An investigation of lightning behavior during the Quasi-linar Convective System in northwest Texas on March 19, 2012




Plourde, Camaron M.

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Between late Sunday, March 18 and early Monday, March 19 a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) developed as a cold front intersected a retreating dryline at the Texas/New Mexico border. Several vortices developed, one of which was a confirmed tornado, along the line as it grew and made its way across west Texas. An investigation of the lightning characteristics of the line in its initial development stage will be presented, including flash size and rate from the West-Texas Lightning Mapping Array (WTLMA) data. Previous studies suggest that lightning data will reveal more frequent occurrence of smaller flashes in and around the max dBZ values. The Lubbock WSR-88D radar reflectivity factor and storm relative velocity data sets were used to compare to the lightning data in an effort to gain a better understanding of lightning behavior. Other studies suggest that turbulence contributes to the electrical structure in thunderstorms so flash size spectra were made for the first seven hours of the storm’s life to provide evidence on this matter. A full analysis of the storm was done in hopes of gaining further understanding in the connection between meteorological characteristics and lightning behavior within QLCSs.



Lightning, Quasi-linar convective system (QLCS), Radar