85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005: 5:00 PM
Meteorological case studies of lightning strike victims in Colorado
Stephen J. Hodanish, NOAA/NWS, Pueblo, CO
Poster PDF (1.5 MB)
With the advent of the Warning Environment Simulator (WES), forecasters at NWS offices now have the capability to review meteorological processes which occurred in the past. The NWS in Pueblo has been using this technology to document the meteorology associated with thunderstorm activity which produced lightning flashes which struck people in the state of Colorado. To date, 4 cases have been analyzed. More cases will (likely) be collected during the upcoming convective season of 2004, and these data will be added to the case studies previously examined.

Prior to the WES, it was unknown where people were located relative to the convective activity which produced the lightning flash which struck them. With the capability to examine radar, satellite and cloud to ground lightning data, we now has the capability to observe exactly where these victims were located relative to the storm. This paper will present findings from this study. It will discuss some of the difficulties associated with lightning forensic studies such as this one. It is hoped the findings from this study will better help the lightning safety community on how to advise people of the lightning threat.

Supplementary URL: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/ltg.shtml