DISCUSSION: As of late November 2016, the newest and most state-of-the-art satellite orbiting Earth today, GOES-R was launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. After just three months since that time, many initial images and perspectives of various sensors which are aboard GOES-R are being realized for the first time. Among them is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (or GLM) which is a sensor aboard GOES-R which is literally revolutionizing the way in which scientists and researchers observe lightning in various convective events throughout its coverage domain. The GLM allows operational forecasters to more easily identify different types of lightning strikes such as cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-air, and cloud-to-ground. Having said that, this will greatly allow forecasters to more effectively anticipate future changes of convective events in real-time. Attached below is a neat insight courtesy of staff from the NOAA Satellite and Information Service for all of you to read and enjoy!
"The first images from GOES-16’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) —the first instrument of its kind in geostationary orbit—have arrived!
This animation from the GLM shows lightning in clouds associated with the weather system that produced severe thunderstorms and a few tornadoes in East Texas on February 14, 2017. The GLM can monitor a given area at 500 frames per second, and can distinguish individual lightning strikes within each flash.
The GLM continually looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere, so forecasters know when a storm is forming or intensifying. In addition to spotting cloud-to-ground lightning, the GLM can also detect in-cloud lightning, which often occurs five to 10 minutes or more before dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes.
As Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather, the GLM will provide forecasters with more time for to alert communities of a developing threat.
To learn more about the GLM, go to goo.gl/8XTz00."
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz