Sample records for individual cloud-to-ground lightning

  1. Bipolar cloud-to-ground lightning flash observations (United States)

    Saba, Marcelo M. F.; Schumann, Carina; Warner, Tom A.; Helsdon, John H.; Schulz, Wolfgang; Orville, Richard E.


    lightning is usually defined as a lightning flash where the current waveform exhibits a polarity reversal. There are very few reported cases of cloud-to-ground (CG) bipolar flashes using only one channel in the literature. Reports on this type of bipolar flashes are not common due to the fact that in order to confirm that currents of both polarities follow the same channel to the ground, one necessarily needs video records. This study presents five clear observations of single-channel bipolar CG flashes. High-speed video and electric field measurement observations are used and analyzed. Based on the video images obtained and based on previous observations of positive CG flashes with high-speed cameras, we suggest that positive leader branches which do not participate in the initial return stroke of a positive cloud-to-ground flash later generate recoil leaders whose negative ends, upon reaching the branch point, traverse the return stroke channel path to the ground resulting in a subsequent return stroke of opposite polarity.

  2. Thunderstorm ground enhancements (TGEs) abruptly terminated by negative cloud-to-ground lightnings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chilingarian, A.; Hovsepyan, G.; Khanikyanc, G.; Pokhsraryan, D.; Soghomonyan, S.


    The relationship of lightnings and particle fluxes in the thunderclouds is not fully understood to date. Using the particle beams (the so-called Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements – TGEs) generated in the lower part of clouds by the strong electric fields as a probe, we investigate the characteristics of the related atmospheric discharges. The well-known effect of the TGE dynamics is the abrupt termination of the particle flux. We demonstrate that among 12 atmospheric discharges that abruptly terminated TGE all are the negative cloud-to-ground lightnings. The flux termination and lightning occurred at one and the same second. With new precise electronics on millisecond time scales we can see that particle flux decline occurred simultaneously with abrupt increase of electrostatic field after the return stroke of the lightning. Therefore, the declining of particle flux is connected with rearranging of charge centers in the cloud involving removal of the Lower Positive Charged Region (LPCR). (author)

  3. Multiple Lightning Discharges in Wind Turbines Associated with Nearby Cloud-to-Ground Lightning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Candela Garolera, Anna; Cummins, Kenneth L.; Madsen, Søren Find


    This paper presents the analysis of five events where simultaneous lightning currents were registered in different wind turbines of a wind farm with lightning monitoring equipment installed. Measurements from current monitoring devices installed at the wind turbines and observations from auto......-triggering video cameras were correlated with data from the U.S. National Lighting Detection Network. In all five events, the correlation showed that a cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning stroke with high peak current struck the ground within 10 km of the affected turbines at the time of the currents in the wind...... by the nearby CG strokes, involving mechanisms that vary depending on the polarity of the associated CG stroke. The analysis also suggests that the event of upward lightning from wind turbines triggered by nearby lightning activity occurs very often and therefore it should be considered carefully...

  4. Cloud-to-ground lightning activity in Colombia and the influence of topography (United States)

    Aranguren, D.; López, J.; Inampués, J.; Torres, H.; Betz, H.


    Lightning activity on the Colombian mountains, where the altitude varies from 0 to more than 5000 MSL, is studied based on VLF/LF lightning detection data and using a 2012-2013 dataset. The influence of altitude is observed by evaluating cloud-to-ground lightning incidence at different altitude intervals. The relationship between ground flash density and altitude gradient vectors is studied. Results show a clear dependence of the flash density on elevation.

  5. Tennessee Valley Total and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Climatology Comparison (United States)

    Buechler, Dennis; Blakeslee, R. J.; Hall, J. M.; McCaul, E. W.


    The North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) has been in operation since 2001 and consists often VHF receivers deployed across northern Alabama. The NALMA locates sources of impulsive VHF radio signals from total lightning by accurately measuring the time that the signals arrive at the different receiving stations. The sources detected are then clustered into flashes by applying spatially and temporally constraints. This study examines the total lightning climatology of the region derived from NALMA and compares it to the cloud-to-ground (CG) climatology derived from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) The presentation compares the total and CG lightning trends for monthly, daily, and hourly periods.

  6. Cloud-to-ground lightning in Portugal: patterns and dynamical forcing (United States)

    Santos, J. A.; Reis, M. A.; Sousa, J.; Leite, S. M.; Correia, S.; Janeira, M.; Fragoso, M.


    An analysis of the cloud-to-ground discharges (CGD) over Portugal is carried out using data collected by a network of sensors maintained by the Portuguese Meteorological Institute for 2003-2009 (7 yr). Only cloud-to-ground flashes are considered and negative polarity CGD are largely dominant. The total number of discharges reveals a considerable interannual variability and a large irregularity in their distribution throughout the year. However, it is shown that a large number of discharges occur in the May-September period (71%), with a bimodal distribution that peaks in May and September, with most of the lightning activity recorded in the afternoon (from 16:00 to 18:00 UTC). In spring and autumn the lightning activity tends to be scattered throughout the country, whereas in summer it tends to be more concentrated over northeastern Portugal. Winter generally presents low lightning activity. Furthermore, two significant couplings between the monthly number of days with discharges and the large-scale atmospheric circulation are isolated: a regional forcing, predominantly in summer, and a remote forcing. In fact, the identification of daily lightning regimes revealed three important atmospheric conditions for triggering lightning activity: regional cut-off lows, cold troughs induced by remote low pressure systems and summertime regional low pressures at low-tropospheric levels combined with a mid-tropospheric cold trough.

  7. Partitioning the LIS/OTD Lightning Climatological Dataset into Separate Ground and Cloud Flash Distributions (United States)

    Koshak, W. J.; Solarkiewicz, R. J.


    Presently, it is not well understood how to best model nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from lightning because lightning is highly variable. Peak current, channel length, channel altitude, stroke multiplicity, and the number of flashes that occur in a particular region (i.e., flash density) all influence the amount of lightning NOx produced. Moreover, these 5 variables are not the same for ground and cloud flashes; e.g., cloud flashes normally have lower peak currents, higher altitudes, and higher flash densities than ground flashes [see (Koshak, 2009) for additional details]. Because the existing satellite observations of lightning (Fig. 1) from the Lightning Imaging Sensor/Optical Transient Detector (LIS/OTD) do not distinguish between ground and cloud fashes, which produce different amounts of NOx, it is very difficult to accurately account for the regional/global production of lightning NOx. Hence, the ability to partition the LIS/OTD lightning climatology into separate ground and cloud flash distributions would substantially benefit the atmospheric chemistry modeling community. NOx indirectly influences climate because it controls the concentration of ozone and hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere. The importance of lightning-produced NOx is empasized throughout the scientific literature (see for example, Huntrieser et al. 1998). In fact, lightning is the most important NOx source in the upper troposphere with a global production rate estimated to vary between 2 and 20 Tg (N)yr(sup -1) (Lee et al., 1997), with more recent estimates of about 6 Tg(N)yr(sup -1) (Martin et al., 2007). In order to make accurate predictions, global chemistry/climate models (as well as regional air quality modells) must more accurately account for the effects of lightning NOx. In particular, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Model E (Schmidt et al., 2005) and the GEOS-CHEM global chemical transport model (Bey et al., 2001) would each benefit from a partitioning of the

  8. Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Estimates Derived from SSMI Microwave Remote Sensing and NLDN (United States)

    Winesett, Thomas; Magi, Brian; Cecil, Daniel


    present in the cloud and electric charge separation occurs. These ice particles efficiently scatter the microwave radiation at the 85 and 37 GHz frequencies, thus leading to large brightness temperature depressions. Lightning flash rate is related to the total amount of ice passing through the convective updraft regions of thunderstorms. Confirmation of this relationship using TRMM LIS and TMI data, however, remains constrained to TRMM observational limits of the tropics and subtropics. Satellites from the Defense Meteorology Satellite Program (DMSP) have global coverage and are equipped with passive microwave imagers that, like TMI, observe brightness temperatures at 85 and 37 GHz. Unlike the TRMM satellite, however, DMSP satellites do not have a lightning sensor, and the DMSP microwave data has never been used to derive global lightning. In this presentation, a relationship between DMSP Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSMI) data and ground-based cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data from NLDN is investigated to derive a spatially complete time history of CG lightning for the USA study area. This relationship is analogous to the established using TRMM LIS and TMI data. NLDN has the most spatially and temporally complete CG lightning data for the USA, and therefore provides the best opportunity to find geospatially coincident observations with SSMI sensors. The strongest thunderstorms generally have minimum 85 GHz Polarized Corrected brightness Temperatures (PCT) less than 150 K. Archived radar data was used to resolve the spatial extent of the individual storms. NLDN data for that storm spatial extent defined by radar data was used to calculate the CG flash rate for the storm. Similar to results using TRMM sensors, a linear model best explained the relationship between storm-specific CG flash rates and minimum 85 GHz PCT. However, the results in this study apply only to CG lightning. To extend the results to weaker storms, the probability of CG lightning (instead of the

  9. Doppler Radar and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Observations of a Severe Outbreak of Tropical Cyclone Tornadoes (United States)

    McCaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Buechler, Dennis; Cammarata, Michael; Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor)


    Data from a single WSR-88D Doppler radar and the National Lightning Detection Network are used to examine the characteristics of the convective storms that produced a severe tornado outbreak within Tropical Storm Beryl's remnants on 16 August 1994. Comparison of the radar data with reports of tornadoes suggests that only 12 cells produced the 29 tornadoes that were documented in Georgia and the Carolinas on that date. Six of these cells spawned multiple tornadoes, and the radar data confirm the presence of miniature supercells. One of the cells was identifiable on radar for 11 hours, spawning tornadoes over a time period spanning approximately 6.5 hours. Time-height analyses of the three strongest supercells are presented in order to document storm kinematic structure and evolution. These Beryl mini-supercells were comparable in radar-observed intensity but much more persistent than other tropical cyclone-spawned tornadic cells documented thus far with Doppler radars. Cloud-to-ground lightning data are also examined for all the tornadic cells in this severe swarm-type tornado outbreak. These data show many of the characteristics of previously reported heavy-precipitation supercells. Lightning rates were weak to moderate, even in the more intense supercells, and in all the storms the lightning flashes were almost entirely negative in polarity. No lightning at all was detected in some of the single-tornado storms. In the stronger cells, there is some evidence that lightning rates can decrease during tornadogenesis, as has been documented before in some midlatitude tornadic storms. A number of the storms spawned tornadoes just after producing their final cloud-to-ground lightning flashes. These findings suggest possible benefits from implementation of observing systems capable of monitoring intracloud as well as cloud-to-ground lightning activity.

  10. A Method to Estimate the Probability that Any Individual Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Stroke was Within Any Radius of Any Point (United States)

    Huddleston, Lisa; Roeder, WIlliam P.; Merceret, Francis J.


    A new technique has been developed to estimate the probability that a nearby cloud-to-ground lightning stroke was within a specified radius of any point of interest. This process uses the bivariate Gaussian distribution of probability density provided by the current lightning location error ellipse for the most likely location of a lightning stroke and integrates it to determine the probability that the stroke is inside any specified radius of any location, even if that location is not centered on or even within the location error ellipse. This technique is adapted from a method of calculating the probability of debris collision with spacecraft. Such a technique is important in spaceport processing activities because it allows engineers to quantify the risk of induced current damage to critical electronics due to nearby lightning strokes. This technique was tested extensively and is now in use by space launch organizations at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force station. Future applications could include forensic meteorology.

  11. Cloud-to-ground lightning over Mexico and adjacent oceanic regions. A preliminary climatology using the WWLLN dataset

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kucienska, B.; Raga, G.B. [Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico). Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera; Rodriguez, O. [Instituto Mexicano de Tecnologia del Agua, Morelos (Mexico)


    This work constitutes the first climatological study of lightning over Mexico and adjacent oceanic areas for the period 2005-2009. Spatial and temporal distributions of cloud to ground lightning are presented and the processes that contribute to the lightning variability are analysed. The data are retrieved from theWorldWide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) dataset. The current WWLL network includes 40 stations which cover much of the globe and detect very low frequency radiation (''spherics'') associated with lightning. The spatial distribution of the average yearly lightning over the continental region of Mexico shows the influence of orographic forcing in producing convective clouds with high lightning activity. However, a very high number of strikes is also observed in the States of Tabasco and Campeche, which are low-lying areas. This maximum is related to the climatological maximum of precipitation for the country and it may be associated with a region of persistent low-level convergence and convection in the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The maps of correlation between rainfall and lightning provide insight into the microphysical processes occurring within the clouds. The maritime clouds close to the coastline exhibit similar properties to continental clouds as they produce very high lightning activity. The seasonal cycle of lightning registered by WWLLN is consistent with the LIS/OTD dataset for the selected regions. In terms of the annual distribution of cloud-to-ground strikes, July, August and September exhibit the highest number of strikes over continental Mexico. The diurnal cycle indicates that the maximum number of strikes over the continent is observed between 6 and 9 p.m. LT. The surrounding oceanic regions were subdivided into four distinct sectors: Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Subtropical Pacific and Tropical Pacific. The Gulf of Mexico has the broadest seasonal distribution, since during winter lightning associated

  12. Locating cloud-to-ground lightning return strokes by a neural network algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    A neuro-based approach is proposed for locating cloud-to-ground lightning strokes. Due to insufficient experimental data, we have use the results of an electromagnetic simulator for training the developed artificial neural network. The simulator utilizes the well-known transmission line and is capable of predicting the electromagnetic field due to a return stroke channel for various parameters associated with the shape of the channel base-current. The training process has been successfully done using the Levenberg-Marquard technique. The simulation results demonstrate that the return stroke channel locations can be predicted with an absolute error not greater than 1 km for return stroke channels located within 80 km of a lightning detection station

  13. Thermal power and heat energy of cloud-to-ground lightning process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Xuejuan; Yuan, Ping; Xue, Simin [Key Laboratory of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Functional Materials of Gansu Province, College of Physics and Electronic Engineering, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070 (China); Cen, Jianyong [School of Physics and Information Engineering, Shanxi Normal University, Linfen 041004 (China)


    A cloud-to-ground lightning flash with nine return strokes has been recorded using a high speed slitless spectrograph and a system composed of a fast antenna and a slow antenna. Based on the spectral data and the synchronous electric field changes that were caused by the lightning, the electrical conductivity, the channel radii, the resistance per unit length, the peak current, the thermal power at the instant of peak current, and the heat energy per unit length during the first 5 μs in the discharge channel have all been calculated. The results indicate that the channel radii have linear relationships with the peak current. The thermal power at the peak current time increases with increasing resistance, but exponential decays with the square of the peak current.

  14. A Unified Model of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Stroke (United States)

    Nag, A.; Rakov, V. A.


    The first stroke in a cloud-to-ground lightning discharge is thought to follow (or be initiated by) the preliminary breakdown process which often produces a train of relatively large microsecond-scale electric field pulses. This process is poorly understood and rarely modeled. Each lightning stroke is composed of a downward leader process and an upward return-stroke process, which are usually modeled separately. We present a unified engineering model for computing the electric field produced by a sequence of preliminary breakdown, stepped leader, and return stroke processes, serving to transport negative charge to ground. We assume that a negatively-charged channel extends downward in a stepped fashion through the relatively-high-field region between the main negative and lower positive charge centers and then through the relatively-low-field region below the lower positive charge center. A relatively-high-field region is also assumed to exist near ground. The preliminary breakdown pulse train is assumed to be generated when the negatively-charged channel interacts with the lower positive charge region. At each step, an equivalent current source is activated at the lower extremity of the channel, resulting in a step current wave that propagates upward along the channel. The leader deposits net negative charge onto the channel. Once the stepped leader attaches to ground (upward connecting leader is presently neglected), an upward-propagating return stroke is initiated, which neutralizes the charge deposited by the leader along the channel. We examine the effect of various model parameters, such as step length and current propagation speed, on model-predicted electric fields. We also compare the computed fields with pertinent measurements available in the literature.

  15. Cell Mergers and Their Impact on Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Over the Houston Area (United States)

    Gauthier, Michael L.; Petersen, Walter A.; Carey, Lawrence D.


    A previous hypothesis advanced from observational studies such as METROMEX suggests that the intensity, frequency, and organization of cumulus convection may be impacted by the forcing of enhanced merger activity downstream of urban zones. A resulting corollary is that cities may exert an indirect anthropogenic forcing of parameters related to convection and associated phenomena such as lightning and precipitation. This paper investigates the urban merger hypothesis by examining the role of convective cell mergers on the existence and persistence of the Houston lightning "anomaly", a local maximum in cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning activity documented to exist over and east of Houston. Using eight summer seasons of peak columnar radar reflectivity, CG lightning data and a cell-tracking algorithm, a two-dimensional cell merger climatology is created for portions of eastern Texas and Louisiana. Results from the tracking and analysis of over 3.8 million cells indicate that merger-driven enhancements in convection induce a positive response (O 46%) in ground-flash densities throughout the domain, with areas of enhanced lightning typically being co-located with areas of enhanced merger activity. However, while mergers over the Houston area (relative to elsewhere in the domain) do result in more vigorous convective cells that produce larger CG flash densities, we find that CG lightning contributions due to mergers are distributed similarly throughout the domain. Hence while we demonstrate that cell mergers do greatly impact the production of lightning, the urban cell merger hypothesis does not uniquely explain the presence of a local lightning maximum near and downstream of Houston.

  16. Characteristics of downward leaders in a cloud-to-ground lightning strike on a lightning rod (United States)

    Wang, Caixia; Sun, Zhuling; Jiang, Rubin; Tian, Yangmeng; Qie, Xiushu


    A natural downward negative cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning was observed at a close distance of 370 m by using electric field change measurements and a high-speed camera at 5400 frames per second (fps). Two subsequent leader-return strokes of the lightning hit a lightning rod installed on the top of a seven-story building in Beijing city, while the grounding point for the stepped leader-first return stroke was 12 m away, on the roof of the building. The 2-D average speed of the downward stepped leader (L1) before the first return stroke (R1) was approximately 5.1 × 104 m/s during its propagation over the 306 m above the building, and those before the subsequent strokes (R2 and R3) ranged from 1.1 × 106 m/s to 2.2 × 106 m/s. An attempted leader (AL) occurred 201 ms after R1 and 10 ms before R2 reached approximately 99 m above the roof and failed to connect to the ground. The 2-D average speed of the AL was approximately 7.4 × 104 m/s. The luminosity at tip of the leader was brighter than the channel behind it. The leader inducing the R2 with an alteration of terminating point was a dart-stepped leader (DSL), which propagated through the channel of AL and continued to develop downward with new branches at about 17 m above the roof. The 2-D speed of the DSL at the bottom 99 m was 6.6 × 105 m/s. The average time interval between the stepped pulses of the DSL was approximately 10 μs, smaller than that of L1 with value of about 17 μs. The average step lengths of the DSL were approximately 6.6 m. The study shows that the stepped leader-first return stroke of lightning will not always hit the tip of a tall metal rod due to the significant branching property of the leader. However, under certain conditions, the subsequent return strokes may alter the grounding point to the tip of a tall metal rod. For the lightning rod, the protection against subsequent return strokes may be better than that against the first return stroke.

  17. Cloud-to-ground lightning activity in Colombia: A 14-year study using lightning location system data (United States)

    Herrera, J.; Younes, C.; Porras, L.


    This paper presents the analysis of 14 years of cloud-to-ground lightning activity observation in Colombia using lightning location systems (LLS) data. The first Colombian LLS operated from 1997 to 2001. After a few years, this system was upgraded and a new LLS has been operating since 2007. Data obtained from these two systems was analyzed in order to obtain lightning parameters used in designing lightning protection systems. The flash detection efficiency was estimated using average peak current maps and some theoretical results previously published. Lightning flash multiplicity was evaluated using a stroke grouping algorithm resulting in average values of about 1.0 and 1.6 for positive and negative flashes respectively and for both LLS. The time variation of this parameter changes slightly for the years considered in this study. The first stroke peak current for negative and positive flashes shows median values close to 29 kA and 17 kA respectively for both networks showing a great dependence on the flash detection efficiency. The average percentage of negative and positive flashes shows a 74.04% and 25.95% of occurrence respectively. The daily variation shows a peak between 23 and 02 h. The monthly variation of this parameter exhibits a bimodal behavior typical of the regions located near The Equator. The lightning flash density was obtained dividing the study area in 3 × 3 km cells and resulting in maximum average values of 25 and 35 flashes km- 2 year- 1 for each network respectively. A comparison of these results with global lightning activity hotspots was performed showing good correlation. Besides, the lightning flash density variation with altitude shows an inverse relation between these two variables.

  18. Assessing Lightning and Wildfire Hazard by Land Properties and Cloud to Ground Lightning Data with Association Rule Mining in Alberta, Canada. (United States)

    Cha, DongHwan; Wang, Xin; Kim, Jeong Woo


    Hotspot analysis was implemented to find regions in the province of Alberta (Canada) with high frequency Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning strikes clustered together. Generally, hotspot regions are located in the central, central east, and south central regions of the study region. About 94% of annual lightning occurred during warm months (June to August) and the daily lightning frequency was influenced by the diurnal heating cycle. The association rule mining technique was used to investigate frequent CG lightning patterns, which were verified by similarity measurement to check the patterns' consistency. The similarity coefficient values indicated that there were high correlations throughout the entire study period. Most wildfires (about 93%) in Alberta occurred in forests, wetland forests, and wetland shrub areas. It was also found that lightning and wildfires occur in two distinct areas: frequent wildfire regions with a high frequency of lightning, and frequent wild-fire regions with a low frequency of lightning. Further, the preference index (PI) revealed locations where the wildfires occurred more frequently than in other class regions. The wildfire hazard area was estimated with the CG lightning hazard map and specific land use types.

  19. Elves and associated electron density changes due to cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning discharges (United States)

    Marshall, R. A.; Inan, U. S.; Glukhov, V. S.


    A 3-D finite difference time domain model is used to simulate the lightning electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and its interaction with the lower ionosphere. Results agree with the frequently observed, doughnut-shaped optical signature of elves but show that the structure exhibits asymmetry due to the presence of Earth's ambient magnetic field. Furthermore, in-cloud (horizontal) lightning channels produce observable optical emissions without the doughnut shape and, in fact, produce a much stronger optical output for the same channel current. Electron density perturbations associated with elves are also calculated, with contributions from attachment and ionization. Results presented as a function of parameters such as magnetic field direction, dipole current orientation, altitude and amplitude, and ambient ionospheric density profile demonstrate the highly nonlinear nature of the EMP-ionosphere interaction. Ionospheric effects of a sequence of in-cloud discharges are calculated, simulating a burst of in-cloud lightning activity and resulting in large density changes in the overlying ionosphere.

