Wide World of SPoRT Blog
LMA Flash Extent Density Data Used for Warning Decision
Thu, 18 June 2015
The Huntsville office has a long history of using total lightning information from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) for warning decision-making. Since 2003, WFO Huntsville has been ingesting and receiving a source density product from NASA SPoRT. However, recently, we decided to begin migrating to Flash Extent Density (FED) data; this is more consistent with the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, more consistent with recent operational research, and easier to convey and understand. Typically we are trying to apply the "two-sigma" lightning jump algorithm suggested by Schultz et al. (2009, 2012).
The Transition of SPoRT Satellite Products to AWIPS II
With the transition of several partner WFOs to AWIPS II, SPoRT has taken advantage of a baselined plug-in within AWIPS II called Regionalsat to continue the distribution of SPoRT-sponsored products. The benefits of utilizing this baselined plug-in includes its availability throughout the NWS, support by the NWS AWIPS II development contractor, and no need for a test authorization, which is needed for offices to use third-party plug-ins. The Regionalsat plug-in is able to ingest legacy AWIPS I files with only slight modifications required to the data format. These changes are transparent to AWIPS I, allowing SPoRT to deliver the same data files to both AWIPS I and AWIPS II. This avoids the need for two separate datasets flowing through the SPoRT LDM feed - the same files work on both old and new decision support systems.
Image of the Day
(click to enlarge)
Due to a convenient alignment between the A-Train orbital trajectory and the path of Hurricane Bill along the eastern coastline of North America, the CloudSat radar was able to take a look at the structure of the cyclone and passed very near to, or perhaps directly across, the eye of the storm (red line, top image). This overpass occurred at 18 UTC on 22 August 2009 when Hurricane Bill was classified as a Category 1 storm. It is unclear whether CloudSat directly sampled across the eye, but the relative lack of convection near 36 degrees may be associated with the eye. Assuming that CloudSat sampled the eye, it is interesting to note that it depicts a layer of relatively thick, high altitude cloud which may have obscured the location of the center in visible or infrared satellite imagery. CloudSat indicates that some shallower convection may be occurring near the eye center (bottom images).
Ingest and Product Status Pages
Though we're not 24/7, SPoRT strives to provide the most timely and reliable data products to its partners and end users. A system has been developed to monitor the health of our real-time data ingest and availability of LDM and FTP products. Summaries are posted every 10 minutes to the links below.