Second Conference on Meteorological Applications of Lightning Data


Houston LDAR network performance, data usage, and first results

Brandon Ely, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, Texas; and R. E. Orville and L. D. Carey

The Houston LDAR II Lightning Network, composed of 12 VHF Time-of-Arrival sensors, began real-time operation in late July of 2005. The network is centered over the Houston Metro area with an average distance of 25 km between sensors. Each sensor is configured to the maximum data resolution of 100 μs, which allows the detection of up to 10,000 lightning sources per second. This data is archived onto hard disk at each sensor for retrieval and future analysis. Due to network bandwidth constraints, the real-time data, used for thunderstorm warning, is decimated to 50%. Additional information on network performance and reliability will be presented.

Real-time data is disseminated to participating schools, colleges, & businesses through an easy to use website. The website graphics consist of 2 min intervals of LDAR lightning sources plotted on a simple plan view of the Houston Metro region. These plots can also be run in half-hour loops to observe the direction of motion and change in intensity of storms. In the future, the possibility exists to create customized plots and warnings for each organizations needs.

Archived data will be used to analyze the three-dimensional electrical structure of thunderstorms in the Houston area in an attempt to understand how the urban environment influences electrical activity in storms. Along with dual-doppler radar data from the SMART-R mobile radar and WSR-88D, analysis of the electrical development as related to three-dimensional storm motions and thunderstorm intensity will be conducted. Preliminary case study results will be presented.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (728K)

Poster Session 2, Observational fusion and application of lightning data in the earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM, Exhibit Hall A2

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