  20. Using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Climatologies to Initialize Gridded Lightning Threat Forecasts for East Central Florida (United States)

    Lambert, Winnie; Sharp, David; Spratt, Scott; Volkmer, Matthew


    Each morning, the forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourn, FL (NWS MLB) produce an experimental cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning threat index map for their county warning area (CWA) that is posted to their web site ( . Given the hazardous nature of lightning in central Florida, especially during the warm season months of May-September, these maps help users factor the threat of lightning, relative to their location, into their daily plans. The maps are color-coded in five levels from Very Low to Extreme, with threat level definitions based on the probability of lightning occurrence and the expected amount of CG activity. On a day in which thunderstorms are expected, there are typically two or more threat levels depicted spatially across the CWA. The locations of relative lightning threat maxima and minima often depend on the position and orientation of the low-level ridge axis, forecast propagation and interaction of sea/lake/outflow boundaries, expected evolution of moisture and stability fields, and other factors that can influence the spatial distribution of thunderstorms over the CWA. The lightning threat index maps are issued for the 24-hour period beginning at 1200 UTC (0700 AM EST) each day with a grid resolution of 5 km x 5 km. Product preparation is performed on the AWIPS Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), which is the standard NWS platform for graphical editing. Currently, the forecasters create each map manually, starting with a blank map. To improve efficiency of the forecast process, NWS MLB requested that the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) create gridded warm season lightning climatologies that could be used as first-guess inputs to initialize lightning threat index maps. The gridded values requested included CG strike densities and frequency of occurrence stratified by synoptic-scale flow regime. The intent is to increase consistency between forecasters while enabling them to focus on

  1. Optical emissions associated with energetic electrons produced by stepping leaders in cloud-to-ground lightning discharges


    Xu , Wei; Celestin , Sebastien; Pasko , Victor


    All data used in this paper are directly available after a request is made to authors W.X. (), S.C. (), or V.P.P. ().; International audience; Both natural cloud-to-ground and rocket-triggered lightning flashes have been found to be associated with intense and brief bursts of X-ray emissions. Using a full energy Monte Carlo model combined with an optical emission model, we quantify the optical emissions induced by the strong accel...

  2. Comparing distinct ground-based lightning location networks covering the Netherlands (United States)

    de Vos, Lotte; Leijnse, Hidde; Schmeits, Maurice; Beekhuis, Hans; Poelman, Dieter; Evers, Läslo; Smets, Pieter


    Lightning can be detected using a ground-based sensor network. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) monitors lightning activity in the Netherlands with the so-called FLITS-system; a network combining SAFIR-type sensors. This makes use of Very High Frequency (VHF) as well as Low Frequency (LF) sensors. KNMI has recently decided to replace FLITS by data from a sub-continental network operated by Météorage which makes use of LF sensors only (KNMI Lightning Detection Network, or KLDN). KLDN is compared to the FLITS system, as well as Met Office's long-range Arrival Time Difference (ATDnet), which measures Very Low Frequency (VLF). Special focus lies on the ability to detect Cloud to Ground (CG) and Cloud to Cloud (CC) lightning in the Netherlands. Relative detection efficiency of individual flashes and lightning activity in a more general sense are calculated over a period of almost 5 years. Additionally, the detection efficiency of each system is compared to a ground-truth that is constructed from flashes that are detected by both of the other datasets. Finally, infrasound data is used as a fourth lightning data source for several case studies. Relative performance is found to vary strongly with location and time. As expected, it is found that FLITS detects significantly more CC lightning (because of the strong aptitude of VHF antennas to detect CC), though KLDN and ATDnet detect more CG lightning. We analyze statistics computed over the entire 5-year period, where we look at CG as well as total lightning (CC and CG combined). Statistics that are considered are the Probability of Detection (POD) and the so-called Lightning Activity Detection (LAD). POD is defined as the percentage of reference flashes the system detects compared to the total detections in the reference. LAD is defined as the fraction of system recordings of one or more flashes in predefined area boxes over a certain time period given the fact that the reference detects at least one

  3. Characteristics of cloud-to-ground lightning activity over Seoul, South Korea in relation to an urban effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Kar


    Full Text Available Cloud-to-ground (CG lightning flash data collected by the lightning detection network installed at the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA have been used to study the urban effect on lightning activity over and around Seoul, the largest metropolitan city of South Korea, for the period of 1989–1999. Negative and positive flash density and the percentage of positive flashes have been calculated. Calculation reveals that an enhancement of approximately 60% and 42% are observed, respectively, for negative and positive flash density over and downwind of the city. The percentage decrease of positive flashes occurs over and downwind of Seoul and the amount of decrease is nearly 20% compared to upwind values. The results are in good agreement with those obtained by Steiger et al. (2002 and Westcott (1995. CG lightning activities have also been considered in relation to annual averages of PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10 μm and sulphur dioxide (SO2 concentrations. Interesting results are found, indicating that the higher concentration of SO2 contributes to the enhancement of CG lightning flashes. On the other hand, the contribution from PM10 concentration has not appeared in this study to be as significant as SO2 in the enhancement of CG lightning flashes. Correlation coefficients of 0.33 and 0.64 are found between the change in CG lightning flashes and the PM10 and SO2, respectively, for upwind to downwind areas, suggesting a significant influence of the increased concentration of SO2 on the enhancement of CG flashes.

  4. The Distribution of Cloud to Ground Lightning Strike Intensities and Associated Magnetic Inductance Fields Near the Kennedy Space Center (United States)

    Burns, Lee; Decker, Ryan


    Lightning strike location and peak current are monitored operationally in the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) area by the Cloud to Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS). The present study compiles ten years worth of CGLSS data into a database of near strikes. Using shuffle launch platform LP39A as a convenient central point, all strikes recorded within a 20-mile radius for the period of record O R ) from January 1, 1993 to December 31,2002 were included in the subset database. Histograms and cumulative probability curves are produced for both strike intensity (peak current, in kA) and the corresponding magnetic inductance fields (in A/m). Results for the full POR have application to launch operations lightning monitoring and post-strike test procedures.

  5. Evidence for the influence of land uses and soil types on cloud-to-ground lightning activity in Asturias (Spain) (United States)

    Sisniega, David Prieto; García, Manuel Mora; Menéndez, Susana Fernández; Soriano, Luís Rivas; de Pablo Dávila, Fernando


    The present study analyses the impact of the different categories of land use and types of soils on cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning activity in the region of Asturias (Spain). Thirteen (fifteen) land uses (types of soils) and a range of fourteen years (2000 to 2013) of CG-lightning flash data were considered to complete the study. Some areas that have suffered the strong impact of human activity (urban, mining, and industrial) were associated with the increase of CG-lightning activity. When considering vegetated areas, areas with non-agricultural vegetation, arable land and permanent crops, it was showed a greater CG activity. With reference to the types of soils, Fluvisols, Regosols/Cambic-Arenosols, and Luvisols, these seemed to be associated to the increase of CG-lightning activity. The results found for the region of Asturias are different from those reported by Mora et al. (2015) for the region of Castilla y Leon (Spain).

  6. A study of the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning and precipitation in the convective weather system in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Zhou

    Full Text Available In this paper, the correlation between cloud-to-ground (CG lightning and precipitation has been studied by making use of the data from weather radar, meteorological soundings, and a lightning location system that includes three direction finders about 40 km apart from each other in the Pingliang area of east Gansu province in P. R. China. We have studied the convective systems that developed during two cold front processes passing over the observation area, and found that the CG lightning can be an important factor in the precipitation estimation. The regression equation between the average precipitation intensity (R and the number of CG lightning flashes (L in the main precipitation period is R = 1.69 ln (L - 0.27, and the correlation coefficient r is 0.86. The CG lightning flash rate can be used as an indicator of the formation and development of the convective weather system. Another more exhaustive precipitation estimation method has been developed by analyzing the temporal and spatial distributions of the precipitation relative to the location of the CG lightning flashes. Precipitation calculated from the CG lightning flashes is very useful, especially in regions with inadequate radar cover.

    Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; lightning; precipitation

  7. Forecasting Lightning Threat using Cloud-resolving Model Simulations (United States)

    McCaul, E. W., Jr.; Goodman, S. J.; LaCasse, K. M.; Cecil, D. J.


    As numerical forecasts capable of resolving individual convective clouds become more common, it is of interest to see if quantitative forecasts of lightning flash rate density are possible, based on fields computed by the numerical model. Previous observational research has shown robust relationships between observed lightning flash rates and inferred updraft and large precipitation ice fields in the mixed phase regions of storms, and that these relationships might allow simulated fields to serve as proxies for lightning flash rate density. It is shown in this paper that two simple proxy fields do indeed provide reasonable and cost-effective bases for creating time-evolving maps of predicted lightning flash rate density, judging from a series of diverse simulation case study events in North Alabama for which Lightning Mapping Array data provide ground truth. One method is based on the product of upward velocity and the mixing ratio of precipitating ice hydrometeors, modeled as graupel only, in the mixed phase region of storms at the -15\\dgc\\ level, while the second method is based on the vertically integrated amounts of ice hydrometeors in each model grid column. Each method can be calibrated by comparing domainwide statistics of the peak values of simulated flash rate proxy fields against domainwide peak total lightning flash rate density data from observations. Tests show that the first method is able to capture much of the temporal variability of the lightning threat, while the second method does a better job of depicting the areal coverage of the threat. A blended solution is designed to retain most of the temporal sensitivity of the first method, while adding the improved spatial coverage of the second. Weather Research and Forecast Model simulations of selected North Alabama cases show that this model can distinguish the general character and intensity of most convective events, and that the proposed methods show promise as a means of generating

  8. Using Total Lightning Observations to Enhance Lightning Safety (United States)

    Stano, Geoffrey T.


    Lightning is often the underrated threat faced by the public when it comes to dangerous weather phenomena. Typically, larger scale events such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes receive the vast majority of attention by both the general population and the media. This comes from the fact that these phenomena are large, longer lasting, can impact a large swath of society at one time, and are dangerous events. The threat of lightning is far more isolated on a case by case basis, although millions of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes hit this United States each year. While attention is given to larger meteorological events, lightning is the second leading cause of weather related deaths in the United States. This information raises the question of what steps can be taken to improve lightning safety. Already, the meteorological community s understanding of lightning has increased over the last 20 years. Lightning safety is now better addressed with the National Weather Service s access to the National Lightning Detection Network data and enhanced wording in their severe weather warnings. Also, local groups and organizations are working to improve public awareness of lightning safety with easy phrases to remember, such as "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors." The impacts can be seen in the greater array of contingency plans, from airports to sports stadiums, addressing the threat of lightning. Improvements can still be made and newer technologies may offer new tools as we look towards the future. One of these tools is a network of sensors called a lightning mapping array (LMA). Several of these networks exist across the United States. NASA s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT), part of the Marshall Spaceflight Center, has access to three of these networks from Huntsville, Alabama, the Kennedy Space Center, and Washington D.C. The SPoRT program s mission is to help transition unique products and observations into the operational forecast environment

  9. Using cloud ice flux to parametrise large-scale lightning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. L. Finney


    Full Text Available Lightning is an important natural source of nitrogen oxide especially in the middle and upper troposphere. Hence, it is essential to represent lightning in chemistry transport and coupled chemistry–climate models. Using ERA-Interim meteorological reanalysis data we compare the lightning flash density distributions produced using several existing lightning parametrisations, as well as a new parametrisation developed on the basis of upward cloud ice flux at 440 hPa. The use of ice flux forms a link to the non-inductive charging mechanism of thunderstorms. Spatial and temporal distributions of lightning flash density are compared to tropical and subtropical observations for 2007–2011 from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM satellite. The well-used lightning flash parametrisation based on cloud-top height has large biases but the derived annual total flash density has a better spatial correlation with the LIS observations than other existing parametrisations. A comparison of flash density simulated by the different schemes shows that the cloud-top height parametrisation has many more instances of moderate flash densities and fewer low and high extremes compared to the other parametrisations. Other studies in the literature have shown that this feature of the cloud-top height parametrisation is in contrast to lightning observations over certain regions. Our new ice flux parametrisation shows a clear improvement over all the existing parametrisations with lower root mean square errors (RMSEs and better spatial correlations with the observations for distributions of annual total, and seasonal and interannual variations. The greatest improvement with the new parametrisation is a more realistic representation of the zonal distribution with a better balance between tropical and subtropical lightning flash estimates. The new parametrisation is appropriate for testing in chemistry transport and chemistry

  10. Stepped-to-dart Leaders in Cloud-to-ground Lightning (United States)

    Stolzenburg, M.; Marshall, T. C.; Karunarathne, S.; Karunarathna, N.; Warner, T.; Orville, R. E.


    Using time-correlated high-speed video (50,000 frames per second) and fast electric field change (5 MegaSamples per second) data for lightning flashes in East-central Florida, we describe an apparently rare type of subsequent leader: a stepped leader that finds and follows a previously used channel. The observed 'stepped-to-dart leaders' occur in three natural negative ground flashes. Stepped-to-dart leader connection altitudes are 3.3, 1.6 and 0.7 km above ground in the three cases. Prior to the stepped-to-dart connection, the advancing leaders have properties typical of stepped leaders. After the connection, the behavior changes almost immediately (within 40-60 us) to dart or dart-stepped leader, with larger amplitude E-change pulses and faster average propagation speeds. In this presentation, we will also describe the upward luminosity after the connection in the prior return stroke channel and in the stepped leader path, along with properties of the return strokes and other leaders in the three flashes.

  11. Thunderstorm and Lightning Studies using the FORTE Optical Lightning System (FORTE/OLS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Argo, P.; Franz, R.; Green, J.; Guillen, J.L.; Jacobson, A.R.; Kirkland, M.; Knox, S.; Spalding, R.; Suszcynsky, D.M.


    Preliminary observations of simultaneous RF and optical emissions from lightning as seen by the FORTE spacecraft are presented. RF/optical pairs of waveforms are routinely collected both as individual lightning events and as sequences of events associated with cloud-to-ground (CG) and intra-cloud (IC) flashes. CG pulses can be distinguished from IC pulses based on the properties of the RF and optical waveforms, but mostly based on the associated RF spectrograms. The RF spectrograms are very similar to previous ground-based VHF observations of lightning and show signatures associated with return strokes, stepped and dart leaders, and attachment processes,. RF emissions are observed to precede the arrival of optical emissions at the satellite by a mean value of 280 microseconds. The dual phenomenology nature of these observations are discussed in terms of their ability to contribute to a satellite-based lightning monitoring mission

  12. Thunderstorm and Lightning Studies using the FORTE Optical Lightning System (FORTE/OLS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Argo, P.; Franz, R.; Green, J.; Guillen, J.L.; Jacobson, A.R.; Kirkland, M.; Knox, S.; Spalding, R.; Suszcynsky, D.M.


    Preliminary observations of simultaneous RF and optical emissions from lightning as seen by the FORTE spacecraft are presented. RF/optical pairs of waveforms are routinely collected both as individual lightning events and as sequences of events associated with cloud-to-ground (CG) and intra-cloud (IC) flashes. CG pulses can be distinguished from IC pulses based on the properties of the RF and optical waveforms, but mostly based on the associated RF spectrograms. The RF spectrograms are very similar to previous ground-based VHF observations of lightning and show signatures associated with return strokes, stepped and dart leaders, and attachment processes,. RF emissions are observed to precede the arrival of optical emissions at the satellite by a mean value of 280 microseconds. The dual phenomenology nature of these observations are discussed in terms of their ability to contribute to a satellite-based lightning monitoring mission.

  13. An In Depth Look at Lightning Trends in Hurricane Harvey using Satellite and Ground-Based Measurements (United States)

    Ringhausen, J.


    This research combines satellite measurements of lightning in Hurricane Harvey with ground-based lightning measurements to get a better sense of the total lightning occurring in the hurricane, both intra-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG), and how it relates to the intensification and weakening of the tropical system. Past studies have looked at lightning trends in hurricanes using the space based Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) or ground-based lightning detection networks. However, both of these methods have drawbacks. For instance, LIS was in low earth orbit, which limited lightning observations to 90 seconds for a particular point on the ground; hence, continuous lightning coverage of a hurricane was not possible. Ground-based networks can have a decreased detection efficiency, particularly for ICs, over oceans where hurricanes generally intensify. With the launch of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on the GOES-16 satellite, researchers can study total lightning continuously over the lifetime of a tropical cyclone. This study utilizes GLM to investigate total lightning activity in Hurricane Harvey temporally; this is augmented with spatial analysis relative to hurricane structure, similar to previous studies. Further, GLM and ground-based network data are combined using Bayesian techniques in a new manner to leverage the strengths of each detection method. This methodology 1) provides a more complete estimate of lightning activity and 2) enables the derivation of the IC:CG ratio (Z-ratio) throughout the time period of the study. In particular, details of the evolution of the Z-ratio in time and space are presented. In addition, lightning stroke spatiotemporal trends are compared to lightning flash trends. This research represents a new application of lightning data that can be used in future study of tropical cyclone intensification and weakening.

  14. Production of Ionospheric Perturbations by Cloud-to-Ground Lightning and the Recovery of the Lower Ionosphere (United States)

    Liu, Ningyu; Dwyer, Joseph; Rassoul, Hamid


    The fact that lightning/thunderstorm activities can directly modify the lower ionosphere has long been established by observations of the perturbations of very low frequency (VLF) signals propagating in the earth-ionosphere waveguide. These perturbations are known as early VLF events [Inan et al., 2010, JGR, 115, A00E36, 2010]. More recently discovered transient luminous events caused by the lightning/thunderstorm activities only last ~1-100 ms, but studies of the early VLF events show that the lightning ionospheric effects can persist much longer, >10s min [Cotts and Inan, GRL, 34, L14809, 2007; Haldoupis et al., JGR, 39, L16801, 2012; Salut et al., JGR, 117, A08311, 2012]. It has been suggested that the long recovery is caused by long-lasting conductivity perturbations in the lower ionosphere, which can be created by sprites/sprite halos which in turn are triggered by cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning [Moore et al., JGR, 108, 1363, 2003; Haldoupis et al., 2012]. We recently developed a two-dimensional fluid model with simplified ionospheric chemistry for studying the quasi-electrostatic effects of lightning in the lower ionosphere [Liu, JGR, 117, A03308, 2012]. The model chemistry captures major ion species and reactions in the lower ionosphere. Additional important features of the model include self-consistent background ion density profiles and full description of electron and ion transport. In this talk, we present the simulation results on the dynamics of sprite halos caused by negative CG lightning. The modeling results indicate that electron density around 60 km altitude can be enhanced in a region as wide as 80 km. The enhancement reaches its full extent in ~1 s and recovers in 1-10 s, which are on the same orders as the durations of slow onset and post-onset peaks of some VLF events, respectively. In addition, long-lasting electron and ion density perturbations can occur around 80 km altitude due to negative halos as well as positive halos, which can explain

  15. Lightning channels emerging from the top of thunderstorm clouds (United States)

    van der Velde, Oscar; Montanyà, Joan; Soula, Serge; Pineda, Nicolau


    In recent years, research of transient luminous events is shifting from the rather common elves and sprites high above thunderclouds to the much less frequently observed phenomena issued by the storm cloud itself: gigantic jets (GJ) connecting to the ionosphere, and high-energy terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) recorded at spacecraft. These phenomena both are observed more often at tropical latitudes, and a link may or may not exist between the two. It is likely that both share the requirement of high-altitude leaders of negative polarity, which in the case of a GJ escapes from the cloud top and transforms into a long streamer discharge. While this should be easier at lower air densities (higher altitude), previous studies showed that GJs need not be produced by storms with the highest tops. TGFs have still unclear origins, but may be related to production in negative leaders or other regions with strong vertically directed electric fields by runaway electron mechnisms. In December 2009, a gigantic jet was observed in the Mediterranean Sea region. During the same night, a nearby storm produced repeatedly multiple leaders piercing through the cloud top, without any sign of streamers reaching higher altitudes (unlike jets or starters). Similar observations of upward cloud-to-air lightning have been obtained recently by low-light cameras over storms near the Catalonian coast in different seasons. The production conditions are currently being investigated, with a focus on optically determined altitudes of lightning and evolution of storm tops (and their temperature level). The initial impression is that cloud flashes escape into the air above during stages when the growing convective cloud top is very close to the main charge production region. Upward cloud-to-air lightning has also been mapped by the Ebro Lightning Mapping Array, exhibiting inverse bolt-from-the blue characteristics, and as a by-product of a bolt-from-the-blue lightning strike to ground, recorded

  16. Coincident Observation of Lightning using Spaceborne Spectrophotometer and Ground-Level Electromagnetic Sensors (United States)

    Adachi, Toru; Cohen, Morris; Li, Jingbo; Cummer, Steve; Blakeslee, Richard; Marshall, THomas; Stolzenberg, Maribeth; Karunarathne, Sumedhe; Hsu, Rue-Ron; Su, Han-Tzong; hide


    The present study aims at assessing a possible new way to reveal the properties of lightning flash, using spectrophotometric data obtained by FORMOSAT-2/ISUAL which is the first spaceborne multicolor lightning detector. The ISUAL data was analyzed in conjunction with ground ]based electromagnetic data obtained by Duke magnetic field sensors, NLDN, North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (LMA), and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) electric field antennas. We first classified the observed events into cloud ]to ]ground (CG) and intra ]cloud (IC) lightning based on the Duke and NLDN measurements and analyzed ISUAL data to clarify their optical characteristics. It was found that the ISUAL optical waveform of CG lightning was strongly correlated with the current moment waveform, suggesting that it is possible to evaluate the electrical properties of lightning from satellite optical measurement to some extent. The ISUAL data also indicated that the color of CG lightning turned to red at the time of return stroke while the color of IC pulses remained unchanged. Furthermore, in one CG event which was simultaneously detected by ISUAL and LMA, the observed optical emissions slowly turned red as the altitude of optical source gradually decreased. All of these results indicate that the color of lightning flash depends on the source altitude and suggest that spaceborne optical measurement could be a new tool to discriminate CG and IC lightning. In the presentation, we will also show results on the comparison between the ISUAL and KSC electric field data to clarify characteristics of each lightning process such as preliminary breakdown, return stroke, and subsequent upward illumination.

  17. Comparing lightning polarity and cloud microphysical properties over regions of high ground flash density in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Simpson, LA


    Full Text Available This study aims to find a correlation between lightning polarity and microphysical properties of a storm cloud, for events where large amounts of lightning damage have occured and/or there has been a reported lightning-related fatality....

  18. Study of the transport parameters of cloud lightning plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Z. S.; Yuan, P.; Zhao, N.


