Comparing Dual-Polarization Radar Lightning Forecast Methods Across Southwest Utah
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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This study tests two lightning initiation prediction methods developed for the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station CCAFS and Kennedy Space Center KSC areas in the new geographical region of Utah. One method is composed of Dual-Polarization DP radar variables and the other uses non-DP radar parameters. The non-DP method, from Gremillion and Orville 1999, is reflectivity Z - 40 dBZ for two consecutive volume scans at the -10 deg C thermal height. The DP method, from Travis 2015, is Z - 36.5 dBZ with differential reflectivity ZDR 031 dB at the -10 deg C thermal height. Performance metrics, lead times, and Z and ZDR optimizations show that traditional radar parameters for lightning initiation are geographically robust and that DP lightning prediction is not geographically robust. This result suggests that radarlightning optimizations must be completed regionally to best forecast lightning. Additional results conclude that Z is the determining factor for Utah lightning initiation and that ZDR is negligible.