Journal of Operational Meteorology
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Automated Storm Tracking and the Lightning Jump Algorithm Using GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) Proxy Data

Elise V. Schultz1, Christopher J. Schultz2, Lawrence D. Carey1, Daniel J. Cecil2, and Monte Bateman3

1University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama
2NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama
3USRA, Huntsville, Alabama


This study develops a fully automated lightning jump system encompassing objective storm tracking, Geostationary Lightning Mapper proxy data, and the lightning jump algorithm (LJA)—which are important elements in the transition of the LJA concept from a research to an operational-based algorithm. Storm cluster tracking is based on a product created from the combination of a radar parameter (vertically integrated liquid) and lightning information (flash rate density). Evaluations show that the spatial scale of tracked features or storm clusters has a large impact on the lightning jump system performance, where increasing spatial scale results in a decreased dynamic range of the system’s performance. This framework also serves as a means to refine the LJA itself to enhance its operational applicability. Parameters within the system are isolated and the system’s performance is evaluated with adjustments to parameter sensitivity. The system’s performance is evaluated using the probability of detection and false alarm ratio statistics. Of the algorithm parameters tested, the sigma-level (i.e., a metric of lightning jump strength) and flash rate threshold influence the system’s performance the most. Finally, minor changes in verification methods can dramatically impact the evaluation of the lightning jump system.

Vol. 4, No. 7 (2016): PDF (2277 KB)    DOI:

Schultz, E. V., C. J. Schultz, L. D. Carey, D. J. Cecil, and M. Bateman, 2016: Automated storm tracking and the lightning jump algorithm using GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) proxy data. J. Operational Meteor., 4 (7), 92–107.


Last updated 6/28/2016 by MJB.



ISSN 2325-6184
DOI: 10.15191/nwajom/

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