    Three spectra of cloud lightning have been acquired in Tibet (China) using a slitless grating spectrograph. The electrical conductivity, the electron thermal conductivity, and the electron thermal diffusivity of the cloud lightning, for the first time, are calculated by applying the transport theory of air plasma. In addition, we investigate the change behaviors of parameters (the temperature, the electron density, the electrical conductivity, the electron thermal conductivity, and the electron thermal diffusivity) in one of the cloud lightning channels. The result shows that these parameters decrease slightly along developing direction of the cloud lightning channel. Moreover, they represent similar sudden change behavior in tortuous positions and the branch of the cloud lightning channel.

  19. Cloud-to-ground lightning flash characteristics from June 1984 through May 1985 (United States)

    Orville, Richard E.; Weisman, Robert A.; Pyle, Richard B.; Henderson, Ronald W.; Orville, Richard E., Jr.


    A magnetic direction-finding network for the detection of lightning cloud-to-ground strikes has been installed along the east coast of the United States. Time, location, flash polarity, stroke count, and peak signal amplitude are recorded in real time. The data were recorded from Maine to North Carolina and as far west as Ohio; analyses were restricted to flashes within 300 km of a direction finder. Measurements of peak signal strength have been obtained from 720,284 first return strokes lowering negative charge. The resulting distribution indicates that few negative strokes have peak currents exceeding 100 kA. Measurements have also been obtained of peak signal strength from 17,694 first return strokes lowering positive charge. These strokes have a median peak current of 45 kA, with some peak currents reaching 300-400 kA. The median peak signal strength and the peak current, double from summer to winter for both negative and positive first return strokes. The polarity of ground flashes is observed to be less than 5 percent positive throughout the summer and early fall, then increases to over 50 percent during the winter, and returns to less than 10 percent in early spring. The percent of positive flashes with one stroke is observed to be approximately 90 percent throughout the year. The percent of negative flashes with one stroke is observed to increase from 40 percent in the summer to approximately 80 percent in January, returning to less than 50 percent in the spring.

  20. Charge analysis on lightning discharges to the ground in Chinese inland plateau (close to Tibet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Qie

    Full Text Available Since the summer of 1996, scientists from China and Japan have conducted a joint observation of natural cloud-to-ground lightning discharges in the Zhongchuan area that is located close to Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet Plateau, China. It has been found that the long-duration of intracloud discharge processes, just before the first return stroke, lasted more than 120 ms for 85% of cloud-to-ground flashes in this area, with a mean duration of 189.7 ms and a maximum of 300 ms. We present the results of charge sources neutralized by four ground flashes and two intracloud discharge processes, just before the first return stroke, by using the data from a 5-site slow antenna network synchronized by GPS with 1 µs time resolution. The result shows that the altitudes of the neutralized negative charge for three negative ground flashes were between 2.7 to 5.4 km above the ground, while that of neutralized positive charges for one positive ground flash and one continuing current process were at about 2.0 km above the ground. The comparison with radar echo showed that the negative discharges initiated in the region greater than 20 dBZ or near the edge of the region with intense echoes greater than 40 dBZ, while positive discharge initiated in the weak echo region.

    Key words: Meterology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; convective processes; lightning


  1. Charge analysis on lightning discharges to the ground in Chinese inland plateau (close to Tibet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Qie


    Full Text Available Since the summer of 1996, scientists from China and Japan have conducted a joint observation of natural cloud-to-ground lightning discharges in the Zhongchuan area that is located close to Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet Plateau, China. It has been found that the long-duration of intracloud discharge processes, just before the first return stroke, lasted more than 120 ms for 85% of cloud-to-ground flashes in this area, with a mean duration of 189.7 ms and a maximum of 300 ms. We present the results of charge sources neutralized by four ground flashes and two intracloud discharge processes, just before the first return stroke, by using the data from a 5-site slow antenna network synchronized by GPS with 1 µs time resolution. The result shows that the altitudes of the neutralized negative charge for three negative ground flashes were between 2.7 to 5.4 km above the ground, while that of neutralized positive charges for one positive ground flash and one continuing current process were at about 2.0 km above the ground. The comparison with radar echo showed that the negative discharges initiated in the region greater than 20 dBZ or near the edge of the region with intense echoes greater than 40 dBZ, while positive discharge initiated in the weak echo region.Key words: Meterology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; convective processes; lightning  

  2. Electromagnetic Methods of Lightning Detection (United States)

    Rakov, V. A.


    Both cloud-to-ground and cloud lightning discharges involve a number of processes that produce electromagnetic field signatures in different regions of the spectrum. Salient characteristics of measured wideband electric and magnetic fields generated by various lightning processes at distances ranging from tens to a few hundreds of kilometers (when at least the initial part of the signal is essentially radiation while being not influenced by ionospheric reflections) are reviewed. An overview of the various lightning locating techniques, including magnetic direction finding, time-of-arrival technique, and interferometry, is given. Lightning location on global scale, when radio-frequency electromagnetic signals are dominated by ionospheric reflections, is also considered. Lightning locating system performance characteristics, including flash and stroke detection efficiencies, percentage of misclassified events, location accuracy, and peak current estimation errors, are discussed. Both cloud and cloud-to-ground flashes are considered. Representative examples of modern lightning locating systems are reviewed. Besides general characterization of each system, the available information on its performance characteristics is given with emphasis on those based on formal ground-truth studies published in the peer-reviewed literature.

  3. The start of lightning: Evidence of bidirectional lightning initiation. (United States)

    Montanyà, Joan; van der Velde, Oscar; Williams, Earle R


    Lightning flashes are known to initiate in regions of strong electric fields inside thunderstorms, between layers of positively and negatively charged precipitation particles. For that reason, lightning inception is typically hidden from sight of camera systems used in research. Other technology such as lightning mapping systems based on radio waves can typically detect only some aspects of the lightning initiation process and subsequent development of positive and negative leaders. We report here a serendipitous recording of bidirectional lightning initiation in virgin air under the cloud base at ~11,000 images per second, and the differences in characteristics of opposite polarity leader sections during the earliest stages of the discharge. This case reveals natural lightning initiation, propagation and a return stroke as in negative cloud-to-ground flashes, upon connection to another lightning channel - without any masking by cloud.

  4. Modeling transient luminous events produced by cloud to ground lightning and narrow bipolar pulses: detailed spectra and chemical impact (United States)

    Perez-Invernon, F. J.; Luque, A.; Gordillo-Vazquez, F. J.


    The electromagnetic field generated by lightning discharges can produce Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) in the lower ionosphere, as previously investigated by many authors. Some recent studies suggest that narrow bipolar pulses (NBP), an impulsive and not well-established type of atmospheric electrical discharge, could also produce TLEs. The characterization and observation of such TLEs could be a source of information about the physics underlying NBP. In this work, we develop two different electrodynamical models to study the impact of lightning-driven electromagnetic fields in the lower ionosphere. The first model calculates the quasi-electrostatic field produced by a single cloud to ground lightning in the terrestrial atmosphere and its influence in the electron transport. This scheme allows us to study halos, a relatively frequent type of TLE. The second model solves the Maxwell equations for the electromagnetic field produced by a lightning discharge coupled with the Langevin's equation for the induced currents in the ionosphere. This model is useful to investigate elves, a fast TLE produced by lightning or by NBP. In addition, both models are coupled with a detailed chemistry of the electronically and vibrationally excited states of molecular nitrogen, allowing us to calculate synthetic spectra of both halos and elves. The models also include a detailed set of kinetic reactions to calculate the temporal evolution of other species. Our results suggest an important enhancement of some molecular species produced by halos, as NOx , N2 O and other metastable species. The quantification of their production could be useful to understand the role of thunderstorms in the climate of our planet. In the case of TLEs produced by NBP, our model confirms the appearance of double elves and allows us to compute their spectral characteristics.

  5. An Optical Lightning Simulator in an Electrified Cloud-Resolving Model to Prepare the Future Space Lightning Missions (United States)

    Bovalo, Christophe; Defer, Eric; Pinty, Jean-Pierre


    The future decade will see the launch of several space missions designed to monitor the total lightning activity. Among these missions, the American (Geostationary Lightning Mapper - GLM) and European (Lightning Imager - LI) optical detectors will be onboard geostationary satellites (GOES-R and MTG, respectively). For the first time, the total lightning activity will be monitored over the full Earth disk and at a very high temporal resolution (2 and 1 ms, respectively). Missions like the French Tool for the Analysis of Radiation from lightNIng and Sprites (TARANIS) and ISS-LIS will bring complementary information in order to better understand the lightning physics and to improve the weather prediction (nowcasting and forecasting). Such missions will generate a huge volume of new and original observations for the scientific community and weather prediction centers that have to be prepared. Moreover, before the launch of these missions, fundamental questions regarding the interpretation of the optical signal property and its relation to cloud optical thickness and lightning discharge processes need to be further investigated. An innovative approach proposed here is to use the synergy existing in the French MesoNH Cloud-Resolving Model (CRM). Indeed, MesoNH is one of the only CRM able to simulate the lifecycle of electrical charges generated within clouds through non-inductive charging process (dependent of the 1-moment microphysical scheme). The lightning flash geometry is based on a fractal law while the electrical field is diagnosed thanks to the Gauss' law. The lightning optical simulator is linked to the electrical scheme as the lightning radiance at 777.4 nm is a function of the lightning current, approximated by the charges neutralized along the lightning path. Another important part is the scattering of this signal by the hydrometeors (mainly ice particles) that is taken into account. Simulations at 1-km resolution are done over the Langmuir Laboratory (New

  6. Production of lightning NOx and its vertical distribution calculated from three-dimensional cloud-scale chemical transport model simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Ott, Lesley E.


    A three-dimensional (3-D) cloud-scale chemical transport model that includes a parameterized source of lightning NOx on the basis of observed flash rates has been used to simulate six midlatitude and subtropical thunderstorms observed during four field projects. Production per intracloud (PIC) and cloud-to-ground (PCG) flash is estimated by assuming various values of PIC and PCG for each storm and determining which production scenario yields NOx mixing ratios that compare most favorably with in-cloud aircraft observations. We obtain a mean PCG value of 500 moles NO (7 kg N) per flash. The results of this analysis also suggest that on average, PIC may be nearly equal to PCG, which is contrary to the common assumption that intracloud flashes are significantly less productive of NO than are cloud-to-ground flashes. This study also presents vertical profiles of the mass of lightning NOx after convection based on 3-D cloud-scale model simulations. The results suggest that following convection, a large percentage of lightning NOx remains in the middle and upper troposphere where it originated, while only a small percentage is found near the surface. The results of this work differ from profiles calculated from 2-D cloud-scale model simulations with a simpler lightning parameterization that were peaked near the surface and in the upper troposphere (referred to as a “C-shaped” profile). The new model results (a backward C-shaped profile) suggest that chemical transport models that assume a C-shaped vertical profile of lightning NOx mass may place too much mass near the surface and too little in the middle troposphere.

  7. A case study of lightning attachment to flat ground showing multiple unconnected upward leaders (United States)

    Cummins, Kenneth L.; Krider, E. Philip; Olbinski, Mike; Holle, Ronald L.


    On 10 July 2015, a cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash that produced two ground terminations was photographed from inside the safety of a truck in southern New Mexico. An analysis of archived NLDN data verified that this was a two-stroke flash, and a close-up view of the first stroke shows that it also initiated at least 12 unconnected, upward leaders (or "streamers") near the ground termination. No unconnected upward leaders were seen near the second ground attachment. After combining an analysis of the photograph with information provided by the NLDN, we infer that the first stroke was of negative (normal) polarity, had modest peak current, and struck about 460 m (± 24%) from the camera. Attachment occurred when an upward-propagating positive leader reached an inferred height of about 21 m above local ground. The second stroke struck ground about 740 m from the camera, and the height of its attachment leader is estimated to be 15 m. The estimated lengths of the unconnected upward leaders in the two-dimensional (2-D) plane of the first stroke range from 2 to 8 m, and all appear to be located within 15 m (2-D) of the main ground termination, with 24% uncertainty. Many of the unconnected upward leaders (inferred to be positive) exhibit multiple upward branches, and most of those branches have upward-directed forks or splits at their ends. This is the first report showing such extensive branching for positive upward leaders in natural lightning strikes to ground. None of the upward leaders can be seen to emanate from the tops of tall, isolated, or pointed objects on the ground, but they likely begin on small plants and rocks, or flat ground. In terms of lightning safety, this photo demonstrates that numerous upward leaders can be produced near a lightning strike point and have the potential to damage or cause injury at more than one specific point on the ground.

  8. Total Lightning as an Indicator of Mesocyclone Behavior (United States)

    Stough, Sarah M.; Carey, Lawrence D.; Schultz, Christopher J.


    Apparent relationship between total lightning (in-cloud and cloud to ground) and severe weather suggests its operational utility. Goal of fusion of total lightning with proven tools (i.e., radar lightning algorithms. Preliminary work here investigates circulation from Weather Suveilance Radar- 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) coupled with total lightning data from Lightning Mapping Arrays.

  9. Statistical analysis of lightning electric field measured under Malaysian condition (United States)

    Salimi, Behnam; Mehranzamir, Kamyar; Abdul-Malek, Zulkurnain


    Lightning is an electrical discharge during thunderstorms that can be either within clouds (Inter-Cloud), or between clouds and ground (Cloud-Ground). The Lightning characteristics and their statistical information are the foundation for the design of lightning protection system as well as for the calculation of lightning radiated fields. Nowadays, there are various techniques to detect lightning signals and to determine various parameters produced by a lightning flash. Each technique provides its own claimed performances. In this paper, the characteristics of captured broadband electric fields generated by cloud-to-ground lightning discharges in South of Malaysia are analyzed. A total of 130 cloud-to-ground lightning flashes from 3 separate thunderstorm events (each event lasts for about 4-5 hours) were examined. Statistical analyses of the following signal parameters were presented: preliminary breakdown pulse train time duration, time interval between preliminary breakdowns and return stroke, multiplicity of stroke, and percentages of single stroke only. The BIL model is also introduced to characterize the lightning signature patterns. Observations on the statistical analyses show that about 79% of lightning signals fit well with the BIL model. The maximum and minimum of preliminary breakdown time duration of the observed lightning signals are 84 ms and 560 us, respectively. The findings of the statistical results show that 7.6% of the flashes were single stroke flashes, and the maximum number of strokes recorded was 14 multiple strokes per flash. A preliminary breakdown signature in more than 95% of the flashes can be identified.

  10. Some features of stepped and dart-stepped leaders near the ground in natural negative cloud-to-ground lightning discharges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Qie


    Full Text Available Characteristics of the electric fields produced by stepped and dart-stepped leaders 200 µs just prior to the return strokes during natural negative cloud-to-ground (CG lightning discharges have been analyzed by using data from a broad-band slow antenna system with 0.08 µs time resolution in southeastern China. It has been found that the electric field changes between the last stepped leader and the first return stroke could be classified in three categories. The first type is characterized by a small pulse superimposed on the abrupt beginning of the return stroke, and accounts for 42% of all the cases. The second type accounts for 33.3% and is characterized by relatively smooth electric field changes between the last leader pulse and the following return stroke. The third type accounts for 24.7%, and is characterized by small pulses between the last recognizable leader pulse and the following return stroke. On the average, the time interval between the successive leader pulses prior to the first return strokes and subsequent return strokes was 15.8 µs and 9.4 µs, respectively. The distribution of time intervals between successive stepped leader pulses is quite similar to Gaussian distribution while that for dart-stepped leader pulses is more similar to a log-normal distribution. Other discharge features, such as the average time interval between the last leader step and the first return stroke peak, the ratio of the last leader pulse peak to that of the return stroke amplitude are also discussed in the paper.Key words. Meteology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; lightning – Radio science (electromagnetic noise and interference

  11. Some features of stepped and dart-stepped leaders near the ground in natural negative cloud-to-ground lightning discharges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Qie

    Full Text Available Characteristics of the electric fields produced by stepped and dart-stepped leaders 200 µs just prior to the return strokes during natural negative cloud-to-ground (CG lightning discharges have been analyzed by using data from a broad-band slow antenna system with 0.08 µs time resolution in southeastern China. It has been found that the electric field changes between the last stepped leader and the first return stroke could be classified in three categories. The first type is characterized by a small pulse superimposed on the abrupt beginning of the return stroke, and accounts for 42% of all the cases. The second type accounts for 33.3% and is characterized by relatively smooth electric field changes between the last leader pulse and the following return stroke. The third type accounts for 24.7%, and is characterized by small pulses between the last recognizable leader pulse and the following return stroke. On the average, the time interval between the successive leader pulses prior to the first return strokes and subsequent return strokes was 15.8 µs and 9.4 µs, respectively. The distribution of time intervals between successive stepped leader pulses is quite similar to Gaussian distribution while that for dart-stepped leader pulses is more similar to a log-normal distribution. Other discharge features, such as the average time interval between the last leader step and the first return stroke peak, the ratio of the last leader pulse peak to that of the return stroke amplitude are also discussed in the paper.

    Key words. Meteology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; lightning – Radio science (electromagnetic noise and interference


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuznetsov, V.V.


    Full Text Available Problem of high-energy particles flux origin in clouds is discussed. Conditions in which dark lightning preceding the ordinary one and creating additional ionization, fluxes of fast electrons with MeV energy prior to the earthquake detected among lightning initiating ball-lightning, glow, sprites are considered. All above phenomena appear to be of general nature founded on quantum entanglement of hydrogen bonds protons in water clasters inside clouds.

  13. Geological Effects on Lightning Strike Distributions

    KAUST Repository

    Berdahl, J. Scott


    Recent advances in lightning detection networks allow for detailed mapping of lightning flash locations. Longstanding rumors of geological influence on cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning distribution and recent commercial claims based on such influence

  14. Using the VAHIRR Radar Algorithm to Investigate Lightning Cessation (United States)

    Stano, Geoffrey T.; Schultz, Elise V.; Petersen, Walter A.


    Accurately determining the threat posed by lightning is a major area for improved operational forecasts. Most efforts have focused on the initiation of lightning within a storm, with far less effort spent investigating lightning cessation. Understanding both components, initiation and cessation, are vital to improving lightning safety. Few organizations actively forecast lightning onset or cessation. One such organization is the 45th Weather Squadron (45WS) for the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The 45WS has identified that charged anvil clouds remain a major threat of continued lightning and can greatly extend the window of a potential lightning strike. Furthermore, no discernable trend of total lightning activity has been observed consistently for all storms. This highlights the need for more research to find a robust method of knowing when a storm will cease producing lightning. Previous lightning cessation work has primarily focused on forecasting the cessation of cloud-to -ground lightning only. A more recent, statistical study involved total lightning (both cloud-to-ground and intracloud). Each of these previous works has helped the 45WS take steps forward in creating improved and ultimately safer lightning cessation forecasts. Each study has either relied on radar data or recommended increased use of radar data to improve cessation forecasts. The reasoning is that radar data is able to either directly or by proxy infer more about dynamical environment leading to cloud electrification and eventually lightning cessation. The authors of this project are focusing on a two ]step approach to better incorporate radar data and total lightning to improve cessation forecasts. This project will utilize the Volume Averaged Height Integrated Radar Reflectivity (VAHIRR) algorithm originally developed during the Airborne Field Mill II (ABFM II) research project. During the project, the VAHIRR product showed a trend of increasing

  15. How Lightning Works Inside Thunderstorms: A Half-Century of Lightning Studies (United States)

    Krehbiel, P. R.


    Lightning is a fascinating and intriguing natural phenomenon, but the most interesting parts of lightning discharges are inside storms where they are obscured from view by the storm cloud. Although clouds are essentially opaque at optical frequencies, they are fully transparent at radio frequencies (RF). This, coupled with the fact that lightning produces prodigious RF emissions, has allowed us to image and study lightning inside storms using various RF and lower-frequency remote sensing techniques. As in all other scientific disciplines, the technology for conducting the studies has evolved to an incredible extent over the past 50 years. During this time, we have gone from having very little or no knowledge of how lightning operates inside storms, to being able to 'see' its detailed structure and development with an increasing degree of spatial and temporal resolution. In addition to studying the discharge processes themselves, lightning mapping observations provide valuable information on the electrical charge structure of storms, and on the mechanisms by which storms become strongly electrified. In this presentation we briefly review highlights of previous observations, focussing primarily on the long string of remote-sensing studies I have been involved in. We begin with the study of lightning charge centers of cloud-to-ground discharges in central New Mexico in the late 1960s and continue up to the present day with interferometric and 3-dimensional time-of-arrival VHF mapping observations of lightning in normally- and anomalously electrified storms. A particularly important aspect of the investigations has been comparative studies of lightning in different climatological regimes. We conclude with observations being obtained by a high-speed broadband VHF interferometer, which show in unprecedented detail how individual lightning discharges develop inside storms. From combined interferometer and 3-D mapping data, we are beginning to unlock nature's secrets

  16. The evolution of discharge current and channel radius in cloud-to-ground lightning return stroke process (United States)

    Fan, Tingting; Yuan, Ping; Wang, Xuejuan; Cen, Jianyong; Chang, Xuan; Zhao, Yanyan


    The spectra of two negative cloud-to-ground lightning discharge processes with multi-return strokes are obtained by a slit-less high-speed spectrograph, which the temporal resolution is 110 μs. Combined with the synchronous electrical observation data and theoretical calculation, the physical characteristics during return strokes process are analysed. A positive correlation between discharge current and intensity of ionic lines in the spectra is verified, and based on this feature, the current evolution characteristics during four return strokes are investigated. The results show that the time from peak current to the half-peak value estimated by multi point-fitting is about 101 μs-139 μs. The Joule heat in per unit length of four return strokes channel is in the order of 105J/m-106 J/m. The radius of arc discharge channel is positively related to the discharge current, and the more intense the current is, the greater the radius of channel is. Furthermore, the evolution for radius of arc core channel in the process of return stroke is consistent with the change trend of discharge current after the peak value. Compared with the decay of the current, the temperature decreases more slowly.

  17. Characteristics of Lightning within Electrified Snowfall Events using Total Lightning Measurements (United States)

    Schultz, C. J.; Bruning, E. C.; Lang, T. J.; Kuhlman, K. M.


