While the tropics were not in the overall experiment plan, it was difficult not to turn the attention southward to Franklin, particularly when new Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data was available. Unlike ground based, this lightning data is optical, meaning that the concept is much different from typical ground base networks. Therefore, developers at the AWC have been exploring various methods of displaying this data as a grid. Below is an example of the GLM groups, a ten minute average estimated every two minutes.
|GLM group lightning density associated with Franklin - 10 minute average every 2 minutes. THIS DATA IS PRELIMINARY AND NON-OPERATIONAL!|
|GLM group energy density associated with Franklin - 10 minute average every 2 minutes. THIS DATA IS PRELIMINARY AND NON-OPERATIONAL!|
Why gridded plots? As mentioned, GLM is an optical sensor, collecting lightning data in a very different manner than ground based networks... i.e. point data from that optical sensor does not equate to point data taken from a ground-based sensor calibrated to pick up a specific frequency. Therefore, it is important for forecasters to examine data with a different perspective than they have other lightning data in the past in order to glean it's value. For that reason, AWC has started the exploration with grids.
Over the next to weeks, we plan to take a cautious approach, keeping the known data quality issues in mind while collecting feedback and exposing forecasters to this new exciting feedback.