Lightning Threat

Lightning Initiation

This multi-sensor Lightning Initiation (LI) algorithm uses a combination of geostationary satellite data and the Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor System (MRMS) to alert nowcasting forecasters of areas where lightning could occur in the following 45 minutes (derived from satellite data) and where lightning is imminent (MRMS data).

LI polygons appear when satellite interest fields of developing cumulus pass a certain threshold (see Harris et al. 2010). These polygons are displayed in black. If a radar echo of ≥ 40 dBZ at the -10 °C isotherm, the polygon will turn purple, indicating LI is likely or already occurring. The polygons will disappear once 45 minutes passes. Please note that polygons that occur ≥ 50-100 miles off the coast are not as reliable as oceanic convection differs significantly from land and near-shore convection. If you would like more infomation on the product, please contact “”.

LI Loop

Other demonstration products for web display are currently being developed.

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