S135 Comparing Accuracy of Household Lightning Detectors against the HLMA (Houston Lightning Mapping Array)

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Tyler Fenske, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and D. W. Koeritzer, C. J. Schwartz, B. J. Toy, D. Grabbs Jr., S. N. Lane, M. S. Nichelson, and T. Logan

Handout (7.2 MB)

The average consumer relies on easy-to-use devices in order to stay updated and safe during dangerous situations that can arise quickly, such as weather phenomena. Lightning detectors are just one example of these devices, and are used to alert people of dangerous nearby lightning. These devices have varying degrees of sophistication, with differences in detection ranges and accuracy. The purpose of this study is to test and compare the accuracy of four household lightning detectors. To complete this task, we first select events based upon their likelihood to produce lightning and its proximity to our location. We then document the number of strikes that each detector records within each range category for a particular event over a period of time. We then compare this data to observations from the Houston Lightning Mapping Array Network (HLMA), an established and precise regional lightning detection network operated by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. The number of lightning strikes per range category detected by the LMA will be used as “ground truth”. The accuracy of each detector compared to each other as well as the LMA will be shown.
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