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WFO Huntsville, AL

WFO Huntsville, AL

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WFO Huntsville, AL

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  1. WFO Huntsville, AL Two years of LMA in operations

  2. Tennessee Alabama Who are we? • WFO Huntsville • Office started in January 14th, 2003 • Co-located with NASA, UAH • North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array

  3. + OHX HUN + BMX North Alabama LMA

  4. History of LMA data @HUN • First started ingesting LMA data into AWIPS in May 2003 • First case where used to warn: May 6th,2003 • First case used not to warn: August 27,2003 • Building cases for training on WES ~27 cases archived so far • Helped install LMA data at BMX and OHX • Also helped in the ingest of Vaisala LDAR II data at FWD

  5. How do we display in AWIPS? • 1-17km Sources within a grid box • 2km x 2km • 2 minute interval • Most people look at total of sources in a grid box, from 1-17km. (Source density) • Looking for trends in the total. • Usually displayed as a grid image.

  6. Ingest into AWIPS

  7. Alternate LISDAD II display • Along with AWIPS forecasters can interrogate data using LISDAD II software • Provides location and number of LMA/NLDN samples • Alternate to the AWIPS display if needed

  8. Case #1 • May 6, 2003 • First time LMA used in warning-decision • Line with revealing embedded supercell • History of producing tornadoes(F0-F1) • Broad mid-level rotational couplet • LMA indicated updraft rapidly intensifying

  9. 0.5 º SRM 1.5º SRM Ill-defined Rotational Couplet 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density May 6, 2003 Case 1236 UTC

  10. 0.5 º SRM 1.5º SRM Broad Rotational Couplet 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Lightning Jump May 6, 2003 Case 1246 UTC

  11. 0.5 º SRM 1.5º SRM Tightening Rotational Couplet 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Inflow Notches Fairly Intense Electrical Activity May 6, 2003 Case 1256 UTC

  12. 0.5 º SRM 1.5º SRM Tornado on the Ground 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Embedded Supercell Decrease in Sources May 6, 2003 Case 1306 UTC

  13. Radar Coverage KHTX KGWX o 0.5 Elevation Heights FROM KHTX 10889 ft MSL FROM KGWX 7559 ft MSL

  14. LMA Source Density vs. Time Jump Source Density F1 12 min 10/18/04 Case #2 • October 18, 2004 • Rotating storm near edges of radar coverage • LMA provided forecaster extra confidence in tornado warning

  15. October 18, 2004 Case 0.5 º SRM 1.5 º SRM Developing Mesocyclone/Hook 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Minimal Electrical Activity 2234 UTC

  16. October 18, 2004 Case 0.5 º SRM 1.5 º SRM Persistent Couplet 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Lightning Jump 2240 UTC

  17. October 18, 2004 Case 0.5 º SRM 1.5 º SRM Stengthening Couplet 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Slight decrease in source count 2244 UTC

  18. October 18, 2004 Case 0.5 º SRM 1.5 º SRM Minutes before tornado touchdown 0.5 º Refl LMA Source Density Continued decrease in sources 2250 UTC

  19. Case #3 • July 2, 2005 • A null case event • Significant lightning jump with eastern most storm and elevated core…prompt severe thunderstorm warning • No severe weather reported with this cell

  20. July 2, 2005 Background Info • Moist and unstable airmass in place across the region • 12z BMX sounding showed potential for wet microbursts (next slide) • Earlier storms during the day produced microbursts and wind damage • Morning HWO product mentioned isolated storms with wind gusts to 50 mph…frequent lightning and very heavy rain

  21. July 2, 2005 Background Info Thermodynamic profile somewhat favorable for microbursts; MDPI calculation of 0.94 and high CAPE also indicative of the potential for microbursts Steep low level lapse rates Moist low levels; dry mid layers conducive to microburst development 12z BMX Sounding

  22. 2 July 2005 0.5°Refl, NLDN 0.5° SRM Source Density, NLDN VIL 0100 UTC

  23. 2 July 2005 0.5°Refl, NLDN 0.5° SRM Source Density, NLDN VIL Slight increase 0110 UTC

  24. 2 July 2005 0.5°Refl, NLDN 0.5° SRM VIL increase Source Density, NLDN VIL Lightning Jump 0120 UTC

  25. 2 July 2005 25-30 kts outflow at 4 kft AGL 0.5°Refl, NLDN 0.5° SRM Decrease in sources Source Density, NLDN VIL 0127 UTC No Severe Weather Reported…Just Heavy Rain.

  26. Summary of when LMA makes largest impact in operations • Low to moderate severe events • At greater distances from the radar • Sub radar interval cell information • Detecting initial cloud to ground strikes • Local case studies have shown lead times on the order of several (3-5) minutes • Increased lead times for TAF updates and Airport Weather Warnings

  27. How we have infused LMA into operations • WES scenarios • Forecaster awareness • AWIPS procedures • Overlays: Radar/NLDN/LMA • 4 Panels: Refl,SRM,NLDN,LMA • Data Advocate

  28. Building confidence • Ensuring data reliability • Providing adequate training • Encouraging use of available datasets during events • Identifying a point of contact (program leader) at each office *Advocate • The SOO can’t do everything • Completing event reviews and case studies

  29. WES Training Archive • Number of LMA cases for training • Approximately 27 cases archived so far • Manual retrieval of LMA archive • LMA data archived on NSSTC server at the end of each day • Data retrieved for selected dates • Currently have to manually add LMA data to existing WES cases

  30. Operational Evaluations • On-line LMA survey developed for the WFO • Completed after an event in which the LMA data was used • Survey also available at Nashville and Birmingham • Case studies also completed on LMA dataset (as shown previously)

  31. Future trends of LMA in WFO HUN • Integrate total lightning information with other projects… • Convective Initiation studies • Lightning Threat Index product for EMAs • UAH Dual-Polarimetric Doppler Radar • Detection efficiency mapping • Local training/refresher • Inclusion in forecaster development plan • Blind studies to determine effectiveness of LMA data during WDM situations? • Formal publication of case studies

  32. Lightning Threat Index • Provide to Emergency Managers • Simplified illustration of lightning data • Collaborative effort with NASA • Still in developmental stages

  33. Real-time Mapping of Detection Efficiency • Useful for storms near the edges of grid • More important for offices like BMX and OHX with the North Alabama LMA • Awareness of drop off rate

  34. Team up with Convective Initiation • Dr. Mecikalski at UAH • Use together to highlight threat areas • Illustrates possible thunderstorm development next 0-2 hours

  35. Satellite-Lightning Relationships • Current Work: Develop relationships between IR TB/TBand lightning source counts/flash densities toward nowcasting (0-2 hr) future lightning occurrence • * Supported by the NASA New Investigator Program Award #:NAG5-12536 North Alabama LMA Lightning Source Counts 2040-2050 UTC 2047 UTC 2147 UTC 2140-2150 UTC kkoooooooookkkkkkkkkkk

  36. Cross Sections • Provide indication of updraft strength • Better serve aviation needs • Interpretation still uncertain • Future research

  37. Questions? • Contacts: Jason.Burks@noaa.gov (IT/AWIPS) Chris.Darden@noaa.gov (Training/Operational) Patrick.Gatlin@noaa.gov (Program Lead) Background Photo: Lake Guntersville, AL (B. Blakenship)