While existing lighting mapping systems show a single ground strike point, the WTLMA shows the three-dimensional shape, extent and development of branched lightning channels. The data are an essential component of modern lightning detection and physics studies, because they reliably map the extent of the in-cloud charge reservoirs tapped by each lightning flash. The data are readily combined with other observations, including weather radar data. The LMA has contributed to regional and national field programs, and supports the Lubbock regional office of the National Weather Service and NOAA's GOES-R Proving Ground and Validation activities.
The map above shows WTLMA stations (red squares) in West Texas and in an adjoining LMA in Oklahoma. The inner 100 km range ring shows the extent of the best-quality 3-D detection. Between 100 and 250 km, detection efficiency and vertical precision progressively degrade to a few sources per large flash and effectively 2-D mapping.
Data using a 6-station preliminary network that was operating on Monday, 21 November 2011. Coordinate system for plots is centered on 200 m tower at Reese Center.