    Lightning within heavy snowfall indicates the presence of heavy snowfall rates. Most studies within the literature examine this phenomenon using ground based networks that are primarily designed for identifying cloud to ground flashes. Thus, very little study of the three dimensional structure of the lightning flashes within heavy snowfall has been accomplished. Herein, total lightning mapping arrays, interferometers and ground based networks like the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) are utilized to document the characteristics of these flashes, including flash size, polarity, flash initiation location and inferred charge structure. A total of six events are examined, resulting in a total of approximately 80 flashes. Both individual case studies and overall population statistics will be used to characterize flashes within this winter environment. Many of these flashes are found to initiate from tall objects like television and radio communication towers, and come to ground in multiple locations along their path, resulting in one LMA derived flash containing multiple NLDN identified flashes. Cloud-to-ground flashes of both polarities are noted within the 80 flash sample. In one case, 3 separate flashes which resulted in ground flashes of both polarities were observed coming out of the same overall charge structure. This structure exhibited a highly sloped nature in the LMA data from east to west, and both +IC and -IC components of flashes were observed by the NLDN in the same region where the flashes initiated. A decrease in flash size is noted with time in at least three of these events due to weaker updraft (compared to their summertime thunderstorm counter parts) and smaller available of supercooled liquid water as inferred through trends in radar observations. These limiting factors are hypothesized to result in slower charging rates, and smaller flash sizes with time. Several flashes also exhibit sloped structures that match reflectivity

  18. A Comparison of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Characteristics and Observations from Multiple Networks and Videos during the 31 May 2013 El Reno, OK Tornadic Supercell Storm (United States)

    Kuhlman, K. M.; Coy, J.; Seimon, A.


    Cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes recorded by both the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) are compared with three-dimensional lightning mapping observations from the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA) and storm chaser video recorded of the 31 May 2013 El Reno tornadic supercell. The El Reno Survey Project ( was created to crowd-source the abundance of storm chaser video from this event and provide open-access to the scientific community of the data. An initial comparison of CG lightning flashes captured on these videos with CG data from NLDN revealed a disagreement on the total number of flashes, with NLDN recording many negative CG flashes at lower peak amplitude not apparent in any of the videos. For this study, the area of the comparison was expanded to include the entire storm and data from both the ENTLN and LMA were added to compare the observations from each network in terms of timestamp, location detection, peak current, and polarity of each flash in the period 2230-2330 UTC. An initial comparison of 557 matched NLDN and ENLTN CG flashes, indicated predominately negative polairy CG flashes (58% NLDN/77% ENI) throughout the storm during this period. However, after a 15 kA peak current filter was applied, the NLDN indicated primarily positive polarity (84% +CG) while ENTLN still indicated primarily negative polarity (77% -CG) for the 264 remaining matched flashes. Before the filter was applied, the average distance between the two networks for the same flash was more than 2 km, but improved to approximately 1 km after the 15 kA filter was applied, likely removing some misidentified cloud flashes of uncertain location. This misclassification of IC flashes as CG at low peak current amplitudes for both networks is further evident when compared to video and the OKLMA data. Additionally, the charge analysis of OKLMA flashes revealed the NLDN-determined positive-polarity as

  19. Forecasting Lightning Threat using Cloud-Resolving Model Simulations (United States)

    McCaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Goodman, Steven J.; LaCasse, Katherine M.; Cecil, Daniel J.


    Two new approaches are proposed and developed for making time and space dependent, quantitative short-term forecasts of lightning threat, and a blend of these approaches is devised that capitalizes on the strengths of each. The new methods are distinctive in that they are based entirely on the ice-phase hydrometeor fields generated by regional cloud-resolving numerical simulations, such as those produced by the WRF model. These methods are justified by established observational evidence linking aspects of the precipitating ice hydrometeor fields to total flash rates. The methods are straightforward and easy to implement, and offer an effective near-term alternative to the incorporation of complex and costly cloud electrification schemes into numerical models. One method is based on upward fluxes of precipitating ice hydrometeors in the mixed phase region at the-15 C level, while the second method is based on the vertically integrated amounts of ice hydrometeors in each model grid column. Each method can be calibrated by comparing domain-wide statistics of the peak values of simulated flash rate proxy fields against domain-wide peak total lightning flash rate density data from observations. Tests show that the first method is able to capture much of the temporal variability of the lightning threat, while the second method does a better job of depicting the areal coverage of the threat. Our blended solution is designed to retain most of the temporal sensitivity of the first method, while adding the improved spatial coverage of the second. Exploratory tests for selected North Alabama cases show that, because WRF can distinguish the general character of most convective events, our methods show promise as a means of generating quantitatively realistic fields of lightning threat. However, because the models tend to have more difficulty in predicting the instantaneous placement of storms, forecasts of the detailed location of the lightning threat based on single

  20. Lightning characteristics of derecho producing mesoscale convective systems (United States)

    Bentley, Mace L.; Franks, John R.; Suranovic, Katelyn R.; Barbachem, Brent; Cannon, Declan; Cooper, Stonie R.


    Derechos, or widespread, convectively induced wind storms, are a common warm season phenomenon in the Central and Eastern United States. These damaging and severe weather events are known to sweep quickly across large spatial regions of more than 400 km and produce wind speeds exceeding 121 km h-1. Although extensive research concerning derechos and their parent mesoscale convective systems already exists, there have been few investigations of the spatial and temporal distribution of associated cloud-to-ground lightning with these events. This study analyzes twenty warm season (May through August) derecho events between 2003 and 2013 in an effort to discern their lightning characteristics. Data used in the study included cloud-to-ground flash data derived from the National Lightning Detection Network, WSR-88D imagery from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and damaging wind report data obtained from the Storm Prediction Center. A spatial and temporal analysis was conducted by incorporating these data into a geographic information system to determine the distribution and lightning characteristics of the environments of derecho producing mesoscale convective systems. Primary foci of this research include: (1) finding the approximate size of the lightning activity region for individual and combined event(s); (2) determining the intensity of each event by examining the density and polarity of lightning flashes; (3) locating areas of highest lightning flash density; and (4) to provide a lightning spatial analysis that outlines the temporal and spatial distribution of flash activity for particularly strong derecho producing thunderstorm episodes.

  1. On the Initiation of Lightning in Thunderclouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chilingarian, A.; Chilingaryan, S.; Karapetyan, T.; Kozliner, L.; Khanikyants, Y.; Hovsepyan, G.; Pokhsraryan, D.; Soghomonyan, S.


    The relationship of lightning and elementary particle fluxes in the thunderclouds is not fully understood to date. Using the particle beams (the so-called Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements - TGE) as a probe we investigate the characteristics of the interrelated atmospheric processes. The well-known effect of the TGE dynamics is the abrupt termination of the particle flux by the lightning flash. With new precise electronics, we can see that particle flux decline occurred simultaneously with the rearranging of the charge centers in the cloud. The analysis of the TGE energy spectra before and after the lightning demonstrates that intense high-energy part of the TGE energy spectra disappeared just after lightning. The decline of particle flux coincides on millisecond time scale with first atmospheric discharges and we can conclude that Relativistic Runaway Electron Avalanches (RREA) in the thundercloud assist initiation of the negative cloud to ground lightning. Thus, RREA can provide enough ionization to play a significant role in the unleashing of the lightning flash. (author)

  2. Application of Artificial Thunderstorm Cells for the Investigation of Lightning Initiation Problems between a Thundercloud and the Ground (United States)

    Temnikov, A. G.; Chernensky, L. L.; Orlov, A. V.; Lysov, N. Y.; Zhuravkova, D. S.; Belova, O. S.; Gerastenok, T. K.


    The results of the experimental application of artificial thunderstorm cells of negative and positive polarities for the investigation of the lightning initiation problems between the thundercloud and the ground using model hydrometeor arrays are presented. Possible options of the initiation and development of a discharge between the charged cloud and the ground in the presence of model hydrometeors are established. It is experimentally shown that groups of large hydrometeors of various shapes significantly increase the probability of channel discharge initiation between the artificial thunderstorm cell and the ground, especially in the case of positive polarity of the cloud. The authors assume that large hail arrays in the thundercloud can initiate the preliminary breakdown stage in the lower part of the thundercloud or initiate and stimulate the propagation of positive lightning from its upper part. A significant effect of the shape of model hydrometeors and the way they are grouped on the processes of initiation and stimulation of the channel discharge propagation in the artificial thunderstorm cell of negative or positive polarity-ground gap is experimentally established. It is found that, in the case of negative polarity of a charged cloud, the group of conductive cylindrical hydrometeors connected by a dielectric string more effectively initiates the channel discharge between the artificial thunderstorm cell and the ground. In the case of positive polarity of the artificial thunderstorm cell, the best effect of the channel discharge initiation is achieved for model hydrometeors grouped together by the dielectric tape. The obtained results can be used in the development of the method for the directed artificial lightning initiation between the thundercloud and the ground.

  3. Lightning prediction using radiosonde data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weng, L.Y.; Bin Omar, J.; Siah, Y.K.; Bin Zainal Abidin, I.; Ahmad, S.K. [Univ. Tenaga, Darul Ehsan (Malaysia). College of Engineering


    Lightning is a natural phenomenon in tropical regions. Malaysia experiences very high cloud-to-ground lightning density, posing both health and economic concerns to individuals and industries. In the commercial sector, power lines, telecommunication towers and buildings are most frequently hit by lightning. In the event that a power line is hit and the protection system fails, industries which rely on that power line would cease operations temporarily, resulting in significant monetary loss. Current technology is unable to prevent lightning occurrences. However, the ability to predict lightning would significantly reduce damages from direct and indirect lightning strikes. For that reason, this study focused on developing a method to predict lightning with radiosonde data using only a simple back propagation neural network model written in C code. The study was performed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). In this model, the parameters related to wind were disregarded. Preliminary results indicate that this method shows some positive results in predicting lighting. However, a larger dataset is needed in order to obtain more accurate predictions. It was concluded that future work should include wind parameters to fully capture all properties for lightning formation, subsequently its prediction. 8 refs., 5 figs.

  4. Ground Optical Lightning Detector (GOLD) (United States)

    Jackson, John, Jr.; Simmons, David

    A photometer developed to characterize lightning from the ground is discussed. The detector and the electronic signal processing and data storage systems are presented along with field data measured by the system. The discussion will include improvements that will be incorporated to enhance the measurement of lightning and the data storage capability to record for many days without human involvement. Finally, the calibration of the GOLD system is presented.

  5. Preliminary study on the Validation of FY-4A Lightning Mapping Imager (United States)

    Cao, D.; Lu, F.; Qie, X.; Zhang, X.; Huang, F.; Wang, D.


    The FengYun-4 (FY-4) geostationary meteorological satellite is the second generation of China's geostationary meteorological satellite. The FY-4A was launched on December 11th, 2016. It includes a new instrument Lightning Mapping Imager (LMI) for total lightning (cloud and cloud-to-ground flashes) detection. The LMI operates at a wavelength of 777.4nm with 1.9ms integrated time. And it could observe lightning activity continuously day and night with spatial resolution of 7.8 km (sub satellite point) over China region. The product algorithm of LMI consists of false signal filtering and flash clustering analysis. The false signal filtering method is used to identify and remove non-lightning artifacts in optical events. The flash clustering analysis method is used to cluster "event" into "group" and "flash" using specified time and space threshold, and the other non-lightning optical events are filtered further more in the clustering analysis. The ground-based lightning location network (LLN) in China and WWLLN (World Wide Lightning Location Network) were both used to make preliminary validation of LMI. The detection efficiency for cloud-to-ground lightning, spatial and temporal accuracy of LMI were estimated by the comparison of lightning observations from ground-based network and LMI. The day and night biases were also estiamted. Although the LLN and WWLLN mainly observe return strokes in cloud-to-ground flash, the accuracy of LMI still could be estimated for that it was not associated with the flash type mostly. The false alarm efficiency of LMI was estimated using the Geostationary Interferometric Infrared Sounder (GIIRS), another payloads on the FY-4A satellite. The GIIRS could identify the convective cloud region and give more information about the cloud properties. The GIIRS products were used to make a rough evaluation of false alarm efficiency of LMI. The results of this study reveal details of characteristics of LMI instrument. It is also found that the

  6. A Performance Evaluation of Lightning-NO Algorithms in CMAQ (United States)

    In the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQv5.2) model, we have implemented two algorithms for lightning NO production; one algorithm is based on the hourly observed cloud-to-ground lightning strike data from National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) to replace the previous m...

  7. Lightning activity during the 1999 Superior derecho (United States)

    Price, Colin G.; Murphy, Brian P.


    On 4 July 1999, a severe convective windstorm, known as a derecho, caused extensive damage to forested regions along the United States/Canada border, west of Lake Superior. There were 665,000 acres of forest destroyed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in Minnesota and Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, with approximately 12.5 million trees blown down. This storm resulted in additional severe weather before and after the occurrence of the derecho, with continuous cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning occurring for more than 34 hours during its path across North America. At the time of the derecho the percentage of positive cloud-to-ground (+CG) lightning measured by the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) was greater than 70% for more than three hours, with peak values reaching 97% positive CG lightning. Such high ratios of +CG are rare, and may be useful indicators of severe weather.

  8. Extensive air showers, lightnings and thunderstorm ground enhancements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chilingarian, A.; Hovsepyan, G.; Kozliner, L.


    For the lightning research, we monitor the particle fluxes from thunderclouds, the so called Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements (TGEs) initiated by the runaway electrons, and Extensive Air Showers (EASs) originated from high energy protons or fully stripped nuclei that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Besides, we monitor the near-surface electric field and the atmospheric discharges with the help of a network of electric field mills. The Aragats “electron accelerator” produced plenty of TGE and lightning events in spring 2015. Using 1-sec time series, we investigated the relation of lightnings and particle fluxes. Lightning flashes often terminated the particle flux; during some of TGEs the lightning would terminate the particle flux 3 times after successive recovery. It was postulated that a lightning terminates a particle flux mostly in the beginning of TGE or on the decay phase of it; however, we observed two events (19 October 2013 and 20 April 2015) when the huge particle flux was terminated just on a maximum of its development. We discuss the possibility that a huge EAS facilitates lightning leader to find its path to the ground. (author)

  9. The mechanism of lightning attraction and the problem of lightning initiation by lasers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bazelyan, E M; Raizer, Yurii P


    Physical processes determining the ability of lightning to change its trajectory by choosing high constructions to strike are discussed. The leader mechanism of lightning propagation is explained. The criterion for a viable ascending (upward) leader to originate from a construction is established. The mechanism of the weak long-distance interaction between the ascending counter leader originating from a grounded construction and the descending (downward) leader from a cloud is analyzed. Current problems concerning lightning protection and lightning triggering by a laser spark are discussed, the latter being of special interest owing to a recent successful experiment along this line. (physics of our days)

  10. Striking Distance Determined From High-Speed Videos and Measured Currents in Negative Cloud-to-Ground Lightning (United States)

    Visacro, Silverio; Guimaraes, Miguel; Murta Vale, Maria Helena


    First and subsequent return strokes' striking distances (SDs) were determined for negative cloud-to-ground flashes from high-speed videos exhibiting the development of positive and negative leaders and the pre-return stroke phase of currents measured along a short tower. In order to improve the results, a new criterion was used for the initiation and propagation of the sustained upward connecting leader, consisting of a 4 A continuous current threshold. An advanced approach developed from the combined use of this criterion and a reverse propagation procedure, which considers the calculated propagation speeds of the leaders, was applied and revealed that SDs determined solely from the first video frame showing the upward leader can be significantly underestimated. An original approach was proposed for a rough estimate of first strokes' SD using solely records of current. This approach combines the 4 A criterion and a representative composite three-dimensional propagation speed of 0.34 × 106 m/s for the leaders in the last 300 m propagated distance. SDs determined under this approach showed to be consistent with those of the advanced procedure. This approach was applied to determine the SD of 17 first return strokes of negative flashes measured at MCS, covering a wide peak-current range, from 18 to 153 kA. The estimated SDs exhibit very high dispersion and reveal great differences in relation to the SDs estimated for subsequent return strokes and strokes in triggered lightning.

  11. An Integrated 0-1 Hour First-Flash Lightning Nowcasting, Lightning Amount and Lightning Jump Warning Capability (United States)

    Mecikalski, John; Jewett, Chris; Carey, Larry; Zavodsky, Brad; Stano, Geoffrey


    Lightning one of the most dangerous weather-related phenomena, especially as many jobs and activities occur outdoors, presenting risk from a lightning strike. Cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning represents a considerable safety threat to people at airfields, marinas, and outdoor facilities-from airfield personnel, to people attending outdoor stadium events, on beaches and golf courses, to mariners, as well as emergency personnel. Holle et al. (2005) show that 90% of lightning deaths occurred outdoors, while 10% occurred indoors despite the perception of safety when inside buildings. Curran et al. (2000) found that nearly half of fatalities due to weather were related to convective weather in the 1992-1994 timeframe, with lightning causing a large component of the fatalities, in addition to tornadoes and flash flooding. Related to the aviation industry, CG lightning represents a considerable hazard to baggage-handlers, aircraft refuelers, food caterers, and emergency personnel, who all become exposed to the risk of being struck within short time periods while convective storm clouds develop. Airport safety protocols require that ramp operations be modified or discontinued when lightning is in the vicinity (typically 16 km), which becomes very costly and disruptive to flight operations. Therefore, much focus has been paid to nowcasting the first-time initiation and extent of lightning, both of CG and of any lightning (e.g, in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud). For this project three lightning nowcasting methodologies will be combined: (1) a GOESbased 0-1 hour lightning initiation (LI) product (Harris et al. 2010; Iskenderian et al. 2012), (2) a High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) lightning probability and forecasted lightning flash density product, such that a quantitative amount of lightning (QL) can be assigned to a location of expected LI, and (3) an algorithm that relates Pseudo-GLM data (Stano et al. 2012, 2014) to the so-called "lightning jump" (LJ) methodology (Shultz et al

  12. Lightning and surge protection of large ground facilities (United States)

    Stringfellow, Michael F.


    The vulnerability of large ground facilities to direct lightning strikes and to lightning-induced overvoltages on the power distribution, telephone and data communication lines are discussed. Advanced electrogeometric modeling is used for the calculation of direct strikes to overhead power lines, buildings, vehicles and objects within the facility. Possible modes of damage, injury and loss are discussed. Some appropriate protection methods for overhead power lines, structures, vehicles and aircraft are suggested. Methods to mitigate the effects of transients on overhead and underground power systems as well as within buildings and other structures are recommended. The specification and location of low-voltage surge suppressors for the protection of vulnerable hardware such as computers, telecommunication equipment and radar installations are considered. The advantages and disadvantages of commonly used grounding techniques, such as single point, multiple and isolated grounds are compared. An example is given of the expected distribution of lightning flashes to a large airport, its buildings, structures and facilities, as well as to vehicles on the ground.

  13. Multiparameter Investigation of Significant Lightning Producing Storms in Northeastern Colorado

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gauthier, Michael


    We present a regional, summer season, climatology of cloud to ground (CG) lightning immediately east of the central Rocky mountains from 1996-98 using data from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN...

  14. GLM Proxy Data Generation: Methods for Stroke/Pulse Level Inter-Comparison of Ground-Based Lightning Reference Networks (United States)

    Cummins, Kenneth L.; Carey, Lawrence D.; Schultz, Christopher J.; Bateman, Monte G.; Cecil, Daniel J.; Rudlosky, Scott D.; Petersen, Walter Arthur; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Goodman, Steven J.


    In order to produce useful proxy data for the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) in regions not covered by VLF lightning mapping systems, we intend to employ data produced by ground-based (regional or global) VLF/LF lightning detection networks. Before using these data in GLM Risk Reduction tasks, it is necessary to have a quantitative understanding of the performance of these networks, in terms of CG flash/stroke DE, cloud flash/pulse DE, location accuracy, and CLD/CG classification error. This information is being obtained through inter-comparison with LMAs and well-quantified VLF/LF lightning networks. One of our approaches is to compare "bulk" counting statistics on the spatial scale of convective cells, in order to both quantify relative performance and observe variations in cell-based temporal trends provided by each network. In addition, we are using microsecond-level stroke/pulse time correlation to facilitate detailed inter-comparisons at a more-fundamental level. The current development status of our ground-based inter-comparison and evaluation tools will be presented, and performance metrics will be discussed through a comparison of Vaisala s Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360) with the NLDN at locations within and outside the U.S.

  15. The communications industry's requirements and interests. [thunderstorm and lightning data useful to telephone operating companies (United States)

    Wanaselja, O.


    Of interest to the communications industry are the amplitude, waveshape, duration and frequency of lightning-originated voltage surges and transients on the communications network, including the distribution system and AC power supply circuits. The cloud-to-ground lightning discharge and its characteristics are thought to be most meaningful. Of specific interest are peak current, waveshape, number of flashes, strokes per flash, and zone of influence. Accurate and meaningful lightning data at the local level (telephone district office) is necessary for a decision on the appropriate protection level. In addition to lightning, the protection engineer must consider other factors such as: AC induction, switching surges, ground potential rise, soil resistivity, bonding and grounding techniques, shielding and isolation, and exposure of the telephone loop.

  16. Types of Lightning Discharges that Abruptly Terminate Enhanced Fluxes of Energetic Radiation and Particles Observed at Ground Level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chilingarian, A.; Khanikyants, Y.; Pokhsraryan, D.; Soghomonyan, S.; Mareev, E.; Rakov, V.


    We present ground-based measurements of thunderstorm-related enhancements of fluxes of energetic radiation and particles that are abruptly terminated by lightning discharges. All measurements were performed at an altitude of 3200 m above sea level on Mt. Aragats (Armenia). Lightning signatures were recorded using a network of five electric field mills, three of which were placed at the Aragats station, one at the Nor Amberd station (12.8 km from Aragats), and one at the Yerevan station (39 km from Aragats), and a wideband electric field measuring system with a useful frequency bandwidth of 50 Hz to 12 MHZ. It appears that the flux-enhancement termination is associated with close (within 10 km or so of the particle detector) -CGs and normal polarity ICs; that is, with lightning types which reduce the upward-directed electric field below the cloud and, hence, suppress the acceleration of electrons toward the ground. (author)

  17. Objective Lightning Forecasting at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station using Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System Data (United States)

    Lambert, Winfred; Wheeler, Mark; Roeder, William


    The 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) at Cape Canaveral Air-Force Station (CCAFS)ln Florida issues a probability of lightning occurrence in their daily 24-hour and weekly planning forecasts. This information is used for general planning of operations at CCAFS and Kennedy Space Center (KSC). These facilities are located in east-central Florida at the east end of a corridor known as 'Lightning Alley', an indication that lightning has a large impact on space-lift operations. Much of the current lightning probability forecast is based on a subjective analysis of model and observational data and an objective forecast tool developed over 30 years ago. The 45 WS requested that a new lightning probability forecast tool based on statistical analysis of more recent historical warm season (May-September) data be developed in order to increase the objectivity of the daily thunderstorm probability forecast. The resulting tool is a set of statistical lightning forecast equations, one for each month of the warm season, that provide a lightning occurrence probability for the day by 1100 UTC (0700 EDT) during the warm season.

  18. Ground-Based Observations of Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes Associated with Downward-Directed Lightning Leaders (United States)

    Belz, J.; Abbasi, R.; Krehbiel, P. R.; LeVon, R.; Remington, J.; Rison, W.; Thomas, R. J.


    Terrestrial Gamma Flashes (TGFs) have been observed in satellite-borne gamma ray detectors for several decades, starting with the BATSE instrument on the Compton Gamma-Ray observatory in 1994. TGFs consist of bursts of upwards of 1018 primary gamma rays, with a duration of up to a few milliseconds, originating in the Earth's atmosphere. More recent observations have shown that satellite-observed TGFs are generated in upward-propagating negative leaders of intracloud lightning, suggesting that they may be sensitive to the processes responsible for the initial lightning breakdown. Here, we present the first evidence that TGFs are also produced at the beginning of negative cloud-to-ground flashes, and that they may provide a new window through which ground-based observatories may contribute to understanding the breakdown process. The Telescope Array Surface Detector (TASD) is a 700 square kilometer cosmic ray observatory, an array of 507 3m2 scintillators on a 1.2 km grid. The array is triggered and read out when at least three adjacent detectors observe activity within an 8 μs window. Following the observation of bursts of anomalous TASD triggers, lasting a few hundred microseconds and correlated with local lightning activity, a Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) and slow electric field antenna were installed at the TASD site in order to study the effect. From data obtained between 2014 and 2016, correlated observations were obtained for ten -CG flashes. In 9 out of 10 cases, bursts of up to five anomalous triggers were detected during the first ms of the flash, as negative breakdown was descending into lower positive storm charge. The triggers occurred when the LMA-detected VHF radiation sources were at altitudes between 1.5 to 4.5 km AGL. The tenth flash was initiated by an unusually energetic leader that reached the ground in 2.5 ms and produced increasingly powerful triggers down to about 500 m AGL. While the TASD is not optimized for individual gamma ray detection

  19. Lightning Attachment Estimation to Wind Turbines by Utilizing Lightning Location Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Stephan; Holbøll, Joachim; Lopez, Javier


    three different wind power plant locations are analyzed and the impact of varying data qualities is evaluated regarding the ability to detect upward lightning. This work provides a variety of background information which is relevant to the exposure assessment of wind turbine and includes practical......The goal of a lightning exposure assessment is to identify the number, type and characteristics of lightning discharges to a certain structure. There are various Lightning Location System (LLS) technologies available, each of them are characterized by individual performance characteristics....... In this work, these technologies are reviewed and evaluated in order to obtain an estimation of which technologies are eligible to perform a lightning assessment to wind turbines. The results indicate that ground-based mid-range low frequency (LF) LLS systems are most qualified since they combine a wide...

  20. Lightning Sensors for Observing, Tracking and Nowcasting Severe Weather

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Price


    Full Text Available Severe and extreme weather is a major natural hazard all over the world, oftenresulting in major natural disasters such as hail storms, tornados, wind storms, flash floods,forest fires and lightning damages. While precipitation, wind, hail, tornados, turbulence,etc. can only be observed at close distances, lightning activity in these damaging stormscan be monitored at all spatial scales, from local (using very high frequency [VHF]sensors, to regional (using very low frequency [VLF] sensors, and even global scales(using extremely low frequency [ELF] sensors. Using sensors that detect the radio wavesemitted by each lightning discharge, it is now possible to observe and track continuouslydistant thunderstorms using ground networks of sensors. In addition to the number oflightning discharges, these sensors can also provide information on lightningcharacteristics such as the ratio between intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, thepolarity of the lightning discharge, peak currents, charge removal, etc. It has been shownthat changes in some of these lightning characteristics during thunderstorms are oftenrelated to changes in the severity of the storms. In this paper different lightning observingsystems are described, and a few examples are provided showing how lightning may beused to monitor storm hazards around the globe, while also providing the possibility ofsupplying short term forecasts, called nowcasting.

  1. Storm clouds on Saturn: Lightning-induced chemistry and associated materials consistent with Cassini/VIMS spectra (United States)

    Baines, K.H.; Delitsky, M.L.; Momary, T.W.; Brown, R.H.; Buratti, B.J.; Clark, R.N.; Nicholson, P.D.


    Thunderstorm activity on Saturn is associated with optically detectable clouds that are atypically dark throughout the near-infrared. As observed by Cassini/VIMS, these clouds are ~20% less reflective than typical neighboring clouds throughout the spectral range from 0.8 ??m to at least 4.1 ??m. We propose that active thunderstorms originating in the 10-20 bar water-condensation region vertically transport dark materials at depth to the ~1 bar level where they can be observed. These materials in part may be produced by chemical processes associated with lightning, likely within the water clouds near the ~10 bar freezing level of water, as detected by the electrostatic discharge of lightning flashes observed by Cassini/RPWS (e.g., Fischer et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev., 137, 271-285). We review lightning-induced pyrolytic chemistry involving a variety of Saturnian constituents, including hydrogen, methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, phosphine, and water. We find that the lack of absorption in the 1-2 ??m spectral region by lightning-generated sulfuric and phosphorous condensates renders these constituents as minor players in determining the color of the dark storm clouds. Relatively small particulates of elemental carbon, formed by lightning-induced dissociation of methane and subsequently upwelled from depth - perhaps embedded within and on the surface of spectrally bright condensates such as ammonium hydrosulfide or ammonia - may be a dominant optical material within the dark thunderstorm-related clouds of Saturn. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Combining satellite-based fire observations and ground-based lightning detections to identify lightning fires across the conterminous USA (United States)

    Bar-Massada, A.; Hawbaker, T.J.; Stewart, S.I.; Radeloff, V.C.


    Lightning fires are a common natural disturbance in North America, and account for the largest proportion of the area burned by wildfires each year. Yet, the spatiotemporal patterns of lightning fires in the conterminous US are not well understood due to limitations of existing fire databases. Our goal here was to develop and test an algorithm that combined MODIS fire detections with lightning detections from the National Lightning Detection Network to identify lightning fires across the conterminous US from 2000 to 2008. The algorithm searches for spatiotemporal conjunctions of MODIS fire clusters and NLDN detected lightning strikes, given a spatiotemporal lag between lightning strike and fire ignition. The algorithm revealed distinctive spatial patterns of lightning fires in the conterminous US While a sensitivity analysis revealed that the algorithm is highly sensitive to the two thresholds that are used to determine conjunction, the density of fires it detected was moderately correlated with ground based fire records. When only fires larger than 0.4 km2 were considered, correlations were higher and the root-mean-square error between datasets was less than five fires per 625 km2 for the entire study period. Our algorithm is thus suitable for detecting broad scale spatial patterns of lightning fire occurrence, and especially lightning fire hotspots, but has limited detection capability of smaller fires because these cannot be consistently detected by MODIS. These results may enhance our understanding of large scale patterns of lightning fire activity, and can be used to identify the broad scale factors controlling fire occurrence.

  3. An Algorithm for Obtaining the Distribution of 1-Meter Lightning Channel Segment Altitudes for Application in Lightning NOx Production Estimation (United States)

    Peterson, Harold; Koshak, William J.


    An algorithm has been developed to estimate the altitude distribution of one-meter lightning channel segments. The algorithm is required as part of a broader objective that involves improving the lightning NOx emission inventories of both regional air quality and global chemistry/climate models. The algorithm was tested and applied to VHF signals detected by the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA). The accuracy of the algorithm was characterized by comparing algorithm output to the plots of individual discharges whose lengths were computed by hand; VHF source amplitude thresholding and smoothing were applied to optimize results. Several thousands of lightning flashes within 120 km of the NALMA network centroid were gathered from all four seasons, and were analyzed by the algorithm. The mean, standard deviation, and median statistics were obtained for all the flashes, the ground flashes, and the cloud flashes. One-meter channel segment altitude distributions were also obtained for the different seasons.

  4. Investigating Possible Causative Mechanisms Behind the Houston Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Anomaly

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gauthier, Michael L; Petersen, Walter A


    Anthropogenic influences such as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) and increased aerosol concentrations have been postulated for many years to have an effect on lower tropospheric chemistry, convection, lightning and rainfall...

  5. Characteristics of Lightning Within Electrified Snowfall Events Using Lightning Mapping Arrays (United States)

    Schultz, Christopher J.; Lang, Timothy J.; Bruning, Eric C.; Calhoun, Kristin M.; Harkema, Sebastian; Curtis, Nathan


    This study examined 34 lightning flashes within four separate thundersnow events derived from lightning mapping arrays (LMAs) in northern Alabama, central Oklahoma, and Washington DC. The goals were to characterize the in-cloud component of each lightning flash, as well as the correspondence between the LMA observations and lightning data taken from national lightning networks like the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). Individual flashes were examined in detail to highlight several observations within the data set. The study results demonstrated that the structures of these flashes were primarily normal polarity. The mean area encompassed by this set of flashes is 375 km2, with a maximum flash extent of 2,300 km2, a minimum of 3 km2, and a median of 128 km2. An average of 2.29 NLDN flashes were recorded per LMA-derived lightning flash. A maximum of 11 NLDN flashes were recorded in association with a single LMA-derived flash on 10 January 2011. Additionally, seven of the 34 flashes in the study contain zero NLDN-identified flashes. Eleven of the 34 flashes initiated from tall human-made objects (e.g., communication towers). In at least six lightning flashes, the NLDN detected a return stroke from the cloud back to the tower and not the initial upward leader. This study also discusses lightning's interaction with the human-built environment and provides an example of lightning within heavy snowfall observed by Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16's Geostationary Lightning Mapper.

  6. Lightning characteristics observed by a VLF/LF lightning detection network (LINET in Brazil, Australia, Africa and Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Höller


    Full Text Available This paper describes lightning characteristics as obtained in four sets of lightning measurements during recent field campaigns in different parts of the world from mid-latitudes to the tropics by the novel VLF/LF (very low frequency/low frequency lightning detection network (LINET. The paper gives a general overview on the approach, and a synopsis of the statistical results for the observation periods as a whole and for one special day in each region. The focus is on the characteristics of lightning which can specifically be observed by this system like intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground stroke statistics, vertical distributions of intra-cloud strokes or peak current distributions. Some conclusions regarding lightning produced NOx are also presented as this was one of the aims of the tropical field campaigns TROCCINOX (Tropical Convection, Cirrus and Nitrogen Oxides Experiment and TroCCiBras (Tropical Convection and Cirrus Experiment Brazil in Brazil during January/February 2005, SCOUT-O3 (Stratospheric-Climate Links with Emphasis on the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere and TWP-ICE (Tropical Warm Pool-International Cloud Experiment during November/December 2005 and January/February 2006, respectively, in the Darwin area in N-Australia, and of AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses in W-Africa during June–November 2006.

    Regional and temporal characteristics of lightning are found to be dependent on orographic effects (e.g. S-Germany, Brazil, Benin, land-sea breeze circulations (N-Australia and especially the evolution of the monsoons (Benin, N-Australia. Large intra-seasonal variability in lightning occurrence was found for the Australian monsoon between the strong convection during build-up and break phases and the weak active monsoon phase with only minor lightning activity. Total daily lightning stroke rates can be of comparable intensity in all regions with the heaviest events found in Germany and N

  7. Future Expansion of the Lightning Surveillance System at the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA (United States)

    Mata, C. T.; Wilson, J. G.


    The NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Eastern Range (ER) use data from two cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning detection networks, the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS) and the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), and a volumetric mapping array, the lightning detection and ranging II (LDAR II) system: These systems are used to monitor and characterize lightning that is potentially hazardous to launch or ground operations and hardware. These systems are not perfect and both have documented missed lightning events when compared to the existing lightning surveillance system at Launch Complex 39B (LC39B). Because of this finding it is NASA's plan to install a lightning surveillance system around each of the active launch pads sharing site locations and triggering capabilities when possible. This paper shows how the existing lightning surveillance system at LC39B has performed in 2011 as well as the plan for the expansion around all active pads.

  8. Geological Effects on Lightning Strike Distributions

    KAUST Repository

    Berdahl, J. Scott


    Recent advances in lightning detection networks allow for detailed mapping of lightning flash locations. Longstanding rumors of geological influence on cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning distribution and recent commercial claims based on such influence can now be tested empirically. If present, such influence could represent a new, cheap and efficient geophysical tool with applications in mineral, hydrothermal and oil exploration, regional geological mapping, and infrastructure planning. This project applies statistical analysis to lightning data collected by the United States National Lightning Detection Network from 2006 through 2015 in order to assess whether the huge range in electrical conductivities of geological materials plays a role in the spatial distribution of CG lightning. CG flash densities are mapped for twelve areas in the contiguous United States and compared to elevation and geology, as well as to the locations of faults, railroads and tall towers including wind turbines. Overall spatial randomness is assessed, along with spatial correlation of attributes. Negative and positive polarity lightning are considered separately and together. Topography and tower locations show a strong influence on CG distribution patterns. Geology, faults and railroads do not. This suggests that ground conductivity is not an important factor in determining lightning strike location on scales larger than current flash location accuracies, which are generally several hundred meters. Once a lightning channel is established, however, ground properties at the contact point may play a role in determining properties of the subsequent stroke.

  9. Characteristics of lightning leader propagation and ground attachment (United States)

    Jiang, Rubin; Qie, Xiushu; Wang, Zhichao; Zhang, Hongbo; Lu, Gaopeng; Sun, Zhuling; Liu, Mingyuan; Li, Xun


    The grounding process and the associated leader behavior were analyzed by using high-speed video record and time-correlated electric field change for 37 natural negative cloud-to-ground flashes. Weak luminous grounded channel was recognized below the downward leader tip in the frame preceding the return stroke, which is inferred as upward connecting leader considering the physical process of lightning attachment, though not directly confirmed by sequential frames. For stepped leader-first return strokes, the upward connecting leaders tend to be induced by those downward leader branches with brighter luminosity and lower channel tip above ground, and they may accomplish the attachment with great possibility. The upward connecting leaders for 2 out of 61 leader-subsequent stroke sequences were captured in the frame prior to the return stroke, exhibiting relatively long channel lengths of 340 m and 105 m, respectively. The inducing downward subsequent leaders were of the chaotic type characterized by irregular electric field pulse train with duration of 0.2-0.3 ms. The transient drop of the high potential difference between stepped leader system and ground when the attachment occurred would macroscopically terminate the propagation of those ungrounded branches while would not effectively prevent the development of the existing space stem systems in the low-conductivity streamer zone apart from the leader tip. When the ungrounded branches are of poor connection with the main stroke channel, their further propagation toward ground would be feasible. These two factors may contribute to the occurrence of multiple grounding within the same leader-return stroke sequence.

  10. The effects of lightning and high altitude electromagnetic pulse on power distribution lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uman, M.A.; Rubinstein, M.; Yacoub, Z. [Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL (United States)


    We simultaneously recorded the voltages induced by lightning on both ends of an unenergized 448-meter long unenergized electric power line and the lightning vertical electric and horizontal magnetic fields at ground level near the line. The lightning data studied and presented here were due both to cloud lightning and to very close (about 20 m from the line) artificially initiated lightning. For cloud sources, a frequency-domain computer program called EMPLIN was used to calculate induced line voltages as a function of source elevation, angle of incidence, and wave polarization of the radiated cloud discharge pulses in order to compare with the measurements. For very-close lightning, the measured line voltages could be grouped into two categories, those in which multiple, similarly shaped, evenly spaced pulses were observed, which we call oscillatory, and those dominated by a principal pulse with subsidiary oscillations of much smaller amplitude, which we call impulsive. The amplitude of the induced voltage ranged from tens of kilovolts for oscillatory voltages to hundreds of kilovolts for impulsive voltages. A new technique is derived for the calculation of the electromagnetic fields from nearby lightning to ground above an imperfectly conducting ground. This technique was used in conjunction with an existing time domain coupling theory and lightning return stroke model to calculate voltages at either end of the line. The results show fair agreement with the measured oscillatory voltage waveforms if corona is ignored and improved results when corona effects are modeled. The modeling of the impulsive voltage, for which local flashover probably successful. In an attempt to understand better the sources of the line voltages for very close lightning, measurements of the horizontal and vertical electric fields 30 m from triggered lightning were obtained.

  11. Projected Increase in Lightning Strikes in the United States Due to Global Warming (United States)

    Romps, D. M.; Seeley, J.; Vollaro, D.; Molinari, J.


    Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. The lightning flash rate is proposed here to be proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation is found to explain the majority of variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS) on timescales ranging from diurnal to seasonal. The observations reveal that storms convert the CAPE of water mass to discharged lightning energy with an efficiency of about 1%. This proxy can be applied to global climate models, which provide predictions for the increase in lightning due to global warming. Results from 11 GCMs will be shown.

  12. Analytical technical of lightning surges induced on grounding mesh of PWR nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikeda, I.; Tani, M.; Yonezawa, T.


    An analytical lightning surge technique is needed to make a qualitative and predictive evaluation of transient voltages induced on local grounding meshes and instrumentation cables by a lightning strike on a lightning rod in a PWR plant. This paper discusses an experiment with lightning surge impulses in a PWR plant which was setup to observe lightning caused transient voltages. Experimental data when compared with EMTP simulation results improved the simulation method. The improved method provides a good estimation of induced voltages on grounding meshes and instrumentation cables

  13. Estimates of the Lightning NOx Profile in the Vicinity of the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (United States)

    Koshak, William J.; Peterson, Harold S.; McCaul, Eugene W.; Blazar, Arastoo


    The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) is applied to August 2006 North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) data to estimate the (unmixed and otherwise environmentally unmodified) vertical source profile of lightning nitrogen oxides, NOx = NO + NO2. Data from the National Lightning Detection Network (Trademark) (NLDN) is also employed. This is part of a larger effort aimed at building a more realistic lightning NOx emissions inventory for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system. Overall, special attention is given to several important lightning variables including: the frequency and geographical distribution of lightning in the vicinity of the NALMA network, lightning type (ground or cloud flash), lightning channel length, channel altitude, channel peak current, and the number of strokes per flash. Laboratory spark chamber results from the literature are used to convert 1-meter channel segments (that are located at a particular known altitude; i.e., air density) to NOx concentration. The resulting lightning NOx source profiles are discussed.

  14. Evaluation and planning for lightning rod grounding of PSTA cyclotron building

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suyamto; Taufik; Idrus Abdul Kudus


    Lightning rod connected with the ground resistance is an equipment protection against hazards of lightning strikes building. Lightning strike to the building may result in damage to the building and destroy all the equipment inside it. The need for a lightning rod of a building is regulated in PUIPP expressed with risk factors (FR). The amount of FR is the sum of the value of the index of five (5 ) components of the building i.e building functions, construction, the height and the situation of the building and and the number of yearly lightning days in that places. At this time 05 PSTA building has undergone changes in the function of the building's mechanical workshop into a cyclotron building so that safety criteria also change into vital building with lightning rods resistance have to < 1 Ω. From measurements of grounding resistant which exist at present known that average Rp is 1.26 Ω so it is necessary to install new additional grounding resistance to reduce being less than 1 Ω. To fulfil this and taking into consideration the cost and ease of installation, planned addition of a grounding using electrodes solid rods of copper, a diameter of 16 mm and a length of 4 m , planted the soil water depth of 12 m, as well as clay covering, with a water content of about 30 %. Under these conditions and taking into the cost and ease of installation are expected to obtain optimal results i.e. soil resistivity 18.35 Ω-m and its resistance of Rx 4.82 Ω. When coupled with existing grounding final resistant Rp 0.99 Ω obtained is thus fulfilling the requirements of PUIPP that is less than 1 Ω. (author)

  15. Climate Change and Tropical Total Lightning (United States)

    Albrecht, R.; Petersen, W.; Buechler, D.; Goodman, S.; Blakeslee, R.; Christian, H.


    While global warming is regarded as a fact by many in the scientific community, its future impact remains a challenge to be determined and measured. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report (IPCC, 2007) shows inconclusive answers on global rainfall trends and general agreement on a future drier climate with increased global warming. The relationship between temperature, humidity and convection is not linear and is strongly dependent on regional scale features, such as topography and land cover. Furthermore, the relationship between convective lightning production (thunderstorms) and temperature is even more complicated, being subjected to the cloud dynamics and microphysics. Total lightning (intracloud and cloud-to-ground) monitoring is a relatively new field of observation. Global and tropical total lightning began to be more extensively measured by satellites in the mid 90s. In this scope, the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) onboard of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) has been operational for over 11 years. Here we address total lightning trends observed by LIS from 1998 to 2008 in different temporal (annual and seasonal) and spatial (large and regional) scales. The observed 11-year trends are then associate to different predicted/hypothesized climate change scenarios.

  16. Climate change. Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming. (United States)

    Romps, David M; Seeley, Jacob T; Vollaro, David; Molinari, John


    Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. Here we propose that the lightning flash rate is proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation explains 77% of the variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Storms convert CAPE times precipitated water mass to discharged lightning energy with an efficiency of 1%. When this proxy is applied to 11 climate models, CONUS lightning strikes are predicted to increase 12 ± 5% per degree Celsius of global warming and about 50% over this century. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Practical Approach on Lightning and Grounding Protection System


    Shan Jose Varghese


    Lightning Protection and Grounding of Electrical and Mechanical equipment’s for the Protection of the Human Beings, Structure of the building and equipment protection, safe working of the Worker at Industry as per my latest practical knowledge in the site environment in extreme climatic condition of low lying areas of the Gulf Region in the challenging projects. All the conductor calculation, Lightning Risk Factor calculations, all the system information regarding the ...

  18. An Overview of the Lightning - Atmospheric Chemistry Aspects of the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) Experiment (United States)

    Pickering, K. E.; Barth, M. C.; Koshak, W.; Bucsela, E. J.; Allen, D. J.; Weinheimer, A.; Ryerson, T.; Huntrieser, H.; Bruning, E.; MacGorman, D.; hide


    Some of the major goals of the DC3 experiment are to determine the contribution of lightning to NO(x) in the anvils of observed thunderstorms, examine the relationship of lightning NO(x) production to flash rates and to lightning channel lengths, and estimate the relative production per flash for cloud-to-ground flashes and intracloud flashes. In addition, the effects of lightning NO(x) production on photochemistry downwind of thunderstorms is also being examined. The talk will survey the observation types that were conducted during DC3 relevant to these goals and provide an overview of the analysis and modeling techniques which are being used to achieve them. NO(x) was observed on three research aircraft during DC3 (the NCAR G-V, the NASA DC-8, and the DLR Falcon) in flights through storm anvils in three study regions (NE Colorado, Central Oklahoma to West Texas, and northern Alabama) where lightning mapping arrays (LMAs) and radar coverage were available. Initial comparisons of the aircraft NOx observations in storm anvils relative to flash rates have been conducted, which will be followed with calculations of the flux of NO(x) through the anvils, which when combined with observed flash rates can be used to estimate storm-average lightning NOx production per flash. The WRF-Chem model will be run for cloud-resolved simulations of selected observed storms during DC3. Detailed lightning information from the LMAs (flash rates and flash lengths as a function of time and vertical distributions of flash channel segments) will be input to the model along with assumptions concerning NO(x) production per CG flash and per IC flash. These assumptions will be tested through comparisons with the aircraft NOx data from anvil traverses. A specially designed retrieval method for lightning NO2 column amounts from the OMI instrument on NASA fs Aura satellite has been utilized to estimate NO2 over the region affected by selected DC3 storms. Combined with NO(x) to NO2 ratios from the

  19. Performance Study of Earth Networks Total Lightning Network using Rocket-Triggered Lightning Data in 2014 (United States)

    Heckman, S.


    Modern lightning locating systems (LLS) provide real-time monitoring and early warning of lightningactivities. In addition, LLS provide valuable data for statistical analysis in lightning research. It isimportant to know the performance of such LLS. In the present study, the performance of the EarthNetworks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) is studied using rocket-triggered lightning data acquired atthe International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT), Camp Blanding, Florida.In the present study, 18 flashes triggered at ICLRT in 2014 were analyzed and they comprise of 78negative cloud-to-ground return strokes. The geometric mean, median, minimum, and maximum for thepeak currents of the 78 return strokes are 13.4 kA, 13.6 kA, 3.7 kA, and 38.4 kA, respectively. The peakcurrents represent typical subsequent return strokes in natural cloud-to-ground lightning.Earth Networks has developed a new data processor to improve the performance of their network. Inthis study, results are presented for the ENTLN data using the old processor (originally reported in 2014)and the ENTLN data simulated using the new processor. The flash detection efficiency, stroke detectionefficiency, percentage of misclassification, median location error, median peak current estimation error,and median absolute peak current estimation error for the originally reported data from old processorare 100%, 94%, 49%, 271 m, 5%, and 13%, respectively, and those for the simulated data using the newprocessor are 100%, 99%, 9%, 280 m, 11%, and 15%, respectively. The use of new processor resulted inhigher stroke detection efficiency and lower percentage of misclassification. It is worth noting that theslight differences in median location error, median peak current estimation error, and median absolutepeak current estimation error for the two processors are due to the fact that the new processordetected more number of return strokes than the old processor.

  20. The GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and the Global Observing System for Total Lightning (United States)

    Goodman, Steven J.; Blakeslee, R. J.; Koshak, W.; Buechler, D.; Carey, L.; Chronis, T.; Mach, D.; Bateman, M.; Peterson, H.; McCaul, E. W., Jr.; hide


    for the existing GOES system currently operating over the Western Hemisphere. New and improved instrument technology will support expanded detection of environmental phenomena, resulting in more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings. Advancements over current GOES include a new capability for total lightning detection (cloud and cloud-to-ground flashes) from the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), and improved temporal, spatial, and spectral resolution for the next generation Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). The GLM will map total lightning continuously day and night with near-uniform spatial resolution of 8 km with a product latency of less than 20 sec over the Americas and adjacent oceanic regions. This will aid in forecasting severe storms and tornado activity, and convective weather impacts on aviation safety and efficiency among a number of potential applications. The GLM will help address the National Weather Service requirement for total lightning observations globally to support warning decision-making and forecast services. Science and application development along with pre-operational product demonstrations and evaluations at NWS national centers, forecast offices, and NOAA testbeds will prepare the forecasters to use GLM as soon as possible after the planned launch and check-out of GOES-R in 2016. New applications will use GLM alone, in combination with the ABI, or integrated (fused) with other available tools (weather radar and ground strike networks, nowcasting systems, mesoscale analysis, and numerical weather prediction models) in the hands of the forecaster responsible for issuing more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings.

  1. Lightning and radar observations of hurricane Rita landfall

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henderson, Bradley G [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Suszcynsky, David M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hamlin, Timothy E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Jeffery, C A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Wiens, Kyle C [TEXAS TECH U.; Orville, R E [TEXAS A& M


    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) owns and operates an array of Very-Low Frequency (VLF) sensors that measure the Radio-Frequency (RF) waveforms emitted by Cloud-to-Ground (CG) and InCloud (IC) lightning. This array, the Los Alamos Sferic Array (LASA), has approximately 15 sensors concentrated in the Great Plains and Florida, which detect electric field changes in a bandwidth from 200 Hz to 500 kHz (Smith et al., 2002). Recently, LANL has begun development of a new dual-band RF sensor array that includes the Very-High Frequency (VHF) band as well as the VLF. Whereas VLF lightning emissions can be used to deduce physical parameters such as lightning type and peak current, VHF emissions can be used to perform precise 3d mapping of individual radiation sources, which can number in the thousands for a typical CG flash. These new dual-band sensors will be used to monitor lightning activity in hurricanes in an effort to better predict intensification cycles. Although the new LANL dual-band array is not yet operational, we have begun initial work utilizing both VLF and VHF lightning data to monitor hurricane evolution. In this paper, we present the temporal evolution of Rita's landfall using VLF and VHF lightning data, and also WSR-88D radar. At landfall, Rita's northern eyewall experienced strong updrafts and significant lightning activity that appear to mark a transition between oceanic hurricane dynamics and continental thunderstorm dynamics. In section 2, we give a brief overview of Hurricane Rita, including its development as a hurricane and its lightning history. In the following section, we present WSR-88D data of Rita's landfall, including reflectivity images and temporal variation. In section 4, we present both VHF and VLF lightning data, overplotted on radar reflectivity images. Finally, we discuss our observations, including a comparison to previous studies and a brief conclusion.

  2. Corona initiated from grounded objects under thunderstorm conditions and its influence on lightning attachment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bazelyan, E M; Raizer, Yu P; Aleksandrov, N L


    Lightning attachment to grounded structures due to the initiation of an upward connecting leader from them is considered taking into account the effect of corona space charge near the structures. It is shown that the corona space charge strongly affects the initiation and development of the connecting leader. Specific features of a non-stationary corona are analysed analytically and numerically for one-dimensional electrode geometries and for a grounded rod coronating in a slowly varying thundercloud electric field that can be enhanced by the charge of an approaching downward lightning leader. Initiation and development of an upward connecting leader or upward lightning from high ground objects are investigated. Prospects of using the effect of coronae to control downward lightning discharges are discussed.

  3. Automated Studies of Continuing Current in Lightning Flashes (United States)

    Martinez-Claros, Jose

    Continuing current (CC) is a continuous luminosity in the lightning channel that lasts longer than 10 ms following a lightning return stroke to ground. Lightning flashes following CC are associated with direct damage to power lines and are thought to be responsible for causing lightning-induced forest fires. The development of an algorithm that automates continuing current detection by combining NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) and LEFA (Langmuir Electric Field Array) datasets for CG flashes will be discussed. The algorithm was applied to thousands of cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes within 40 km of Langmuir Lab, New Mexico measured during the 2013 monsoon season. It counts the number of flashes in a single minute of data and the number of return strokes of an individual lightning flash; records the time and location of each return stroke; performs peak analysis on E-field data, and uses the slope of interstroke interval (ISI) E-field data fits to recognize whether continuing current (CC) exists within the interval. Following CC detection, duration and magnitude are measured. The longest observed C in 5588 flashes was 631 ms. The performance of the algorithm (vs. human judgement) was checked on 100 flashes. At best, the reported algorithm is "correct" 80% of the time, where correct means that multiple stations agree with each other and with a human on both the presence and duration of CC. Of the 100 flashes that were validated against human judgement, 62% were hybrid. Automated analysis detects the first but misses the second return stroke in many cases where the second return stroke is followed by long CC. This problem is also present in human interpretation of field change records.

  4. A stepped leader model for lightning including charge distribution in branched channels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, Wei; Zhang, Li [School of Electrical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250061 (China); Li, Qingmin, E-mail: [Beijing Key Lab of HV and EMC, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206 (China); State Key Lab of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, Beijing 102206 (China)


    The stepped leader process in negative cloud-to-ground lightning plays a vital role in lightning protection analysis. As lightning discharge usually presents significant branched or tortuous channels, the charge distribution along the branched channels and the stochastic feature of stepped leader propagation were investigated in this paper. The charge density along the leader channel and the charge in the leader tip for each lightning branch were approximated by introducing branch correlation coefficients. In combination with geometric characteristics of natural lightning discharge, a stochastic stepped leader propagation model was presented based on the fractal theory. By comparing simulation results with the statistics of natural lightning discharges, it was found that the fractal dimension of lightning trajectory in simulation was in the range of that observed in nature and the calculation results of electric field at ground level were in good agreement with the measurements of a negative flash, which shows the validity of this proposed model. Furthermore, a new equation to estimate the lightning striking distance to flat ground was suggested based on the present model. The striking distance obtained by this new equation is smaller than the value estimated by previous equations, which indicates that the traditional equations may somewhat overestimate the attractive effect of the ground.

  5. A stepped leader model for lightning including charge distribution in branched channels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi, Wei; Zhang, Li; Li, Qingmin


    The stepped leader process in negative cloud-to-ground lightning plays a vital role in lightning protection analysis. As lightning discharge usually presents significant branched or tortuous channels, the charge distribution along the branched channels and the stochastic feature of stepped leader propagation were investigated in this paper. The charge density along the leader channel and the charge in the leader tip for each lightning branch were approximated by introducing branch correlation coefficients. In combination with geometric characteristics of natural lightning discharge, a stochastic stepped leader propagation model was presented based on the fractal theory. By comparing simulation results with the statistics of natural lightning discharges, it was found that the fractal dimension of lightning trajectory in simulation was in the range of that observed in nature and the calculation results of electric field at ground level were in good agreement with the measurements of a negative flash, which shows the validity of this proposed model. Furthermore, a new equation to estimate the lightning striking distance to flat ground was suggested based on the present model. The striking distance obtained by this new equation is smaller than the value estimated by previous equations, which indicates that the traditional equations may somewhat overestimate the attractive effect of the ground.

  6. An Analysis of Total Lightning Flash Rates Over Florida (United States)

    Mazzetti, Thomas O.; Fuelberg, Henry E.


    Although Florida is known as the "Sunshine State", it also contains the greatest lightning flash densities in the United States. Flash density has received considerable attention in the literature, but lightning flash rate has received much less attention. We use data from the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) to produce a 5 year (2010-2014) set of statistics regarding total flash rates over Florida and adjacent regions. Instead of tracking individual storms, we superimpose a 0.2° × 0.2° grid over the study region and count both cloud-to-ground (CG) and in-cloud (IC) flashes over 5 min intervals. Results show that the distribution of total flash rates is highly skewed toward small values, whereas the greatest rate is 185 flashes min-1. Greatest average annual flash rates ( 3 flashes min-1) are located near Orlando. The southernmost peninsula, North Florida, and the Florida Panhandle exhibit smaller average annual flash rates ( 1.5 flashes min-1). Large flash rates > 100 flashes min-1 can occur during any season, at any time during the 24 h period, and at any location within the domain. However, they are most likely during the afternoon and early evening in East Central Florida during the spring and summer months.

  7. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Using High-Speed Video and VHF Broadband Interferometer (United States)

    Li, Yun; Qiu, Shi; Shi, Lihua; Huang, Zhengyu; Wang, Tao; Duan, Yantao


    The time resolved three-dimensional (3-D) spatial reconstruction of lightning channels using high-speed video (HSV) images and VHF broadband interferometer (BITF) data is first presented in this paper. Because VHF and optical radiations in step formation process occur with time separation no more than 1 μs, the observation data of BITF and HSV at two different sites provide the possibility of reconstructing the time resolved 3-D channel of lightning. With the proposed procedures for 3-D reconstruction of leader channels, dart leaders as well as stepped leaders with complex multiple branches can be well reconstructed. The differences between 2-D speeds and 3-D speeds of leader channels are analyzed by comparing the development of leader channels in 2-D and 3-D space. Since return stroke (RS) usually follows the path of previous leader channels, the 3-D speeds of the return strokes are first estimated by combination with the 3-D structure of the preceding leaders and HSV image sequences. For the fourth RS, the ratios of the 3-D to 2-D RS speeds increase with height, and the largest ratio of the 3-D to 2-D return stroke speeds can reach 2.03, which is larger than the result of triggered lightning reported by Idone. Since BITF can detect lightning radiation in a 360° view, correlated BITF and HSV observations increase the 3-D detection probability than dual-station HSV observations, which is helpful to obtain more events and deeper understanding of the lightning process.

  8. Modeling of X-ray images and energy spectra produced by stepping lightning leaders


    Xu , Wei; Marshall , Robert A.; Celestin , Sébastien; Pasko , Victor P.


    International audience; Recent ground-based measurements at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) have greatly improved our knowledge of the energetics, fluence, and evolution of X-ray emissions during natural cloud-to-ground (CG) and rocket-triggered lightning flashes. In this paper, using Monte Carlo simulations and the response matrix of unshielded detectors in the Thunderstorm Energetic Radiation Array (TERA), we calculate the energy spectra of X-rays as woul...

  9. Lightning electromagnetic radiation field spectra in the interval from 0.2 to 20 MHz (United States)

    Willett, J. C.; Bailey, J. C.; Leteinturier, C.; Krider, E. P.


    New Fourier transforms of wideband time-domain electric fields (E) produced by lightning (recorded at the Kennedy Space Center during the summers of 1985 and 1987) were recorded in such a way that several different events in each lightning flash could be captured. Average HF spectral amplitudes for first return strokes, stepped-leader steps, and 'characteristic pulses' are given for significantly more events, at closer ranges, and with better spectral resolution than in previous literature reports. The method of recording gives less bias toward the first large event in the flash and thus yields a large sample of a wide variety of lightning processes. As a result, reliable composite spectral amplitudes are obtained for a number of different processes in cloud-to-ground lightning over the frequency interval from 0.2 to 20 MHz.

  10. An Integrated 0-1 Hour First-Flash Lightning Nowcasting, Lightning Amount and Lightning Jump Warning Capability (United States)

    Mecikalski, John; Jewett, Chris; Carey, Larry; Zavodsky, Brad; Stano, Geoffrey; Chronis, Themis


    Using satellite-based methods that provide accurate 0-1 hour convective initiation (CI) nowcasts, and rely on proven success coupling satellite and radar fields in the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS; operated and developed at MIT-Lincoln Laboratory), to subsequently monitor for first-flash lightning initiation (LI) and later period lightning trends as storms evolve. Enhance IR-based methods within the GOES-R CI Algorithm (that must meet specific thresholds for a given cumulus cloud before the cloud is considered to have an increased likelihood of producing lightning next 90 min) that forecast LI. Integrate GOES-R CI and LI fields with radar thresholds (e.g., first greater than or equal to 40 dBZ echo at the -10 C altitude) and NWP model data within the WDSS-II system for LI-events from new convective storms. Track ongoing lightning using Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) and pseudo-Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data to assess per-storm lightning trends (e.g., as tied to lightning jumps) and outline threat regions. Evaluate the ability to produce LI nowcasts through a "lightning threat" product, and obtain feedback from National Weather Service forecasters on its value as a decision support tool.

  11. Modeling of X-ray emissions produced by stepping lightning leaders


    Xu , Wei; Celestin , Sebastien; Pasko , Victor P.


    International audience; Intense and brief bursts of X-ray emissions have been measured during the stepping processof both natural cloud-to-ground (CG) and rocket-triggered lightning flashes. In this paper, we investigatetheoretically the energy spectra of X-rays produced by the bremsstrahlung emission of thermal runawayelectrons accelerated in the inhomogeneous electric field produced around lightning leader tips. The X-rayenergy spectrum depends on the physical properties of the associated l...

  12. Nitric acid particles in cold thick ice clouds observed at global scale: Link with lightning, temperature, and upper tropospheric water vapor


    Chepfer , H.; Minnis , P.; Dubuisson , P.; Chiriaco , Marjolaine; Sun-Mack , S.; Rivière , E.D.


    International audience; Signatures of nitric acid particles (NAP) in cold thick ice clouds have been derived from satellite observations. Most NAP are detected in the tropics (9 to 20% of clouds with T < 202.5 K). Higher occurrences were found in the rare midlatitudes very cold clouds. NAP occurrence increases as cloud temperature decreases, and NAP are more numerous in January than July. Comparisons of NAP and lightning distributions show that lightning seems to be the main source of the NOx...

  13. First high speed imaging of lightning from summer thunderstorms over India: Preliminary results based on amateur recording using a digital camera (United States)

    Narayanan, V. L.


    For the first time, high speed imaging of lightning from few isolated tropical thunderstorms are observed from India. The recordings are made from Tirupati (13.6oN, 79.4oE, 180 m above mean sea level) during summer months with a digital camera capable of recording high speed videos up to 480 fps. At 480 fps, each individual video file is recorded for 30 s resulting in 14400 deinterlaced images per video file. An automatic processing algorithm is developed for quick identification and analysis of the lightning events which will be discussed in detail. Preliminary results indicating different types of phenomena associated with lightning like stepped leader, dart leader, luminous channels corresponding to continuing current and M components are discussed. While most of the examples show cloud to ground discharges, few interesting cases of intra-cloud, inter-cloud and cloud-air discharges will also be displayed. This indicates that though high speed cameras with few 1000 fps are preferred for a detailed study on lightning, moderate range CMOS sensor based digital cameras can provide important information as well. The lightning imaging activity presented herein is initiated as an amateur effort and currently plans are underway to propose a suite of supporting instruments to conduct coordinated campaigns. The images discussed here are acquired from normal residential area and indicate how frequent lightning strikes are in such tropical locations during thunderstorms, though no towering structures are nearby. It is expected that popularizing of such recordings made with affordable digital cameras will trigger more interest in lightning research and provide a possible data source from amateur observers paving the way for citizen science.

  14. Recent Advancements in Lightning Jump Algorithm Work (United States)

    Schultz, Christopher J.; Petersen, Walter A.; Carey, Lawrence D.


    In the past year, the primary objectives were to show the usefulness of total lightning as compared to traditional cloud-to-ground (CG) networks, test the lightning jump algorithm configurations in other regions of the country, increase the number of thunderstorms within our thunderstorm database, and to pinpoint environments that could prove difficult for any lightning jump configuration. A total of 561 thunderstorms have been examined in the past year (409 non-severe, 152 severe) from four regions of the country (North Alabama, Washington D.C., High Plains of CO/KS, and Oklahoma). Results continue to indicate that the 2 lightning jump algorithm configuration holds the most promise in terms of prospective operational lightning jump algorithms, with a probability of detection (POD) at 81%, a false alarm rate (FAR) of 45%, a critical success index (CSI) of 49% and a Heidke Skill Score (HSS) of 0.66. The second best performing algorithm configuration was the Threshold 4 algorithm, which had a POD of 72%, FAR of 51%, a CSI of 41% and an HSS of 0.58. Because a more complex algorithm configuration shows the most promise in terms of prospective operational lightning jump algorithms, accurate thunderstorm cell tracking work must be undertaken to track lightning trends on an individual thunderstorm basis over time. While these numbers for the 2 configuration are impressive, the algorithm does have its weaknesses. Specifically, low-topped and tropical cyclone thunderstorm environments are present issues for the 2 lightning jump algorithm, because of the suppressed vertical depth impact on overall flash counts (i.e., a relative dearth in lightning). For example, in a sample of 120 thunderstorms from northern Alabama that contained 72 missed events by the 2 algorithm 36% of the misses were associated with these two environments (17 storms).

  15. Models for electromagnetic coupling of lightning onto multiconductor cables in underground cavities (United States)

    Higgins, Matthew Benjamin

    This dissertation documents the measurements, analytical modeling, and numerical modeling of electromagnetic transfer functions to quantify the ability of cloud-to-ground lightning strokes (including horizontal arc-channel components) to couple electromagnetic energy onto multiconductor cables in an underground cavity. Measurements were performed at the Sago coal mine located near Buckhannon, WV. These transfer functions, coupled with mathematical representations of lightning strokes, are then used to predict electric fields within the mine and induced voltages on a cable that was left abandoned in the sealed area of the Sago mine. If voltages reached high enough levels, electrical arcing could have occurred from the abandoned cable. Electrical arcing is known to be an effective ignition source for explosive gas mixtures. Two coupling mechanisms were measured: direct and indirect drive. Direct coupling results from the injection or induction of lightning current onto metallic conductors such as the conveyors, rails, trolley communications cable, and AC power shields that connect from the outside of the mine to locations deep within the mine. Indirect coupling results from electromagnetic field propagation through the earth as a result of a cloud-to-ground lightning stroke or a long, low-altitude horizontal current channel from a cloud-to-ground stroke. Unlike direct coupling, indirect coupling does not require metallic conductors in a continuous path from the surface to areas internal to the mine. Results from the indirect coupling measurements and analysis are of great concern. The field measurements, modeling, and analysis indicate that significant energy can be coupled directly into the sealed area of the mine. Due to the relatively low frequency content of lightning (extremely well with analytical and computational models developed for the Sago site which take into account measured soil properties.

  16. Developing empirical lightning cessation forecast guidance for the Kennedy Space Center (United States)

    Stano, Geoffrey T.

    The Kennedy Space Center in east Central Florida is one of the few locations in the country that issues lightning advisories. These forecasts are vital to the daily operations of the Space Center and take on even greater significance during launch operations. The U.S. Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron (45WS), who provides forecasts for the Space Center, has a good record of forecasting the initiation of lightning near their locations of special concern. However, the remaining problem is knowing when to cancel a lightning advisory. Without specific scientific guidelines detailing cessation activity, the Weather Squadron must keep advisories in place longer than necessary to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment. This unnecessary advisory time costs the Space Center millions of dollars in lost manpower each year. This research presents storm and environmental characteristics associated with lightning cessation that then are utilized to create lightning cessation guidelines for isolated thunderstorms for use by the 45WS during the warm season months of May through September. The research uses data from the Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR) network at the Kennedy Space Center, which can observe intra-cloud and portions of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. Supporting data from the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS), radar observations from the Melbourne WSR-88D, and Cape Canaveral morning radiosonde launches also are included. Characteristics of 116 thunderstorms comprising our dataset are presented. Most of these characteristics are based on LDAR-derived spark and flash data and have not been described previously. In particular, the first lightning activity is quantified as either cloud-to-ground (CG) or intra-cloud (IC). Only 10% of the storms in this research are found to initiate with a CG strike. Conversely, only 16% of the storms end with a CG strike. Another characteristic is the average horizontal extent of all the flashes

  17. Lightning strikes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dance, B.


    If a nuclear weapon were struck by a powerful lightning flash, what would happen Scientists have assembled a simulator to produce exceptionally powerful discharges to try to find the answer to this question by practical test. The Sandia facility enables the extremely powerful lightning discharges which occur only once in every hundred lightning strokes to be duplicated. A bolt is composed of a series of strokes between two clouds or between one cloud and the earth. The simulator consists of four circuits, an inductor, a resistor and a special crowbar-switch developed at Sandia. The crowbar is for accuracy in the simulation of a lightning stroke. The test data is conveyed to computers for analysis by means of fibre-optic links. The first series of tests involve the warhead for the Air-Launched Cruise Missile

  18. The Distribution of Lightning Channel Lengths in Northern Alabama Thunderstorms (United States)

    Peterson, H. S.; Koshak, W. J.


