Lightning Jumps in Action

The storm near Tulia is…impressive.  Aside from being a long-tracked supercell, the storm has been extremely active electrically.  There have been several lightning jumps with this storm that appears to coincide with an increase in the strength of the mid-level mesocyclone.  First we will take a look at an hour long loop (TL – Flash Extent Density overlay with Vaisala GLD, TR – Minimum Flash Area, BL –  Optical Energy, BR –  Mid-level Azimuthal Shear (3-6 km AGL) with New Mesocyclone Detection Algorithm Overlay) :

There are two jumps to take a look at, 1) between 21:29 and 21:40, 2) 21:55 – 21:20.  Although the AzShear product doesn’t show a strong mid-level meso developing, the number of positive CG flashes in the GLD data increases and we see continued small area flashes in the core.  The more impressive jump is the second one;  AzShear shows a much more pronounced area of positive shear, a long-lived NMDA indication (the circle with 4 pips on it), and overall smaller flashes in the area of that storm.

Shortly after the last jump (and not shown here), live stormchaser feeds showed a rapid strengthening of low-level features; well defined wall cloud, organized rotation, and frequent CG activity sending a flurry of stormchasers heading east to get out from under the storm…