A satellite lightning observation operator for storm-scale numerical weather prediction

Combarnous, Pauline ; Erdmann, Felix ; Caumont, Olivier ; Defer, Éric ; Martet, Maud

Année de publication
<p align=justify>This study aims at simulating satellite-measured lightning observations with numerical weather prediction (NWP) system variables. A total of eight parameters, calculated with the AROME-France NWP system variables, were selected from a literature review to be used as proxies for satellite lightning observations. Two different proxy types emerged from this literature review: microphysical and dynamical proxies. Here, we investigate which ones are best related to satellite lightning and calibrate an empirical relationship between the best parameters and lightning data. To obtain those relationships, we fit machine learning regression models to our data. In this study, pseudo flash extent accumulation (FEA) observations are used because no actual geostationary lightning observations are available yet over France, and non-geostationary satellite lightning data represent a sample that is too small for our study. The performances of each proxy and machine learning regression model are evaluated by computing fractions skill scores (FSSs) with respect to observed FEA and proxy-based FEA. The present study suggests that microphysical proxies are more suited than the dynamical ones to model satellite lightning observations with the AROME-France NWP system. The performances of multivariate regression models are also evaluated by combining several proxies after a feature selection based on a principal component analysis and a proxy correlation study, but no proxy combination yielded better results than microphysical proxies alone. Finally, different accumulation periods of the FEA had little influence, i.e. similar FSS, on the regression model's ability to reproduce the observed FEA. In future studies, the microphysical-based relationship will be used as an observation operator to perform satellite lightning data assimilation in storm-scale NWP systems and applied to NWP forecasts to simulate satellite lightning data.</p>
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