3.8 Optimizing Prediction of Lightning Initiation by Identifying Towers of Supercooled Water with Dual-Polarization Radar

Monday, 8 January 2018: 3:45 PM
Room 16AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Omar A. Nava, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH; and W. P. Roeder

The 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) provides comprehensive weather support to America’s space program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and Patrick Air Force Base. The most frequent weather advisory issued by 45 WS are lightning watches and warnings with over 2,500 issued per year on average. The Air Force Institute of Technology developed a new method to predict lightning initiation by identifying towers of supercooled water using dual-polarization radar. This new method provided a slight improvement over the previous traditional radar method. This study will reanalyze the previous data to see if further improvements are possible. Longer lead-time while maintaining high skill is especially desired. Improved lightning watches will improve personnel safety and save considerable funds via more efficient processing for space launch funds and helping maintain the space launch schedule.
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