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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Atmospheric Electricity and Lightning


National Severe Storms Laboratory

opportunity location
26.76.00.B0653 Norman, OK 73072


name email phone
Kristin Marie Calhoun 405.325.6879


This research focuses on electrical parameters of all types of thunderstorms, including severe storms, mesoscale convective systems, and winter storms. A primary goal is to understand why storms generate lightning and what information lightning characteristics provide about storms for weather operations. Data are available from a system that maps all lightning in three dimensions, a system that maps lightning strikes to ground, and an S-band polarimetric Doppler radar. An S-band phased-array radar is sometimes available. A mobile laboratory for launching balloon-borne electric field sensors and a new in situ sensor of cloud microphysical properties relevant to storm electrification may be available during special field programs. Other instrumentation, such as airborne and balloon-borne sensors and additional radars, are often available during field programs.

Current research includes data analysis and field campaigns to address the following topics: (1) lightning and other electrical properties of mesoscale convective systems and severe storms, (2) correlations between lightning and radar-derived storm parameters, (3) environmental conditions conducive to positive cloud-to-ground lightning production, (4) numerical storm models that include electrification and lightning, (5) applications of lightning data to meteorological operations, (6) cloud microphysics relevant to storm electrification, (7) assimilation of lightning mapping data into forecast models, and (8) forecasting lightning activity.



Calhoun KM, et al: Monthly Weather Review 142: 3977, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-13-00403.1, 2014

MacGorman DR, et al: Geophysical Research Letters 42: 5635, doi:10.1002/2015GL064203, 2015

DiGangi, E. A., et al: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 121: 14316, doi: 10.1002/2016JD025690, 2016.

MacGorman DR, et al: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 122: 2929, doi:10.1002/2016JD025933, 2017


key words
Atmospheric electricity; Lightning; Lightning Mapping Systems; Atmospheric physics; Radar; Storms; Severe storms; Microphysics; Data assimilation; Numerical forecast models;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$60,000.00 $3,000.00

$24,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Electrical Engineering

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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