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Validation of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper with a Lightning Mapping Array in Argentina: Implications for Current and Future Spaceborne Lightning Observations
  • Timothy James Lang
Timothy James Lang

Corresponding Author:timothy.j.lang@nasa.gov

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A validation study of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on board the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 16 (GOES-16) was done using a ground-based lightning mapping array (LMA) deployed as part of the Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign in Argentina. GLM detected lightning with 74.6% efficiency over 61 thunderstorm days in December 2018 through April 2019. However, GLM detection efficiency (DE) was negatively correlated (r = -0.49) with LMA flash rate. GLM DE also was negatively correlated with LMA flash altitude (r = -0.24), reflecting the influence of multiple competing trends. GLM DE was positively correlated (r = 0.27) with number of LMA sources in a flash, indicating improved DE for larger flashes. During periods with anomalously electrified storms, GLM DE was reduced to 50.9%. Statistics were found to be sensitive to analysis criteria, but most of the above trends remained consistent regardless of specific criteria. Because the methodology allowed a GLM flash to match more than one LMA flash, actual GLM flash rate was a factor of 2.9 lower than the LMA flash rate, and this ratio grew larger as LMA flash rate increased. A sensitivity study examined the impact of improved DE for smaller flashes; that is, an improved sensor (or algorithm) that was better able to detect and distinguish between separate small lightning flashes. The results showed improved correlation with LMA flash rates, as well as improved ability to identify lightning jumps associated with intensifying convection.
28 Apr 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
02 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive