Examining Sub-flash Properties of lightning from GLM for tracking and intensification characterization of thunderstorms (249)

Anita LeRoy, NASA SPoRT / University of Alabama in Huntsville-ESSC, Huntsville, AL

Christopher Schultz, Marshall Space Flight Center

Nathan Curtis, Univeristy of Alabama in Huntsville-Dept. of Atmospheric Science / Marshall Space Flight Center

Doug Kahn, University of Alabama in Huntsville-Dept. of Atmospheric Science

Lawrence Carey, University of Alabama in Huntsville-Dept. of Atmospheric Science




Among the new instrumentation of the GOES-R series of satellites is the GOES Lightning Mapper, or GLM, which is the first geostationary optical imager observing total lightning behavior over the US. Other lightning datasets, like ground-based lightning mapping systems, provide real time lightning observations and have been used to prepare forecasters for using lightning data methodologies, even total lightning, in operations for severe weather warning and lightning safety.

One such methodology is to use total lightning flash rate from ground mapping arrays to produce a &ldquolightning jump&rdquo algorithm, which identifies the sudden increase in flash rate that corresponds to an increase in updraft intensity. The lightning jump algorithm (LJA) for LMAs has been utilized in NWS offices and is shown to have operational value for identification of thunderstorms that are undergoing rapid intensification. A logical next step is to analyze the relationship of updraft intensity and other storm characteristics to GLM observations to develop a lightning jump algorithm for geostationary use that is consistent within the entire field of view. In addition to flash rate, however, GLM observes energetic properties of lightning, including radiance and continuing current, which might correlate more strongly to specific microphysical behaviors in storms than flash rates alone. In this study, we will show results demonstrating the utility of sub-flash characteristics (e.g., GLM events, GLM groups, flash radiance) within the greater context of storm behavior to produce new methodologies to identify rapidly intensifying thunderstorms within the GLM field of view.