Skip to data content Skip to data search

JPOLE/TELEX: Joint Polarization Experiment / Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment


The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology T-28 armored research airplane and its crew of pilots and scientists participated in two Norman-area field programs. Flight activities were coordinated with the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE) polarimetric radar studies and the Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment (TELEX).

The broad objective of TELEX is to learn how lightning and other electrical storm properties are dependent on storm structure, updrafts, and precipitation. This information will point to new ways for the National Weather Service to use lightning observations to improve forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather. TELEX took advantage of new sensors now used routinely by NSSL. One is the KOUN radar in Norman, a WSR-88D radar modified with polarimetric parameters to provide information about the particle size and water phase of precipitation. The other new sensor is the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (LMA). The OK-LMA is a network of ten stations in central Oklahoma that continuously maps the structure of all types of lightning in three-dimensions out to a range of 75 km and in two-dimensions out to a range of 200 km. To these two systems, the TELEX team added balloon soundings to measure the electric field profile of storms. An electric field profile can provide scientists information about how a storm becomes electrified and about the forces responsible for lightning. This effort, funded partly by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant ATM-0233268), was the maiden field program for NSSL's new mobile laboratory, used to collect the balloon data. The electric field sensor was custom-built by NSSL with assistance from OU, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and NCAR. Temperature, pressure, and humidity were measured by an NCAR system that also provided GPS tracking of the balloon. The TELEX team succeeded in flying fourteen balloons into nine storms on seven missions. Two of these storms were mesoscale convective systems, a specific target of TELEX. NSSL scientists are now analyzing the processed data to address the project's objectives.

The overarching goals of JPOLE were to test the engineering design and determine the data quality of the polarimetric KOUN WSR-88D radar, demonstrate the utility and feasibility of the radar to operational users, and collect data and information that could be used to perform a cost/benefit analysis.

Data access

Datasets from this project

Temporal coverage

Begin Date 2003-03-01 00:00:00
End Date 2003-06-15 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 37.00, Minimum (South) Latitude: 34.00
Minimum (West) Longitude: -100.00, Maximum (East) Longitude: -95.00