Don MacGorman, National Severe Storms Lab, to speak Saturday evening March 18

TSC Program for March 18, 2017
“Flash Bang”
Presented by: Don MacGorman, National Severe Storms Lab
Storm Electricity Team Leader in the Warning Research Development Division

Don MacGorman was raised in Ft. Worth, Texas by a Canadian father and a Texan mother. He attended Rice University in Houston for 10 years and finally earned his Ph.D. from the Space Physics Department with a study of lightning mapped in three dimensions using thunder recordings. During that time he married his high-school sweetheart Venita, who had taken advantage of his absence to earn a music degree from Texas Christian University. Following Don’s graduation in 1978, they moved to Norman, where he still studies lightning and severe storms at the National Severe Storms Laboratory and is now the leader of the Storm Electricity Team. With Dave Rust, he co-authored The Electrical Nature of Storms, a graduate textbook published by Oxford University Press in 1998. A few years ago, he was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Don and Venita have two daughters, Kristen, who is married to Matt Maupin (long-time TSC member), and Erin, who is married to Lucas Moore and has a 20-month old daughter and a 7-year old daughter.

Don MacGorman’s presentation, “Flash Bang,” will briefly explain what we have learned about how storms produce lightning, will give some information about lightning itself and about how and why we are studying lightning at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and will end with some suggestions for staying as safe as possible when lightning is striking all around you.
Using the Lightning Strike Locating System, his team conducts studies on positive cloud-to-ground detection. Recently, the longest lightning bolt ever recorded was found to extend almost 200 miles across the state of Oklahoma. The bolt occurred during a thunderstorm on June 20, 2007.