    Lightning is well known to be a major source of tropospheric NOx, and in most cases is the dominant natural source (Huntreiser et al 1998, Jourdain and Hauglustaine 2001). Production of NOx by a segment of a lightning channel is a function of channel segment energy density and channel segment altitude. A first estimate of NOx production by a lightning flash can be found by multiplying production per segment [typically 104 J/m; Hill (1979)] by the total length of the flash s channel. The purpose of this study is to determine average channel length for lightning flashes near NALMA in 2008, and to compare average channel length of ground flashes to the average channel length of cloud flashes.

  19. On the Distribution of Lightning Current among Interconnected Grounding Systems in Medium Voltage Grids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Ala


    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of a first investigation on the effects of lightning stroke on medium voltage installations’ grounding systems, interconnected with the metal shields of the Medium Voltage (MV distribution grid cables or with bare buried copper ropes. The study enables us to evaluate the distribution of the lightning current among interconnected ground electrodes in order to estimate if the interconnection, usually created to reduce ground potential rise during a single-line-to-ground fault, can give place to dangerous situations far from the installation hit by the lightning stroke. Four different case studies of direct lightning stroke are presented and discussed: (1 two secondary substations interconnected by the cables’ shields; (2 two secondary substations interconnected by a bare buried conductor; (3 a high voltage/medium voltage station connected with a secondary substation by the medium voltage cables’ shields; (4 a high voltage/medium voltage station connected with a secondary substation by a bare buried conductor. The results of the simulations show that a higher peak-lowering action on the lighting-stroke current occurs due to the use of bare conductors as interconnection elements in comparison to the cables’ shields.

  20. Lightning Prediction using Electric Field Measurements Associated with Convective Events at a Tropical Location (United States)

    Jana, S.; Chakraborty, R.; Maitra, A.


    Nowcasting of lightning activities during intense convective events using a single electric field monitor (EFM) has been carried out at a tropical location, Kolkata (22.65oN, 88.45oE). Before and at the onset of heavy lightning, certain changes of electric field (EF) can be related to high liquid water content (LWC) and low cloud base height (CBH). The present study discusses the utility of EF observation to show a few aspects of convective events. Large convective cloud showed by high LWC and low CBH can be detected from EF variation which could be a precursor of upcoming convective events. Suitable values of EF gradient can be used as an indicator of impending lightning events. An EF variation of 0.195 kV/m/min can predict lightning within 17.5 km radius with a probability of detection (POD) of 91% and false alarm rate (FAR) of 8% with a lead time of 45 min. The total number of predicted lightning strikes is nearly 9 times less than that measured by the lightning detector. This prediction technique can, therefore, give an estimate of cloud to ground (CG) and intra cloud (IC) lighting occurrences within the surrounding area. This prediction technique involving POD, FAR and lead time information shows a better prediction capability compared to the techniques reported earlier. Thus an EFM can be effectively used for prediction of lightning events at a tropical location.

  1. Thundercloud electrodynamics and its influence on high-energy radiation enhancements and lightning initiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mareev, E.A.; Iudin, D.I.; Rakov, V.A.; Kostinskiy, A.Yu.; Syssoev, V.S.


    We analyze multi-scale dynamics of thunderstorm electric structure as related to high-energy radiation enhancements and lightning initiation. First, we review experimental data on the multi-layer charge structure of thunderstorm clouds. A special attention is paid to the lower positive charge region (LPCR) and its possible effects on the development of CG and IC discharges and thunderstorm ground enhancements (TGEs). Based on the graph theory, we have developed a fractal simulation code to examine the occurrence of lightning flashes of different type as a function of the cloud charge structure. We show in particular that presence of relatively intense lower positive charge region prevents the occurrence of negative CG flashes by ”blocking” the progression of descending negative leader from reaching ground. Further, based on our recent observations of electrical discharges in the artificial cloud of charged water droplets, we present the description of a complex hierarchical network of interacting channels at different stages of development (some of which are hot and live for milliseconds), which can possibly be considered as a missing link in the still poorly understood lightning initiation process. (author)

  2. [Lightning-caused fire, its affecting factors and prediction: a review]. (United States)

    Zhang, Ji-Li; Bi, Wu; Wang, Xiao-Hong; Wang, Zi-Bo; Li, Di-Fei


    Lightning-caused fire is the most important natural fire source. Its induced forest fire brings enormous losses to human beings and ecological environment. Many countries have paid great attention to the prediction of lightning-caused fire. From the viewpoint of the main factors affecting the formation of lightning-caused fire, this paper emphatically analyzed the effects and action mechanisms of cloud-to-ground lightning, fuel, meteorology, and terrain on the formation and development process of lightning-caused fire, and, on the basis of this, summarized and reviewed the logistic model, K-function, and other mathematical methods widely used in prediction research of lightning-caused fire. The prediction methods and processes of lightning-caused fire in America and Canada were also introduced. The insufficiencies and their possible solutions for the present researches as well as the directions of further studies were proposed, aimed to provide necessary theoretical basis and literature reference for the prediction of lightning-caused fire in China.

  3. Fifty Years of Lightning Observations from Space (United States)

    Christian, H. J., Jr.


    Some of the earliest satellites, starting with OSO (1965), ARIEL (1967), and RAE (1968), detected lightning using either optical and RF sensors, although that was not their intent. One of the earliest instruments designed to detect lightning was the PBE (1977). The use of space to study lightning activity has exploded since these early days. The advent of focal-plane imaging arrays made it possible to develop high performance optical lightning sensors. Prior to the use of charged-coupled devices (CCD), most space-based lightning sensors used only a few photo-diodes, which limited the location accuracy and detection efficiency (DE) of the instruments. With CCDs, one can limit the field of view of each detector (pixel), and thus improve the signal to noise ratio over single-detectors that summed the light reflected from many clouds with the lightning produced by a single cloud. This pixelization enabled daytime DE to increase from a few percent to close to 90%. The OTD (1995), and the LIS (1997), were the first lightning sensors to utilize focal-plane arrays. Together they detected global lightning activity for more than twenty years, providing the first detailed information on the distribution of global lightning and its variability. The FORTE satellite was launched shortly after LIS, and became the first dedicated satellite to simultaneously measure RF and optical lightning emissions. It too used a CCD focal plane to detect and locate lightning. In November 2016, the GLM became the first lightning instrument in geostationary orbit. Shortly thereafter, China placed its GLI in orbit. Lightning sensors in geostationary orbit significantly increase the value of space-based observations. For the first time, lightning activity can be monitored continuously, over large areas of the Earth with high, uniform DE and location accuracy. In addition to observing standard lightning, a number of sensors have been placed in orbit to detect transient luminous events and

  4. Variability in fluence and spectrum of high-energy photon bursts produced by lightning leaders


    Celestin , Sebastien; Xu , Wei; Pasko , Victor P.


    International audience; In this paper, we model the production and acceleration of thermal runaway electrons during negative corona flash stages of stepping lightning leaders and the corresponding terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) or negative cloud-to-ground (−CG) lightning-produced X-ray bursts in a unified fashion. We show how the source photon spectrum and fluence depend on the potential drop formed in the lightning leader tip region during corona flash and how the X-ray burst spectrum ...

  5. Development of a self-consistent lightning NOx simulation in large-scale 3-D models (United States)

    Luo, Chao; Wang, Yuhang; Koshak, William J.


    We seek to develop a self-consistent representation of lightning NOx (LNOx) simulation in a large-scale 3-D model. Lightning flash rates are parameterized functions of meteorological variables related to convection. We examine a suite of such variables and find that convective available potential energy and cloud top height give the best estimates compared to July 2010 observations from ground-based lightning observation networks. Previous models often use lightning NOx vertical profiles derived from cloud-resolving model simulations. An implicit assumption of such an approach is that the postconvection lightning NOx vertical distribution is the same for all deep convection, regardless of geographic location, time of year, or meteorological environment. Detailed observations of the lightning channel segment altitude distribution derived from the NASA Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model can be used to obtain the LNOx emission profile. Coupling such a profile with model convective transport leads to a more self-consistent lightning distribution compared to using prescribed postconvection profiles. We find that convective redistribution appears to be a more important factor than preconvection LNOx profile selection, providing another reason for linking the strength of convective transport to LNOx distribution.

  6. A projected decrease in lightning under climate change (United States)

    Finney, Declan L.; Doherty, Ruth M.; Wild, Oliver; Stevenson, David S.; MacKenzie, Ian A.; Blyth, Alan M.


    Lightning strongly influences atmospheric chemistry1-3, and impacts the frequency of natural wildfires4. Most previous studies project an increase in global lightning with climate change over the coming century1,5-7, but these typically use parameterizations of lightning that neglect cloud ice fluxes, a component generally considered to be fundamental to thunderstorm charging8. As such, the response of lightning to climate change is uncertain. Here, we compare lightning projections for 2100 using two parameterizations: the widely used cloud-top height (CTH) approach9, and a new upward cloud ice flux (IFLUX) approach10 that overcomes previous limitations. In contrast to the previously reported global increase in lightning based on CTH, we find a 15% decrease in total lightning flash rate with IFLUX in 2100 under a strong global warming scenario. Differences are largest in the tropics, where most lightning occurs, with implications for the estimation of future changes in tropospheric ozone and methane, as well as differences in their radiative forcings. These results suggest that lightning schemes more closely related to cloud ice and microphysical processes are needed to robustly estimate future changes in lightning and atmospheric composition.

  7. Climatology of lightning in the Czech Republic (United States)

    Novák, Petr; Kyznarová, Hana


    The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) has utilized lightning data from the Central European Lightning Detection Network (CELDN) since 1999. The CELDN primarily focuses on the detection of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning but intra-cloud (IC) lightning detection is also available. Lightning detection is used by the CHMI forecasters as an additional source to radar and satellite data for nowcasting of severe storms. Lightning data are also quantitatively used in automatic nowcasting applications. The quality of lightning data can be evaluated using their climatological characteristics. Climatological characteristics are also useful for defining decision thresholds that are valuable for human forecasters as well as for automatic nowcasting applications. The seven-year period from 2002 to 2008, which had relatively even-quality lightning data, was used to calculate the spatial and temporal distributions of lightning. The monthly number of CG strokes varies depending on the season. The highest number of CG strokes occurs during summer, with more than 20 days of at least five detected CG strokes on the Czech Republic territory in June and July. The least number of CG stokes occurs in winter, with less than three days per month having at least five detected CG stokes. The mean diurnal distribution of CG strokes peaks between 1500 and 1600 UTC and reaches a minimum between 0500 and 0800 UTC. The average spatial distribution of CG strokes shows sharp local maxima corresponding with the locations of the TV broadcast towers. The average spatial distribution of CG flash density, calculated on a 20 × 20 km grid, shows the maximum (3.23 flashes km - 2 year - 1 ) in the western part of Czech Republic and the minimum (0.92 flashes km - 2 year - 1 ) in the south-southeast of the Czech Republic. In addition, lightning characteristics related to the identified convective cells, such as distribution of the lightning stroke rates or relation to the radar derived by Vertically

  8. Evaluating Lightning-generated NOx (LNOx) Parameterization based on Cloud Top Height at Resolutions with Partially-resolved Convection for Upper Tropospheric Chemistry Studies (United States)

    Wong, J.; Barth, M. C.; Noone, D. C.


    Lightning-generated nitrogen oxides (LNOx) is an important precursor to tropospheric ozone production. With a meteorological time-scale variability similar to that of the ozone chemical lifetime, it can nonlinearly perturb tropospheric ozone concentration. Coupled with upper-air circulation patterns, LNOx can accumulate in significant amount in the upper troposphere with other precursors, thus enhancing ozone production (see attached figure). While LNOx emission has been included and tuned extensively in global climate models, its inclusions in regional chemistry models are seldom tested. Here we present a study that evaluates the frequently used Price and Rind parameterization based on cloud-top height at resolutions that partially resolve deep convection using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) over the contiguous United States. With minor modifications, the parameterization is shown to generate integrated flash counts close to those observed. However, the modeled frequency distribution of cloud-to-ground flashes do not represent well for storms with high flash rates, bringing into question the applicability of the intra-cloud/ground partitioning (IC:CG) formulation of Price and Rind in some studies. Resolution dependency also requires attention when sub-grid cloud-tops are used instead of the originally intended grid-averaged cloud-top. LNOx passive tracers being gathered by monsoonal upper tropospheric anticyclone.

  9. Nitric acid particles in cold thick ice clouds observed at global scale: Link with lightning, temperature, and upper tropospheric water vapor (United States)

    Chepfer, H.; Minnis, P.; Dubuisson, P.; Chiriaco, M.; Sun-Mack, S.; RivièRe, E. D.


    Signatures of nitric acid particles (NAP) in cold thick ice clouds have been derived from satellite observations. Most NAP are detected in the tropics (9 to 20% of clouds with T < 202.5 K). Higher occurrences were found in the rare midlatitudes very cold clouds. NAP occurrence increases as cloud temperature decreases, and NAP are more numerous in January than July. Comparisons of NAP and lightning distributions show that lightning seems to be the main source of the NOx, which forms NAP in cold clouds over continents. Qualitative comparisons of NAP with upper tropospheric humidity distributions suggest that NAP may play a role in the dehydration of the upper troposphere when the tropopause is colder than 195 K.

  10. Observations of a bi-directional lightning leader producing an M-component (United States)

    Kotovsky, D. A.; Uman, M. A.; Wilkes, R.; Carvalho, F. L.; Jordan, D. M.


    Lightning discharges to ground often exhibit millisecond-scale surges in the continuing currents following return strokes, called M-components. Relatively little is known regarding the source of M-component charge and the mechanisms by which that charge is transferred to ground. In this work, we seek to directly address these questions by presenting correlated high-speed video and Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) observations of a bi-directional leader that resulted in an M-component occurring in a rocket-and-wire triggered lightning flash. The observed leader initiated in the decayed remnants of a positive leader channel that had traversed virgin air approximately 90 msec prior. Three-dimensional locations and speeds of the photographed bi-directional leader and M-component processes are calculated by mapping video images to the observed LMA channel geometry. Both ends of the bi-directional leader exhibited speeds on the order of 2 x106 m sec-1 over 570 meters of the visible channel. Propagation of the luminosity wave from the in-cloud leader to ground ( 8.8 km channel length) exhibited appreciable dispersion, with rise-times (10-90%) increasing from 330 to 410 μsec and pulse-widths (half-maximum) increasing from 380 to 810 μsec - the M-component current pulse measured at ground-level exhibited a rise-time of 290 μsec and a pulse-width of 770 μsec. Group velocities of the luminosity wave have been calculated as a function of frequency, increasing from 2 x107 to 6 x107 m sec-1 over the dominant signal bandwidth (DC to 2 kHz). Additionally, multiple waves of luminosity are observed within the in-cloud channel, indicating nuanced wave phenomena possibly associated with reflection from the end of the leader channel and attachment with the main lightning channel carrying continuing current to ground.

  11. Estimates of lightning NOx production from GOME satellite observations

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    K. F. Boersma


    Full Text Available Tropospheric NO2 column retrievals from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME satellite spectrometer are used to quantify the source strength and 3-D distribution of lightning produced nitrogen oxides (NOx=NO+NO2. A sharp increase of NO2 is observed at convective cloud tops with increasing cloud top height, consistent with a power-law behaviour with power 5±2. Convective production of clouds with the same cloud height are found to produce NO2 with a ratio 1.6/1 for continents compared to oceans. This relation between cloud properties and NO2 is used to construct a 10:30 local time global lightning NO2 production map for 1997. An extensive statistical comparison is conducted to investigate the capability of the TM3 chemistry transport model to reproduce observed patterns of lightning NO2 in time and space. This comparison uses the averaging kernel to relate modelled profiles of NO2 to observed NO2 columns. It exploits a masking scheme to minimise the interference of other NOx sources on the observed total columns. Simulations are performed with two lightning parameterizations, one relating convective preciptation (CP scheme to lightning flash distributions, and the other relating the fifth power of the cloud top height (H5 scheme to lightning distributions. The satellite-retrieved NO2 fields show significant correlations with the simulated lightning contribution to the NO2 concentrations for both parameterizations. Over tropical continents modelled lightning NO2 shows remarkable quantitative agreement with observations. Over the oceans however, the two model lightning parameterizations overestimate the retrieved NO2 attributed to lightning. Possible explanations for these overestimations are discussed. The ratio between satellite-retrieved NO2 and modelled lightning NO2 is used to rescale the original modelled lightning NOx production. Eight estimates of the lightning NOx production in 1997 are obtained from spatial and temporal

  12. Total Lightning Flash Activity Response to Aerosol over China Area

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    Pengguo Zhao


    Full Text Available Twelve years of measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD, cloud fraction, cloud top height, ice cloud optical thickness and lightning flash density from 2001 to 2012 have been analyzed to investigate the effect of aerosols on electrical activity over an area of China. The results show that increasing aerosol loading inspires the convective intensity, and then increases the lightning flash density. The spatial distribution of the correlation between aerosol loading and electrical activity shows a remarkable regional difference over China. The high-correlation regions embody the positive aerosol microphysical effect on the intensity of the electrical activity, while the large-scale processes may play the main role in convection development and producing lightning in low-correlation regions.

  13. Katrina and Rita were lit up with lightning (United States)

    Shao, X.-M.; Harlin, J.; Stock, M.; Stanley, M.; Regan, A.; Wiens, K.; Hamlin, T.; Pongratz, M.; Suszcynsky, D.; Light, T.

    Hurricanes generally produce very little lightning activity compared to other noncyclonic storms, and lightning is especially sparse in the eye wall and inner regions within tens of kilometers surrounding the eye [Molinari et al., 1994, 1999]. (The eye wall is the wall of clouds that encircles the eye of the hurricane.) Lightning can sometimes be detected in the outer, spiral rainbands, but the lightning occurrence rate varies significantly from hurricane to hurricane as well as within an individual hurricane's lifetime.Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the U.S. Gulf coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, and their distinctions were not just limited to their tremendous intensity and damage caused. They also differed from typical hurricanes in their lightning production rate.

  14. Attempts to Create Ball Lightning with Triggered Lightning (United States)


    mechanisms by which ball lightning is generated. The most commonly reported observation is of an orange-to- grapefruit -size sphere (the range for the vast...Figure 5 shows a sequence of ten cropped frames extracted from the Phantom video at 48 ms intervals during the ICC process spanning the total 432 ms...strike the ground between 0.75-1.25 s after being emitted from the lightning-struck silicon wafers. A picture showing ten extracted frames at 280 ms

  15. A solid state lightning propagation speed sensor (United States)

    Mach, Douglas M.; Rust, W. David


    A device to measure the propagation speeds of cloud-to-ground lightning has been developed. The lightning propagation speed (LPS) device consists of eight solid state silicon photodetectors mounted behind precision horizontal slits in the focal plane of a 50-mm lens on a 35-mm camera. Although the LPS device produces results similar to those obtained from a streaking camera, the LPS device has the advantages of smaller size, lower cost, mobile use, and easier data collection and analysis. The maximum accuracy for the LPS is 0.2 microsec, compared with about 0.8 microsecs for the streaking camera. It is found that the return stroke propagation speed for triggered lightning is different than that for natural lightning if measurements are taken over channel segments less than 500 m. It is suggested that there are no significant differences between the propagation speeds of positive and negative flashes. Also, differences between natural and triggered dart leaders are discussed.

  16. Weak positive cloud-to-ground flashes in Northeastern Colorado (United States)

    Lopez, Raul E.; Maier, Michael W.; Garcia-Miguel, Juan A.; Holle, Ronald L.


    The frequency distributions of the peak magnetic field associated with the first detected return stroke of positive and negative cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes were studied using lightning data from northeastern Colorado. These data were obtained during 1985 with a medium-to-high gain network of three direction finders (DF's). The median signal strength of positive flashes was almost two times that of the negatives for flashes within 300 km of the DF's, which have an inherent detection-threshold bias that tends to discriminate against weak signals. This bias increases with range, and affects the detection of positive and negative flashes in different ways, because of the differing character of their distributions. Positive flashes appear to have a large percentage of signals clustered around very weak values that are lost to the medium-to-high gain Colorado Detection System very quickly with increasing range. The resulting median for positive signals could thus appear to be much larger than the median for negative signals, which are more clustered around intermediate values. When only flashes very close to the DF's are considered, however, the two distributions have almost identical medians. The large percentage of weak positive signals detected close to the DF's has not been explored previously. They have been suggested to come from intracloud discharges and thus are improperly classified as CG flashes. Evidence in hand, points to their being real positive, albeit weak CG flashes. Whether or not they are real positive ground flashes, it is important to be aware of their presence in data from magnetic DF networks.

  17. Remote sensing of the lightning heating effect duration with ground-based microwave radiometer (United States)

    Jiang, Sulin; Pan, Yun; Lei, Lianfa; Ma, Lina; Li, Qing; Wang, Zhenhui


    Artificially triggered lightning events from May 26, 2017 to July 16, 2017 in Guangzhou Field Experiment Site for Lightning Research and Test (GFESL) were intentionally remotely sensed with a ground-based microwave radiometer for the first time in order to obtain the features of lightning heating effect. The microwave radiometer antenna was adjusted to point at a certain elevation angle towards the expected artificially triggered lightning discharging path. Eight of the 16 successfully artificially triggered lightning events were captured and the brightness temperature data at four frequencies in K and V bands were obtained. The results from data time series analysis show that artificially triggered lightning can make the radiometer generate brightness temperature pulses, and the amplitudes of these pulses are in the range of 2.0 K to 73.8 K. The brightness temperature pulses associated with 7 events can be used to estimate the duration of lightning heating effect through accounting the number of the pulses in the continuous pulse sequence and the sampling interval between four frequencies. The maximum duration of the lightning heating effect is 1.13 s, the minimum is 0.172 s, and the average is 0.63 s.

  18. Optimizing Precipitation Thresholds for Best Correlation Between Dry Lightning and Wildfires (United States)

    Vant-Hull, Brian; Thompson, Tollisha; Koshak, William


    This work examines how to adjust the definition of "dry lightning" in order to optimize the correlation between dry lightning flash count and the climatology of large (>400 km2) lightning-ignited wildfires over the contiguous United States (CONUS). The National Lightning Detection Network™ and National Centers for Environmental Prediction Stage IV radar-based, gauge-adjusted precipitation data are used to form climatic data sets. For a 13 year analysis period over CONUS, a correlation of 0.88 is found between annual totals of wildfires and dry lightning. This optimal correlation is found by defining dry lightning as follows: on a 0.1° hourly grid, a precipitation threshold of no more than 0.3 mm may accumulate during any hour over a period of 3-4 days preceding the flash. Regional optimized definitions vary. When annual totals are analyzed as done here, no clear advantage is found by weighting positive polarity cloud-to-ground (+CG) lightning differently than -CG lightning. The high variability of dry lightning relative to the precipitation and lightning from which it is derived suggests it would be an independent and useful climate indicator.

