June 30–July 5, 2014. The path of Arthur was such that at most times its center was within 150-200 km of the U.S. mainland, a region that is within the detection range of the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). During 2013, network-wide updates were made to the NLDN that resulted in performance improvements (Nag et al., 2014). In addition to a cloud-to-ground flash detection efficiency of about 95%, a cloud flash detection efficiency of around 40-50% is expected within the interior of the network (e.g., Murphy and Nag, 2014, Cummins et al., 2014). The median location accuracy for cloud-to-ground lightning within the interior of the network is expected to be 200 m (e.g., Mallick et al., 2014). These characteristics are expected to remain fairly constant to about 150-200 km off the U.S. coastline before gradually deteriorating at longer distances. Several notable features occurred during the life cycle of hurricane Arthur. There was a period of well-organized lightning activity associated with the outer bands toward the south and south east. Additionally, there was an outbreak of lightning near the eye on 03 July when the hurricane was east of Jacksonville. Previous studies of tropical cyclones were conducted with cloud-to-ground lightning data only. In this study, we will examine the cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning activity associated with hurricane Arthur. It seems that nearly all cloud lightning activity during the hurricane was in the same general location as cloud-to-ground flashes. We plan to study the temporal and spatial distribution of cloud and cloud-to-ground events and flashes associated with this hurricane during its entire life cycle.