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Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University: "The utility of total lightning for warning of pulse-type thunderstorms within the central Appalachian Mountains region."


In the central Appalachian Mountains region of the United States pulse-type convection within warm, moist air masses is the dominant summertime convective mode. Despite lacking organized convection, a pulse thunderstorm can produce large hail and/or severe wind gusts when the precipitation core collapses. This phenomenon is challenging to warn for based primarily on radar data and with more than just a few minutes of lead time, and false alarm rates for severe pulse thunderstorms are relatively high Research over the past 25 years has established the utility of total lightning as an indicator of thunderstorm intensity, evolving to focus on rapid increases in flash rates (“lightning jumps”) as evidence of storm intensification to a severe level.

The overarching goal of this project is to significantly contribute to the broader assessment of the utility of the forthcoming GOES-R total lightning product for short-term prediction of thunderstorm intensity with the following main objectives: