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VAWS: A Five-Year Study of Lightning Patterns Across Southcentral Alaska

June 21, 2017 @ 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm AKDT

Speakers: Rebecca Duell and Matt Clay, NOAA National Weather Service

Lightning Activity Level is a parameter forecasted by the National Weather Service that has important fire weather and safety implications across Alaska. In an effort to improve Lightning Activity Level forecasts across Southcentral Alaska, a study of archived lightning data was performed.

Lightning data from 2012-2016 over Southcentral Alaska from the Alaska Lightning Detection Network (ALDN) were examined to identify spatial and temporal trends in lightning activity. Lightning event days were broken down both geographically and by lightning frequency, and differences in weather patterns between days with high frequencies of lighting and days with low frequencies of lightning were identified.

The five-year lightning climatology will be presented along with a discussion of weather patterns that lead to thunderstorms with varying frequencies of lightning strikes across Southcentral Alaska.