AOSC Departmental Seminar
January 28, 2016

Lightning and Precipitation Studies at CICS-MD

Scott Rudlosky

Scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites at the University of Maryland (CICS-MD) monitor, evaluate, and apply environmental information to aid weather, water, and climate forecasters.  Verification at various spatial and temporal scales is required to successfully apply products derived from remotely-sensed observations.  CICS-MD plays an integral role in the verification and application of many lightning and precipitation datasets.  This talk describes two CICS-MD websites to illustrate examples of our application-oriented research activities.

Many operational applications require accurate precipitation estimates.  Daily and seasonal validation statistics are produced for many satellite-derived precipitation estimation products using a common International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) framework.  This routine monitoring focuses on products produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  A daily-updating website provides monitoring and validation tools to operational users and algorithm developers ( 

Weather forecasters are increasingly using lightning observations to monitor convective weather patterns.  The planned GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will detect lightning with nearly uniform performance in both space and time.  The GLM will provide data at spatial and temporal scales that currently are unavailable, so existing networks must be used to simulate future capabilities.  A website has been developed to describe multi-scale lightning observations, illustrate the performance of ground-based lightning detection networks, visualize the many ways that lightning data can be applied, and provide training guides for National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters (