The Use of Network Lightning Data to Detect Thunderstorms near Surface Reporting Stations

View More View Less
  • 1 Techniques Development Laboratory, Office of Systems Development, National Weather Service, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

Relationships between network lightning data and hourly thunderstorm observations were examined for the northeastern United States, Oklahoma, Florida, and the western United States to provide additional information on the possible effects of using lightning data to replace or supplement the hourly observations. Identification of thunderstorms for three of the four regions was found to agree closely with the hourly observations, provided the network reports were accumulated for a radius of 48 km or more about the station. The best agreement was found over Florida where high ground-flash densities resulted in a greater likelihood of both observer and network recording a given thunderstorm, In the immediate vicinity (8 km) of a station, use of lightning data from current national or regional networks would not provide observations comparable to the manual observations of thunderstorms due to the poor agreement between the two sets of observations at this radius. Selection of an 8-km radius would result in a decrease of nearly 75% in the number of thunderstorms detected by the network relative to that reported by the observer.

Abstract

Relationships between network lightning data and hourly thunderstorm observations were examined for the northeastern United States, Oklahoma, Florida, and the western United States to provide additional information on the possible effects of using lightning data to replace or supplement the hourly observations. Identification of thunderstorms for three of the four regions was found to agree closely with the hourly observations, provided the network reports were accumulated for a radius of 48 km or more about the station. The best agreement was found over Florida where high ground-flash densities resulted in a greater likelihood of both observer and network recording a given thunderstorm, In the immediate vicinity (8 km) of a station, use of lightning data from current national or regional networks would not provide observations comparable to the manual observations of thunderstorms due to the poor agreement between the two sets of observations at this radius. Selection of an 8-km radius would result in a decrease of nearly 75% in the number of thunderstorms detected by the network relative to that reported by the observer.

Save