Conference on Meteorological Applications of Lightning Data


Applications of the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System Database

William P. Roeder, 45th Weather Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL; and J. W. Weems and P. B. Wahner

The Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) provides comprehensive meteorological services to operations at the Canaveral Spaceport in Florida. Weather is extremely important to all phases of space launch operations due to the stringent operational requirements and the subtle but dramatic weather in Florida. The 45 WS uses a dense network of local weather sensors to help provide these services. Lightning is the most important of several major weather hazards. The local network of weather sensors is especially rich in lightning detection systems. One of these local lightning detections systems is the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS). The CGLSS is a short-baseline high-performance system that provides the location, strength, and time of local cloud-to-ground lighting strikes. The CGLSS observations are saved and stored by Computer Sciences Raytheon, the Range Technical Services contractor. The 45 WS initially created a database of the saved CGLSS observations from 1987-2001 to facilitate access and use of the saved data. This database was created under the Air Force Academy Cadet Summer Research Program. The 45 WS has found this database so useful that they continually update it with the most recent observations. The current database is updated from 1987 through 2003.

This paper discusses the meteorological applications of the CGLSS database. These applications have included: climatological studies, equipment retests/validation, post fire analysis, manpower/labor analysis and scheduling, and energy analysis. Applications using the CGLSS database currently under development include creating a new local lightning probability forecast tool by the Applied Meteorology Unit contractor, investigating statistical forecasting of lightning cessation under the NASA Faculty Fellowship visiting summer scientist program, and building local flow regime stratified climatological applications by a NASA undergraduate intern.

A companion paper describing the CGLSS system is also being submitted for presentation at this conference; see "Installation, Upgrade, and Use of a Short Baseline Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System in Support of Space Launch Operations" by Hajek et al.

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Session 8, Application of lightning data in atmospheric process studies 3: Mesoscale
Tuesday, 11 January 2005, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

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