Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Atmospheric Science

Committee Chair

Phillip M. Bitzer

Committee Member

Christopher J. Schultz

Committee Member

Sundar Christopher


Wildfires., Lightning.


Lightning with continuing current may have current durations that last for hundreds of milliseconds, resulting in continuous optical emission that coincides with the uninterrupted current flow. The space-based Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is an optical sensor that allows for the detection of continuous optical emission. GLM optical attributes associated with continuous optical emission are utilized to train a multiple logistic regression model to predict the presence of continuing current. GLM flashes that have continuous optical emission related to higher probabilities of continuing current tend to cover a longer distance, have a brighter maximum optical energy, and cover a larger maximum area over the span of the continuous optical emission. The continuing current model has a probability of detection of about 78% and a false alarm rate of about 6%. About 13.3% of flashes detected by GLM in 2018 contain continuing current. Seasonal, diurnal, and spatial analyses reveal that continuing current flashes tend to occur during the winter, at night, and over oceanic areas. On average, the total time elapsed between a GLM flash and satellite-based wildfire was 5 to 7 days. GLM flashes closest to a satellite-detected wildfire had an average distance of about 3.3 km from a wildfire, while the closest GLM flashes with continuing current had an average distance of roughly 5.0 km from a wildfire.



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