WxIntegrations is pleased to announce that CTO Elise Schultz has published her research in the National Weather Association’s Journal of Operational Meteorology. Ms. Schultz’s paper titled “Automated Storm Tracking and the Lightning Jump Algorithm Using GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) Proxy Data” is the culmination of several years of research at her current Research Associate position at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in connection with fellow colleagues at UAH and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.  

Ms. Schultz’s research is a part of the new suite of capabilities that will be available on the GOES-R satellite, scheduled for launch in the Fall of 2016.  For more information about GOES-R visit http://www.goes-r.gov/.  She was a part of a team that developed an automated tracking methodology using a combination of lightning and radar data.  The lightning data used was developed from a statistical interpretation of what the GOES-R GLM (geostationary lightning information) will see. Ms. Schultz used this data set and combined radar and lightning tracking methodology and severe storm reports to evaluate the Lightning Jump Algorithm (LJA).

The figure below shows the variety of data sets used in this study.

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The LJA is an algorithm that has been developed and refined over the past decade to identify when a storm is strengthening based on the frequency of lightning flashes.

The figure below shows the LJA algorithm decision flow process.

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The ability to use the LJA with GLM data will provide weather forecasters across the United States with a predictive tool to evaluate storm intensity and assist in the warning decision process when lightning activity in a storm surpasses set criteria.

Ms. Schultz has also worked with leading severe weather warning experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hazardous Weather Testbed (NOAA HWT) in Norman, OK to gather warning forecaster feedback to continue to develop and refine the usability of the LJA. The NOAA HWT is a collaborative effort between the National Weather Service and the NOAA National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL) and provides a physical space for to evaluate new scientific techniques from research to NWS operations. For more information about the NOAA HWT visit http://hwt.nssl.noaa.gov/

Congratulations to Ms. Schultz on the publication of this research. With the further refinement of this algorithm for the GOES-R, she is providing a valuable tool to weather forecasters to improve the lead time or “heads up” time for the issuance of a severe weather warnings

We are excited to be able to leverage her research to operations background as well as her knowledge of big data sets such as satellite and radar data as we develop algorithms that address specific concerns of our clients.

Link to Ms. Schultz’s paper

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