The Use of Total Lightning Data in Forecasting in Northern Alabama.
Buechler, Dennis E; Blakeslee, Richard ; Goodman, Steve ; Darden, Chris ; Gatlin, Patrick

Real-time total lightning data from NASA's North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA)
has been used by forecasters at forecasters from Huntsville, AL (HUN), Birmingham, AL (BMX),
and Nashville, TN (OHX) National Weather Service Offices since 2003. The total lighting measurements
are provided to the NWS offices as grids that can be displayed on AWIPS workstations in realtime.
The lightning data are made available through NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition
(SPoRT) Center. The SPoRT Center seeks to accelerate the infusion of NASA research and technology into
NWS operations.

The forecasters have provided feedback as to the usefulness of the lightning data by means of
a survey. The feedback indicates that by monitoring the lightning activity of storms
provides added information as to storm severity and leads to an estimated increase in warning
lead times. The surveys also indicate that the lightning data are more useful in marginal severe
events than in a tornadic situation.

The presentation will focus on results of the surveys as well as on additional ways the total lightning
data are used.