Learning More from GLM

I love watching lightning. Every flash of lightning is unique and only lasts a fraction of a second. Lightning is both beautiful and dangerous, causing an average of 28 deaths per year in the U.S.

Lightning can be observed from space from the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on board GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellites.We can use the observations of lightning to help identify the locations and severity of thunderstorms. We are also hoping to use lightning to help better predict when tropical cyclones are going to intensify.

There have been several research studies that have shown that lightning could be an indicator for tropical cyclone intensification; however, a there have been a few other studies that have shown the opposite. The reasons for this could be related to differences in the large scale thermodynamics and background aerosol field.

After developing a quality control routine to help isolate artifacts in the GLM dataset, I have been analyzing the observations from GLM. A manuscript has been submitted detailing the QC methods and another is in prep on the GLM observations in tropical cyclones. Check back later for more details.