S97 Determining Optimal Lightning Warning Radii for Kennedy Space Center

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Kaitlyn Brown, United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, CO; and R. S. Wacker

Florida is the lightning capital of the world and the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) is the first line of defense concerning lightning safety for Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station operations. The 45 WS issues lightning advisories and warnings for rings centered on specified points of interest, such as launch pads, in the Cape Canaveral area. Each ring currently has a 5 NM radius. This research analyzes detected cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and Phase II lightning warnings issued from 2011 to 2016 to determine how varying the radii for each lightning ring affected the amount of time spent under lightning warnings. It is hoped that this data will enable the 45 WS to assist its various lightning warning customers to determine the optimal lightning warning radii for their facilities of interest.
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