US: Supported by a two-year research grant from NASA, scientists in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville are combining data from weather satellites with Doppler radar and numerical models in a system that might warn which specific pop-up storm clouds are likely to produce lightning and when that lightning is likely to begin and end.
The idea is to combine data from satellites, radar and models into a single lightning forecast system, and give the National Weather Service and other meteorologists a new tool to support forecasts.
In addition to work done at UAH and NASA, the new lightning nowcasting project will use information developed by researchers at several institutions. The project will use cloud data from NOAA's GOES weather satellites. The new lightning forecast system is also being designed to use lightning flash information gathered by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper, an optical instrument slated to be launched aboard the next generation of NOAA weather satellites in 2016.