Displaying LMA Source Density During Severe Weather Operations

The LMA Source Density Product has been a very useful tool during severe weather operations, particularly when used in conjunction with radar data. At WFO Morristown TN, an AWIPS bundle has been created that allows for quick evaluation of the LMA Source Density data along side radar data. The Panel Combo Rotate feature in AWIPS is utilized to display multiple radar elevation slices in a four panel display while also displaying other radar products and the LMA data.

The example below is from a supercell that moved across southern Middle Tennessee (in Lincoln County in the WFO HUN area).

The first image above shows the base bundle, and the second image shows it when the image toggle is used.

The following products are displayed in the above bundle:

Upper left panel: All-tilts reflectivity (first image), image toggle with VIL (second image).

Upper right panel: All-tilts SRM Velocity with TVS Rapid Update (first image), image toggle with digital VIL (second image).

Lower left panel: LMA Source Density with 5 minute lightning and Hail Index (first image), image toggle with VIL Density (second image).

Lower right panel: All-tilts Velocity with Digital Mesocyclone Data (first image), image toggle with Enhanced Echo Tops (second image).

Using the Panel Combo Rotate feature in AWIPS allows for the images to be looped in time, as well as looping through radar elevation slices. The four panel display allows for quick and easy comparison of radar features with the LMA data.

One interesting note with this particular storm – the NLDN 5 minute lightning data only showed one lightning strike, while the LMA Source Density values was very high – over 200. The high LMA Source Density value indicated the presence of large hail, confirmed by a large three-body scatter spike.

Doug Schneider, WFO MRX

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