1.3 Lightning Flash Sizes Relative to Storm Structure and Turbulence During the Kinematic Texture and Lightning Experiment

Monday, 23 January 2017: 11:30 AM
Conference Center: Tahoma 1 (Washington State Convention Center )
Eric C. Bruning, Texas Tech Univ, Lubbock, TX; and V. Salinas, S. M. Berkseth, M. D. Brothers, and V. C. Chmielewski

Ongoing work as part of the Kinematic Texture and Lightning Experiment at Texas Tech University has quantified the lightning flash size, rate, and energy alongside the turbulent structure of thunderclouds. 2016 was the final year of observations, which fielded two high-resolution mobile Ka-band radars and mobile environmental soundings. Lightning measurements were made by a VHF Lightning Mapping Array. In order to enhance the detection of the smallest lightning discharges in the turbulent portions of the thundercloud, a rapidly-deployable mobile Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) station augmented a traditional fixed LMA. This capability of targeting particular storm complexes with LMA measurements will be described, and the improved detection capability quantified. In combination with our experience in the VORTEX-SE campaign, we sketch a possible deployment scheme using two to three vehicles which would enable full LMA coverage for fully nomadic field projects.

The complete set of field measurements from 2014-16 sampled numerous individual cells and storm complexes, ranging in intensity from multicellular convection to supercells and mesoscale convective systems. Flash measurements coincident with radar observations included deep, highly turbulent convective cores and extensive anvil regions. Comparison of flash characteristics across these storm morphologies will be shown, with a focus on the dynamical organization of storms and the turbulent kinematics that drive differences in lightning flash sizes and rates.

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