Patrick Duran and Christopher Schultz (ST11/SPoRT) are lead authors on a paper documenting the evolution of lightning in Hurricane Dorian (2019). The results reveal significant changes in lightning flash extent density, flash area, and flash energy observed by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) throughout Dorian’s lifetime. In particular, lightning flashes were larger and more energetic while the storm was intensifying, whereas while the storm weakened, lightning flashes were more numerous but much smaller and less energetic. The observations also revealed propagating waves of lightning that are related to internal processes which determine whether a hurricane will intensify or weaken. The paper presented further evidence for the existence of these processes using the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) along with aircraft reconnaissance observations. Overall, the results suggest that monitoring the size and energy of lightning flashes using GLM could help to diagnose or predict hurricane intensity change.
The paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL092067.