Total Lightning Data Return to Operations in AWIPS 2

WFO Huntsville has been using total lightning information from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array since 2003, when it was first incorporated into the AWIPS-1 infrastructure.  Since that time, it has been a part of the office culture.  However, when WFO HUN began testing the AWIPS-2 software last summer, we lost access to the NALMA data.

That changed recently when we installed the first SPoRT-sponsored AWIPS-2 “plug-in” which allows us to ingest and visualize NALMA data once again.  On Monday, it got its first real test as severe weather swept the southeast, and we’re pleased to say that the LMA plug-in passed with flying colors.  (In fact, AWIPS-2 in general had its best performance since testing began.)  The plug-in performed well and forecasters were excited to have access to the total lightning data once again.

Some examples of the data during the event follow.

An AWIPS-2 "Situational Awareness" display including radar mosaic, surface observations, and warning areas.  The color-filled 'blobs' overlaid atop the radar are North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array Source Density data.

An AWIPS-2 “Situational Awareness” display including radar mosaic, surface observations, and warning areas. The color-filled ‘blobs’ overlaid atop the radar are North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array Source Density data.

A 4-Panel display of KHTX radar reflectivity (top-left), velocity (top-right), correllation coefficient (bottom-right), and NALMA source density (bottom-left) at 2042 UTC, right around the time tornado warnings were issued for portions of northeast Alabama.

A 4-Panel display of KHTX radar reflectivity (top-left), velocity (top-right), correllation coefficient (bottom-right), and NALMA source density (bottom-left) at 2042 UTC, right around the time tornado warnings were issued for portions of northeast Alabama.

Several pockets of significant wind damage were reported, and storm survey crews will be out today surveying possible tornadoes.  We did not notice any lightning jumps prior to the most significant damage, but forecasters did make note of a few jumps in other cases.

4 thoughts on “Total Lightning Data Return to Operations in AWIPS 2

  1. Brian, this is great to see! Thanks for the post and I will look forward to hearing more about how the plug-in worked during this event.

  2. The SA display itself isn’t new–it just happened to be a good example! We’ve had the capability of viewing those data in that combination before. The difference is that AWIPS 2 provides the opportunity to overlay multiple images like LMA and radar mosaics on top of each other (which A1 did not).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s