The long range component of the North American Lightning Detection Network has been providing experimental data products since July 1996, offering cloud-to-ground lightning coverage throughout the Atlantic and Western Pacific oceans, as well as south to the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The network experiences a strong decrease in detection efficiency with range, which is also significantly modulated by differential propagation under day, night and terminator-crossing conditions. A climatological comparison of total lightning data observed by the Optical Transient Detector (OTD) and CG lightning observed by the long range network is conducted, with strict quality control and allowance for differential network performance before and after the activation of the Canadian Lightning Detection Network. This yields a first-order geographic estimate of long range network detection efficiency and its spatial variability. Intercomparisons are also performed over the continental US, allowing large scale estimates of the midlatitude climatological IC:CG ratio and its possible dependence on latitude.
Meteorology and Climatology
Dec 13, 1999 - Dec 17, 1999; San Francisco, CA; United States