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Seminar – Larry Carey

March 29 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Reception 3:30, Seminar 4:00

Relationship of Lightning to Thunderstorm Kinematics, Microphysics and Severe Weather

Dr. Lawrence D. Carey, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Severe warning operations and impacts-based decision support require early and frequent updates of convective state, including updraft intensity. Historically, operational Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) dual-polarization and Doppler data have served this role effectively. With the advent of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R/S) series (GOES-16, GOES-17), there are opportunities to bring new measurements to the problem of assessing convective intensity and severity with the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instruments. The focus of this talk is on lightning measurements and their ability to quickly infer storm properties that are relevant to severe warning operations, including when fused with radar. The purpose of the presentation is to provide a conceptual framework that relates lightning observations and products to thunderstorm kinematic and microphysical properties inferred from radar and storm severity as assessed in a variety of ways. One such derived product is the lightning jump, which is an objectively determined rapid increase in lightning. The lightning jump algorithm and its potential uses will be reviewed and its relationship to radar inferred properties and storm severity will be investigated. Other trends in lightning flash rate such as the lightning dive (i.e., a rapid decrease in lightning) and other properties (e.g., flash size) will also be explored.

Applications of lightning, including the jump algorithm, fused with operational radar data in a variety of storm types (e.g., both non-tornadic and tornadic supercells, tornadoes in quasi-linear convective systems and severe hailstorms) will be presented.

Some early results of flash rate and the lightning jump implemented with GOES-16 GLM observations in severe storms will be compared with ground-based NEXRAD and Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data in a preliminary assessment. Finally, some suggestions for future research directions utilizing novel measurements of GLM, such as lightning radiance and energy, will be briefly discussed.


March 29
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Some events are still in the planning stages and don’t have specific dates yet. Those are listed here:

  • Spring Graduate Town Hall –
    Graduate students meet to discuss ongoing SAC initiatives, courses, and  general concerns.
  • Spring Undergraduate Town Hall –
    Undergraduate students meet to discuss ongoing SAC initiatives, courses, and  general concerns.