2002 Annual

Sunday, 13 January 2002
Lightning Training from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training: 19992001
Bard Zajac, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and J. F. Weaver and D. E. Bikos
Poster PDF (112.1 kB)
In early 1999 the National Weather Service (NWS) / Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) began a focused effort to provide training on lightning to NWS forecasters using distance-learning techniques. The goal of this effort is to integrate cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data into the forecast process. This training is motivated by the fact that CG lightning data has been made available to forecasters only recently with the deployment of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) completed in June 1999. In this article, I summarize the four lightning teletraining sessions presented from 1999-2001 and the on-line resources available to NWS forecasters.

The first session, "CONUS CG Lightning Activity," discusses the operation and performance of the National Lightning Detection Network and then examines the occurrence of CG lightning in space and time over the contiguous United States and the forecast areas of participating offices. No distinction is made between negative and positive CG lightning in this session. The second session, "Lightning Meteorology I: Electrification and Lightning Activity by Storm Scale," covers thunderstorm electrification and negative and positive CG lightning activity in isolated storms and mesoscale convective systems. Well-established theories on electrification and CG lightning are introduced and then used to explain lightning activity in four AWIPS cases. The third session, "Lightning Meteorology II: Anomalous Lightning Activity and Advanced Electrification," reverses the organization of Part I to reflect the uncertainly surrounding some lightning-producing storms such as positive strike dominated storms. In Part II AWIPS cases of severe and winter storms are presented first and then advanced theories are offered to explain the anomalous behaviors. The fourth session, "Advanced CONUS CG Lightning Activity," examines the occurrence of negative and positive CG lightning over the contiguous United States and the forecast areas of participating offices based on knowledge gained in Lightning Meteorology I and II.

In addition to the four teletraining sessions, the "VISIT Lightning Links" web site contains links to a variety of lightning topics including tutorials, general information, observations, forecast utility, research, safety, and detection. The "VISIT Lightning Q & A" web site provides a forum for dialog between operational and research meteorologists.

Supplementary URL: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/lightning_on-line_resources.html