ProbSevere LightningCast Probabilities for Guam

September 15th, 2022 |
RealEarth display of Himawari-8 Band 13 (10.4 µm) infrared imagery and LightningCast Probability contours, 1320 – 1420 UTC on 15 September 2022 (Click to enlarge)

At the request of the National Weather Service forecast office in Guam (where the National Weather Service’s day begins), CIMSS is computing a small region of LightningCast Probabilities that uses Himawari-8 data. The Guam forecast office issues a lightning ‘advisory’ if lightning is possible or occurring within 20 mi of the Guam Airport, and a lightning ‘warning’ if lightning is possible/occurring within 5 mi of the airport. LightningCast probabilities will help in this task. Forecasters will be evaluating its performance in the coming weeks.

LightningCast imagery is available in a RealEarth instance here (at that website, there is a small drop-down menu titled ‘Select Sector’; Choose Guam). An example animation is shown above. (Guam is located at the outer fringes of Typhoon Nanmadol in the image) In contrast to the scenes under GOES-East’s and GOES-West’s view, GLM data are not available. In the forecast office, ground-based lightning sources are available. This animation (from John Cintineo, CIMSS) shows LightningCast probabilities with Earth Networks Total Lightning. Animations online, as shown above, show only Himawari-8 data and LightningCast probability contours.

As with GOES-R LightningCast computations, Himawari-8 uses Visible (0.64 µm), near-infrared (1.61 µm) and infrared (10.41 µm and 12.3 µm) observations. Resolution differences at 1.61 µm (1 km for GOES-R and 2 km for Himawari-8) and slight differences in infrared spectral responses, especially for band 13 (centered near 10.33 µm for GOES-R and 10.41 µm for Himawari-8) may have an as-yet unknown impact on LightningCast probabilities.