Wiebke Deierling (NCAR) – Lightning in Aviation: Both a Threat and a Useful Tool

Lightning in Aviation: Both a Threat and a Useful Tool
The occurrence of lightning can be both a hazard by its-self as well as a useful tool to identify hazards related to convection. At airport operations, lightning poses a threat to airport workers servicing aircraft. Airport stakeholders often employ safety procedures to protect airport workers. As will be shown, these safety procedures in turn result in traffic delays that can be substantial to mitigate the safety risk of airport workers.
On the other hand, lightning may be related to other aviation hazards such as turbulence. Convective turbulence has aviation safety, economic and capacity impacts. Over land observations are more easily available to determine measures of convective turbulence than over oceans and remote areas. Total lightning has been shown to correlate well with storm dynamics. Motivated by the availability of space borne lightning-mapper instruments such as on GOES16 or Meteosat satellites in the future, a preliminary investigation has been performed to study the relationship between in-cloud convective turbulence and total lightning measurements. Initial results will be shown with the goal in mind to ultimately investigate the possible skill of total lightning as an indicator of in-could convective turbulence.

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