The warning time for cloud-to-ground lightning in isolated, ordinary thunderstorms over Houston, Texas

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Title: The warning time for cloud-to-ground lightning in isolated, ordinary thunderstorms over Houston, Texas
Author: Clements, Nathan Chase
Abstract: Lightning detection over Houston , Texas is possible with the Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR -II ) network and the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN ) . A comparison of the two datasets in conjunction with 37 isolated , ordinary thunderstorms reveals a time separation of 3 .1 minutes between the first detected Very High Frequency (VHF ) source (i .e . first intracloud discharge ) and the first cloud -toground (CG ) lightning flash . This CG warning time is increased to 16 .1 minutes when using the radar -defined criterion of when the 30 -dBZ contour first reaches the -10 ?C isotherm level . Several attempts were made to establish a similar characteristic that could be used to forewarn the occurrence of the final CG in this storm type . Based on the average radar characteristics during the last CG flash in each thunderstorm case , CG activity comes to an end when the 45 -dBZ echo falls below the -10 ?C isotherm . Detection efficiencies that remain slightly less than perfect for each network may have allowed for some error when analyzing VHF sources and ground flashes for each convective case . Exhibiting this possible error , four cases actually recorded a greater number of CG flashes than intracloud flashes , which is contrary to typical lightning characteristics . Future studies hope to increase the number of thunderstorm cases to analyze as the LDAR network continues to observe more lightning events . Also , similar approaches could be implemented in differing geographic regions of the country to observe if these lightning characteristics vary depending on latitude , longitude , or climate .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2421
Date: 2009-05-15

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The warning time for cloud-to-ground lightning in isolated, ordinary thunderstorms over Houston, Texas. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2421 .

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