LightningCast in cold air

December 11th, 2021 |
RealEarth presentation of GOES-16 Clean Window infrared along with contours of LightningCast Probability (10 (blue), 25 (cyan), 50 (green) and 75 (purple) %). GLM Flash Extent Density is also shown. Data are every 5 minutes from 0700 – 1000 UTC on 11 December 2021 (Click to enlarge)

LightningCast probabilities are part of the ProbSevere portfolio, and they are available in RealEarth (link). This machine-learning product relates Band 13 and Band 15 observations to the probability of lightning occurrence (in daytime, Band 2 and Band 5 are also used). When your blogger was awakened by thunder (at 0826 UTC), as cold rain fell on the roof, he naturally thought: “I wonder what LightningCast is doing?” The animation above shows probabilities increasing as lightning developed over southern Wisconsin. Initial lead time for lightning from the probabilities is not big — but probabilities do expand and encompass the region that is experiencing lightning. The time of the lightning did match the closest approach of the surface low, as shown in this 0900 UTC surface analysis.

That lightning was produced in near-freezing surface temperatures reflects the vigor of this extratropical system that spawned a deadly tornado outbreak over the mid-Mississippi River Valley and lower Ohio River Valley (SPC Storm Reports).

Comments are closed.