TJ15.2 Ground-based Lightning and Electric Field Measurements (Invited Presentation)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 4:30 PM
2AB (Washington State Convention Center )
Kenneth L. Cummins, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Since the establishment of the first U.S. national-scale lightning detection networks in the late 1980’s, lightning information has steadily grown in value and use in meteorological applications. Today, this is exemplified by the by the broad use of multiple lightning datasets by industry and weather-service forecasters, as well as by hundreds of research scientists.  The ultimate expression of the importance of this information is the inclusion of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) as one of the central instruments on the upcoming GOES-R series of satellites, with first launch to occur in late 2016.

This presentation will provide an overview of ground-based lightning locating systems from the perspectives of detection methodology, performance characteristics vs. needs, and meteorological/climatological applications. These applications will be discussed in terms of the complimentary nature of lightning information when coupled with other systems and observations. Possible future directions in lightning detection will be presented, focusing on contributing more value to the meteorological community. This presentation will conclude with a brief overview of the thunderstorm-driven electrical environment we live in, including the fair-weather field that in-part reflects the global nature and strength of deep convection.

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