Shortly after arriving for my evening shift today, I was called by a representative from an organization hosting an outdoor event in downtown Huntsville. She was inquiring about the chances for shower or thunderstorm development into the early evening hours during the outdoor event (movie in the park night). As I have grown quite accustomed to loading the GOES-R CI and total lightning products to be used for situational awareness, especially during the convective season, I referred to those to help with my assessment…in addition to radar data of course. The image below shows GOES Visible channel imagery overlaid with GOES-R CI, total lightning data, and NLDN (the latter of which may be hard to see). The location of Huntsville is labeled, and cloud motion is analyzed in the image. Notice that the GOES-R CI product indicates generally low probabilities of convection in the area of clouds to the northwest (and upstream) of Huntsville. The blue colors indicated CI probabilities of around 10-40%.
The next image shows lightning data overlaying the GOES Vis imagery…
Notice that only a few showers were located to the NW of Huntsville, but the GOES-R CI suggested further development was not likely and the total lightning (available from the North Alabama LMA) suggested these were only showers and thus not electrically active (I had looked over the previous ~20-30 mins). Notice that lightning activity was relegated mainly to the South and East of the area. This was a situation in which the GOES-R CI and total lightning data both served to provide a more complete assessment of the situation, allowing for a better forecast for one of our customers.
By the way…my forecast to her? Well, based on the evidence from the observational imagery/data…I said very small chances for any shower activity, so let the show go on! No showers ended up impacting the downtown area.