The SPoRT Center regularly works to display unique data in products, such as total lightning from ground-based lightning mapping arrays (LMAs), in the Weather Service’s display system; AWIPS II. However, there is occasionally an opportunity to try a different method for specific operational applications. One of those opportunities came with the Morristown, Tennessee forecast office. Here, the collaboration was looking for a web-based visualization in order to better collaborate with emergency managers. Feedback to SPoRT requested the need for a real-time display that could animate the data, auto-update, and allow zooming to a feature that would not reset with an update. Additionally, there was a need to make this functional on mobile devices.
This has resulted in the test display shown here of the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array flash extent density from July 1, 2015 from 1:30-4:00 PM (Central). Like the more traditional display in AWIPS II, this flash extent density highlights the main storm cores where the updraft is intensifying, shows the spatial extent of total lightning, and even highlights several long flashes into the stratiform region behind the main convection, as shown in the still images below. While the display is just in a development state now, it is demonstrating the potential for how to bring these data to emergency managers and Weather Service forecasters who may be in the field and not in the office, such as for special outdoor events.
The two images below show a still image from 2:14 PM (Central) of the total lightning flash extent density and the corresponding radar reflectivity.