“Bomb Cyclone” Winter Weather Lightning Captured by ISS LIS

Explosive intensification of mid-latitude cyclones is sometimes referred to as ‘bombogenesis’ or a ‘bomb cyclone’. On January 4, 2018 a bomb cyclone brought hazardous winter weather to the U.S. East Coast and generated lightning that was observed from space.  The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured lightning along the frontal boundary of the cyclone in GHRC’s Non-Quality Controlled ISS LIS Provisional Science Data. Lightning flash locations from this dataset were used to create this density plot showing lighting occurrence from low (yellow) to high (red) densities. These lightning flash location densities are overlaid on Terra/MODIS True Color Imagery.  In this image you can see the storm system moving northward off the mid-atlantic coast towards New England.  Snow deposited from the bomb cyclone is shown as white areas across Virginia, Georgia and North/South Carolina.

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