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Texas A&M University: "A Doppler (WSR-88D) lightning study of the 19 April 1992 severe storm outbreak"

Final Report

During the Spring of 1992, Texas A&M University and the National Weather Service Office in Houston conducted a field program that acquired radar and lightning data on over 20 significant weather events. Radar data were obtained from the Texas A&M 10-cm Doppler radar and the NWS WSR-88D Doppler radar. In addition, seven lightning direction finders recorded the location of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes, flash multiplicity (number of strokes), and first stroke polarity and peak current.

This project was a study of the evolution of one set of supercell storms which occurred on 19 April 1992 and produced large hail and funnel clouds. Reflectivity and velocity data from the WSR-88D and the Texas A&M Doppler radars were analyzed to describe the development of the storms and the associated cloud-to-ground lightning characteristics. Results thus far indicate that the storm of 19 April and also 7 April 1993 were characterized by positive lightning in the stratiform regions and negative flashes primarily in the convective regions. Although the project has ended, analysis is continuing as part of a masters' thesis work which is expected to be completed in early 1995.

A side benefit of the study has been the development of the capability of overlaying lightning flash characteristics onto WSR-88D Doppler radar plots.