Mapping Lightning Flashes from Orbit

16 March 2017

Lightning imagers on satellites are useful for measuring total lightning production with a high detection efficiency. They can also be used to document the evolution of individual lightning flashes and probe their structure in some cases. This study uses Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) measurements to identify what level of spatial and temporal development that can be detected by lightning imagers.

M. J. Peterson, S. Rudlosky, and W. Deierling

Journal of Geophysical Research, PREPARING SUBMISSION

Picture Caption: 

Example LIS Flash with Branching. Event pixels and group centers in a convective-to-stratiform flash. Greyscale: LIS group number (grey: first, white: last)

The Evolution and Structure of Exceptional LIS Lightning Flashes

16 March 2017

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently accepted new records for the longest length and longest duration of a single lightning flash. These record flashes were observed by Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) systems that monitor the VHF radio band for atmospheric sources. Lightning imagers provide a differing view on the properties and evolution of the flash. What are the flash extremes in the properties of optical lightning flashes?

M. J. Peterson, S. Rudlosky, and W. Deierling

Journal of Geophysical Research, FINALIZING SUBMISSION

Picture Caption: 

Example LIS Superbolt. Event pixels and group centers in a superbolt with continuing current. Greyscale: LIS group number (grey: first, white: last)

The Properties of Optical Lightning Flashes and the Clouds They Illuminate

16 March 2017

Why do lightning flashes illuminate the clouds in the way they do? Some flashes produce bright stationary optical pulses that illuminate a large fraction of the storm. Others are dim and move around in the cloud as they evolve. The Lightning Imaging Sensor onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite surveyed lightning flashes of all shapes, sizes, and radiances across the tropics. Because LIS is an optical imager, however, it is unclear to what extent the observed characteristics of LIS flashes are influenced by scattering in the surrounding cloud.

M. J. Peterson, W. Deierling, C. Liu, D. Mach, and C. Kalb

Picture Caption: 

Example Propagating LIS Flash. Greyscale: LIS group number (grey: first group, white: last group). Color scale: VIRS 10.8 µm Tb.

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