  19. A unified engineering model of the first stroke in downward negative lightning (United States)

    Nag, Amitabh; Rakov, Vladimir A.


    Each stroke in a negative cloud-to-ground lightning flash is composed of downward leader and upward return stroke processes, which are usually modeled individually. The first stroke leader is stepped and starts with preliminary breakdown (PB) which is often viewed as a separate process. We present the first unified engineering model for computing the electric field produced by a sequence of PB, stepped leader, and return stroke processes, serving to transport negative charge to ground. We assume that a negatively charged channel extends downward in a stepped fashion during both the PB and leader stages. Each step involves a current wave that propagates upward along the newly formed channel section. Once the leader attaches to ground, an upward propagating return stroke neutralizes the charge deposited along the channel. Model-predicted electric fields are in reasonably good agreement with simultaneous measurements at both near (hundreds of meters, electrostatic field component is dominant) and far (tens of kilometers, radiation field component is dominant) distances from the lightning channel. Relations between the features of computed electric field waveforms and model input parameters are examined. It appears that peak currents associated with PB pulses are similar to return stroke peak currents, and the observed variation of electric radiation field peaks produced by leader steps at different heights above ground is influenced by the ground corona space charge.

  20. The characteristics of lightning risk and zoning in Beijing simulated by a risk assessment model


    H. Hu; J. Wang; J. Pan


    In this study, the cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash/stroke density was derived from the lightning location finder (LLF) data recorded between 2007 and 2011. The vulnerability of land surfaces was then assessed from the classification of the study areas into buildings, outdoor areas under the building canopy and open-field areas, which makes it convenient to deduce the location factor and confirm the protective capability. Subsequently, the potential number of dangerous l...

  1. Lightning risk warnings based on atmospheric electric field measurements in Brazil

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    Marco Antonio da Silva Ferro*


    Full Text Available This paper presents a methodology that employs the electrostatic field variations caused by thundercloud formation or displacement to generate lightning warnings over a region of interest in Southeastern Brazil. These warnings can be used to prevent accidents during hazardous operations, such as the manufacturing, loading, and test of motor-rockets. In these cases, certain equipment may be moved into covered facilities and personnel are required to take shelter. It is also possible to avoid the threat of natural and triggered lightning to launches. The atmospheric electric field database, including the summer seasons of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 (from November to February, and, for the same period and region, the cloud-to-ground lightning data provided by the Brazilian lightning detection network – BrasilDAT – were used in order to perform a comparative analysis between the lightning warnings and the cloud-to- ground lightning strikes that effectively occurred inside the area of concern. The analysis was done for three areas surrounding the sensor installation defined as circles with 5, 10 and 15 km of radius to determine the most effective detection range. For each area it was done using several critical electric field thresholds: +/- 0.5; +/- 0.8; +/- 0.9; +/- 1.0; +/- 1.2; and +/- 1.5 kV/m. As a result of the reduction of atmospheric electric field data provided by the sensor installed in area of concern and lightning provided by BrasilDAT, it was possible, for each of the areas of alert proposals, to obtain the following parameters: the number of effective alarms; the number of false alarms; and the number of failure to warning. From the analysis of these parameters, it was possible to conclude that, apparently, the most interesting critical electric field threshold to be used is the level of 0.9 kV/m in association with a distance range of 10 km around the point where the sensor is installed.

  2. Global lightning and severe storm monitoring from GPS orbit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suszcynsky, D. M. (David M.); Jacobson, A. R.; Linford, J (Justin); Pongratz, M. B. (Morris B.); Light, T. (Tracy E.); Shao, X. (Xuan-Min)


    electrical activity within that cell as measured by the lightning flash rate. Williams [2001] has provided a review of experimental work that shows correlations between the total lightning flash rate and the fifth power of the radar cloud-top height (i.e. convective strength) of individual thunder cells. More recently, Ushio et al., [2001] used a large statistical sampling of optical data from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) in conjunction with data provided by the Precipitation Radar (PR) aboard the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM) satellite to conclude that the total lightning flash rate increases exponentially with storm height. Lightning activity levels have also been correlated to cloud ice content, a basic product of the convective process. For example, Blyth et al. [2001] used the Thermal Microwave Imager (TMI) aboard the TRMM satellite to observe a decrease in the 37 and 85 GHz brightness temperatures of upwelling terrestrial radiation during increased lightning activity. This reduction in brightness temperature is believed to be the result of increased ice scattering in the mixed phase region of the cloud. Toracinta and Zipser [2001] have found similar relationships using the Optical Transient Detector (OTD) satellite instrument and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) aboard the DMSP satellites.

  3. Multicolor Photometric Observation of Lightning from Space: Comparison with Radio Measurements (United States)

    Adachi, Toru; Cohen, Morris; Said, Ryan; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Cummer, Steven A.; Li, Jingbo; Lu, Geopeng; Hsu, Rue-Ron; Su, Han-Tzong; Chen, Alfred Bing-Chih; hide


    This study evaluates the effectiveness of spectrophotometric measurements from space in revealing properties of lightning flash. The multicolor optical waveform data obtained by FORMOSAT-2/Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) were analyzed in relation to National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (LMA). As of July 2011, we found six lightning events which were observed by ISUAL and North Alabama LMA. In two of these events, NLDN showed clear positive cloud-to-ground (CG) discharges with peak current of +139.9 kA and +41.6 kA and, around that time, LMA showed continuous intra-cloud (IC) leader activities at 4-6 km altitudes. ISUAL also observed consistent optical waveforms of the IC and CG components and, interestingly, it was found that the blue/red spectral ratio clearly decreased by a factor of 1.5-2.5 at the time of CG discharges. Other four lightning events in which NLDN did not detect any CG discharges were also investigated, but such a feature was not found in any of these cases. These results suggest that the optical color of CG component is more reddish than that of IC component and we explain this as a result of more effective Rayleigh scattering in blue light emissions coming from lower-altitude light source. This finding suggests that spectral measurements could be a new useful technique to characterize ICs and CGs from space. In this talk, we will also present a result from lightning statistical analysis of ISUAL spectrophotometric data and ULF magnetic data.

  4. Augmenting Satellite Precipitation Estimation with Lightning Information

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahrooghy, Majid [Mississippi State University (MSU); Anantharaj, Valentine G [ORNL; Younan, Nicolas H. [Mississippi State University (MSU); Petersen, Walter A. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; Hsu, Kuo-Lin [University of California, Irvine; Behrangi, Ali [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Aanstoos, James [Mississippi State University (MSU)


    We have used lightning information to augment the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Imagery using an Artificial Neural Network - Cloud Classification System (PERSIANN-CCS). Co-located lightning data are used to segregate cloud patches, segmented from GOES-12 infrared data, into either electrified (EL) or non-electrified (NEL) patches. A set of features is extracted separately for the EL and NEL cloud patches. The features for the EL cloud patches include new features based on the lightning information. The cloud patches are classified and clustered using self-organizing maps (SOM). Then brightness temperature and rain rate (T-R) relationships are derived for the different clusters. Rain rates are estimated for the cloud patches based on their representative T-R relationship. The Equitable Threat Score (ETS) for daily precipitation estimates is improved by almost 12% for the winter season. In the summer, no significant improvements in ETS are noted.

  5. A Comparative Study on the Positive Lightning Return Stroke Electric Fields in Different Meteorological Conditions

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    Chin-Leong Wooi


    Full Text Available Positive cloud-ground lightning is considerably more complex and less studied compared to the negative lightning. This paper aims to measure and characterize the significant parameters of positive return strokes electric field, namely, the zero-to-peak rise time, 10–90% rise time, slow front duration, fast transition rise time (10–90%, zero-crossing time, and opposite polarity overshoot relative to peak. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time such detailed characteristics of positive lightning in Malaysia are thoroughly analyzed. A total of 41 positive lightning flashes containing 48 return strokes were analyzed. The average multiplicity is 1.2 strokes per flash. The majority of positive lightning was initiated from the primary positive charge rather than as a byproduct of in-cloud discharges. The cumulative probability distribution of rise time parameters, opposite polarity overshoot relative to peak, and slow front amplitude relative to peak are presented. A comparison between studies in four countries representing tropic, subtropic, and temperate regions was also carried out. Measured parameters in Florida, Sweden, and Japan are generally lower than those in Malaysia. Positive lightning occurrences in tropical regions should be further studied and analyzed to improve our current understanding on positive return strokes.

  6. The Italian Lightning Detection System of CESI and its applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iorio, R.


    Aim of the paper is to give a description of the CESI lightning detection system SIRF. The system allows the real time localization (latitude, longitude) of the striking point of a cloud-to-ground lightning flash. Electrical parameters of the impulsive currents related to the flash strokes are calculated as well. Based on sensors covering the whole Italian territory, SIRF configuration and of the basic calculation criteria for passing from the sensor raw data to the final flash data is given together with the evaluation of the system expected performance parameters (accuracy, detection efficiently, signal/noise ratio). Main uses of lightning data in several fields are then reported, with special reference to electrical applications. Mention is done about the different modalities adopted for data distribution, according to that either real time or passed time applications have to be carried out. In this latter case (e.g. statistics), a huge amount of data archived within the Lightning Data Base of SIRF is available [it

  7. Spatio-temporal dimension of lightning flashes based on three-dimensional Lightning Mapping Array (United States)

    López, Jesús A.; Pineda, Nicolau; Montanyà, Joan; Velde, Oscar van der; Fabró, Ferran; Romero, David


    3D mapping system like the LMA - Lightning Mapping Array - are a leap forward in lightning observation. LMA measurements has lead to an improvement on the analysis of the fine structure of lightning, allowing to characterize the duration and maximum extension of the cloud fraction of a lightning flash. During several years of operation, the first LMA deployed in Europe has been providing a large amount of data which now allows a statistical approach to compute the full duration and horizontal extension of the in-cloud phase of a lightning flash. The "Ebro Lightning Mapping Array" (ELMA) is used in the present study. Summer and winter lighting were analyzed for seasonal periods (Dec-Feb and Jun-Aug). A simple method based on an ellipse fitting technique (EFT) has been used to characterize the spatio-temporal dimensions from a set of about 29,000 lightning flashes including both summer and winter events. Results show an average lightning flash duration of 440 ms (450 ms in winter) and a horizontal maximum length of 15.0 km (18.4 km in winter). The uncertainties for summer lightning lengths were about ± 1.2 km and ± 0.7 km for the mean and median values respectively. In case of winter lightning, the level of uncertainty reaches up to 1 km and 0.7 km of mean and median value. The results of the successful correlation of CG discharges with the EFT method, represent 6.9% and 35.5% of the total LMA flashes detected in summer and winter respectively. Additionally, the median value of lightning lengths calculated through this correlative method was approximately 17 km for both seasons. On the other hand, the highest median ratios of lightning length to CG discharges in both summer and winter were reported for positive CG discharges.

  8. Registration of X-rays at 2500 m altitude in association with lightning flashes and thunderstorms


    Montañá Puig, Juan; Fabró Tàpia, Ferran; Van der Velde, Oscar Arnoud; Romero Durán, David; Solà de Las Fuentes, Gloria; Hermoso Costa, Juan Ramón; Soula, Serge; Williams, Earle; Pineda Ruegg, Nicolau


    Electric fields and high-energy radiation of natural lightning measured at close range from a mountaintop tower are discussed. In none of the 12 negative cloud-to-ground upward flashes were X-rays observed. Also no energetic radiation was found in one negative upward leader at close range (20¿m). In the first of two consecutive negative cloud-to-ground flashes, X-rays were detected during the last ~1.75¿ms of the leader. During the time of energetic radiation in the flash an intense burst of ...

  9. The Evolution and Structure of Extreme Optical Lightning Flashes. (United States)

    Peterson, Michael; Rudlosky, Scott; Deierling, Wiebke


    This study documents the composition, morphology, and motion of extreme optical lightning flashes observed by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). The furthest separation of LIS events (groups) in any flash is 135 km (89 km), the flash with the largest footprint had an illuminated area of 10,604 km 2 , and the most dendritic flash has 234 visible branches. The longest-duration convective LIS flash lasted 28 s and is overgrouped and not physical. The longest-duration convective-to-stratiform propagating flash lasted 7.4 s, while the longest-duration entirely stratiform flash lasted 4.3 s. The longest series of nearly consecutive groups in time lasted 242 ms. The most radiant recorded LIS group (i.e., "superbolt") is 735 times more radiant than the average group. Factors that impact these optical measures of flash morphology and evolution are discussed. While it is apparent that LIS can record the horizontal development of the lightning channel in some cases, radiative transfer within the cloud limits the flash extent and level of detail measured from orbit. These analyses nonetheless suggest that lightning imagers such as LIS and Geostationary Lightning Mapper can complement ground-based lightning locating systems for studying physical lightning phenomena across large geospatial domains.

  10. NOx from lightning: 1. Global distribution based on lightning physics (United States)

    Price, Colin; Penner, Joyce; Prather, Michael


    This paper begins a study on the role of lightning in maintaining the global distribution of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the troposphere. It presents the first global and seasonal distributions of lightning-produced NOx (LNOx) based on the observed distribution of electrical storms and the physical properties of lightning strokes. We derive a global rate for cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes of 20-30 flashes/s with a mean energy per flash of 6.7×109 J. Intracloud (IC) flashes are more frequent, 50-70 flashes/s but have 10% of the energy of CG strokes and, consequently, produce significantly less NOx. It appears to us that the majority of previous studies have mistakenly assumed that all lightning flashes produce the same amount of NOx, thus overestimating the NOx production by a factor of 3. On the other hand, we feel these same studies have underestimated the energy released in CG flashes, resulting in two negating assumptions. For CG energies we adopt a production rate of 10×1016 molecules NO/J based on the current literature. Using a method to simulate global lightning frequencies from satellite-observed cloud data, we have calculated the LNOx on various spatial (regional, zonal, meridional, and global) and temporal scales (daily, monthly, seasonal, and interannual). Regionally, the production of LNOx is concentrated over tropical continental regions, predominantly in the summer hemisphere. The annual mean production rate is calculated to be 12.2 Tg N/yr, and we believe it extremely unlikely that this number is less than 5 or more than 20 Tg N/yr. Although most of LNOx, is produced in the lowest 5 km by CG lightning, convective mixing in the thunderstorms is likely to deposit large amounts of NOx, in the upper troposphere where it is important in ozone production. On an annual basis, 64% of the LNOx, is produced in the northern hemisphere, implying that the northern hemisphere should have natural ozone levels as much as 2 times greater than the southern hemisphere

  11. Short-term forecasting of lightning based on the surface wind field at Kennedy Space Center (United States)

    Watson, Andrew I.; Lopez, Raul E.; Ortiz, Robert; Holle, Ronald L.


    Cloud-to-ground lightning is related in time and space to surface convergence for 244 days during the summer over a 790 sqkm network. The method uses surface convergence, particularly the average over the area, to identify the potential for new, local thunderstorm growth, and can be used to specify the likely time and location of lightning during the life cycle of the convection. A threshold of 0.0000075/sec change in divergence is used to define a convergence event, and a separation of 30 min between flashes defines a lightning event. Time intervals are found to be on the order of 1 hr from beginning convergence to first flash, and (CH110) 2 hr from beginning convergence to the end of lightning. Major differences between the convergence-lightning relationships based on low-level mean onshore and offshore flow are noted.

  12. Using Flow Regime Lightning and Sounding Climatologies to Initialize Gridded Lightning Threat Forecasts for East Central Florida (United States)

    Lambert, Winifred; Short, David; Volkmer, Matthew; Sharp, David; Spratt, Scott


    Each morning, the forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL (NWS MLB) produce an experimental cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning threat index map for their county warning area (CWA) that is posted to their web site (httl:// . Given the hazardous nature of lightning in East Central Florida, especially during the warm season months of May September, these maps help users factor the threat of lightning, relative to their location, into their daily plans. The maps are color-coded in five levels from Very Low to Extreme, with threat level definitions based on the probability of lightning occurrence and the expected amount of CG activity. On a day in which thunderstorms are expected, there are typically two or more threat levels depicted spatially across the CWA. The locations of relative lightning threat maxima and minima often depend on the position and orientation of the low-level ridge axis, forecast propagation and interaction of sea/lake/outflow boundaries, expected evolution of moisture and stability fields, and other factors that can influence the spatial distribution of thunderstorms over the CWA. The lightning threat index maps are issued for the 24-hour period beginning at 1200 UTC each day with a grid resolution of 5 km x 5 km. Product preparation is performed on the AWIPS Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), which is the standard NWS platform for graphical editing. Until recently, the forecasters created each map manually, starting with a blank map. To improve efficiency of the forecast process, NWS MLB requested that the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) create gridded warm season lightning climatologies that could be used as first-guess inputs to initialize lightning threat index maps. The gridded values requested included CG strike densities and frequency of occurrence stratified by synoptic-scale flow regime. The intent was to improve consistency between forecasters while allowing them to focus on the

  13. Exploring the Production of NOx by Lightning and Its Impact on Tropospheric Ozone (United States)

    Gillani, Noor; Koshak, William; Biazar, Arastoo; Doty, Kevin; Mahon, Robert; Newchurch, Michael; Byun, Daewon; Emmons, Louisa


    transport and chemistry. In our approach for LNOx, (a) we utilize continuous observed lightning information from the NLDN ground network and from satellite imagers (OTD and LIS) to quantify lightning frequency and distribution at the spatial-temporal scales of models such as CMAQ; (b) we develop new methodologies to quantify flash-specific lightning energy dissipation as heat (epsilon) using data from the research-grade lightning measurement facility at NASA-KSC, and to parameterize epsilon based on regional lightning monitoring data (ground- and satellite-based); and, (c) we develop a new parameterization of NOx production as a function of epsilon and rho. Based on such observation-based information, we are working to develop a gridded, episodic LNOx emissions inventory for the USA for use in models like CMAQ. We are also developing approaches for global(MOZART)- regional(CMAQ) chemistry coupling to improve intercontinental transport and STE. Finally, we are developing new methodologies for assimilation of satellite-observed (GOES) clouds into meteorological modeling (MM5), to improve PFTE and to optimize co-location of cloud convection and observed lightning. We will incorporate these improvements in CMAQ simulations over the USA to better understand FT processes and chemistry, and its impact on ground-level ozone.

  14. The Use of the Deep Convective Cloud Technique (DCCT) to Monitor On-Orbit Performance of the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM): Use of Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) Data as Proxy (United States)

    Buechler, Dennis E.; Christian, H. J.; Koshak, William J.; Goodman, Steve J.


    The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on the next generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) will not have onboard calibration capability to monitor its performance. The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has been providing observations of total lightning over the Earth's Tropics since 1997. The GLM design is based on LIS heritage, making it a good proxy dataset. This study examines the performance of LIS throughout its time in orbit. This was accomplished through application of the Deep Convective Cloud Technique (DCCT) (Doelling et al., 2004) to LIS background pixel radiance data. The DCCT identifies deep convective clouds by their cold Infrared (IR) brightness temperatures and using them as invariant targets in the solar reflective portion of the solar spectrum. The GLM and LIS operate in the near-IR at a wavelength of 777.4 nm. In the present study the IR data is obtained from the Visible Infrared Sensor (VIRS) which is collocated with LIS onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. The DCCT is applied to LIS observations for July and August of each year from 1998-2010. The resulting distributions of LIS background DCC pixel radiance for each July August are very similar, indicating stable performance. The mean radiance of the DCCT analysis does not show a long term trend and the maximum deviation of the July August mean radiance for each year is within 0.7% of the overall mean. These results demonstrate that there has been no discernible change in LIS performance throughout its lifetime. A similar approach will used for monitoring the performance of GLM, with cold clouds identified using IR data from the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) which will also be located on GOES-R. Since GLM is based on LIS design heritage, the LIS results indicate that GLM should also experience stable performance over its lifetime.

  15. Lightning Mapping Observations During DC3 in Northern Colorado (United States)

    Krehbiel, P. R.; Rison, W.; Thomas, R. J.


    The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Experiment (DC3) was conducted in three regions covered by Lightning Mapping Arrays (LMAs): Oklahoma and west Texas, northern Alabama, and northern Colorado. In this and a companion presentation, we discuss results obtained from the newly-deployed North Colorado LMA. The CO LMA revealed a surprising variety of lightning-inferred electrical structures, ranging from classic tripolar, normal polarity storms to several variations of anomalously electrified systems. Storms were often characterized by a pronounced lack or deficit of cloud-to-ground discharges (negative or positive), both in relative and absolute terms compared to the large amount of intracloud activity revealed by the LMA. Anomalous electrification was observed in small, localized storms as well as in large, deeply convective and severe storms. Another surprising observation was the frequent occurrence of embedded convection in the downwind anvil/outflow region of large storm systems. Observations of discharges in low flash rate situations over or near the network are sufficiently detailed to enable branching algorithms to estimate total channel lengths for modeling NOx production. However, this will not be possible in large or distant storm systems where the lightning was essentially continuous and structurally complex, or spatially noisy. Rather, a simple empirical metric for characterizing the lightning activity can be developed based on the number of located VHF radiation sources, weighted for example by the peak source power, source altitude, and temporal duration.

  16. Initial Breakdown Pulse Amplitudes in Intracloud and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Flashes (United States)

    Marshall, T. C.; Smith, E. M.; Stolzenburg, M.; Karunarathne, S.; Siedlecki, R. D., II


    This study analyzes the largest initial breakdown (IB) pulse in flashes from three storms in Florida. The study was motivated in part by the possibility that IB pulses of IC flashes may cause of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). The range-normalized, zero-to-peak amplitude of the largest IB pulse within each flash was determined along with its altitude, duration, and occurrence time in the flash. Appropriate data were available for 40 intracloud (IC) and 32 cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes. Histograms of the magnitude of the largest IB pulse amplitude by flash type were similar, with mean (median) values of 1.49 (1.05) V/m for IC flashes and -1.35 (-0.87) V/m for CG flashes. The mean amplitude of the largest IC IB pulses are substantially smaller (roughly an order of magnitude smaller) than the few known pulse amplitudes of TGF events and TGF candidate events. The largest IB pulse in 30 IC flashes showed a weak inverse relation between pulse amplitude and altitude. Amplitude of the largest IB pulse for 25 CG flashes showed no altitude correlation. Duration of the largest IB pulse in ICs averaged twice as long as in CGs (96 μs versus 46 μs); all of the CG durations were <100 μs. Among the ICs, there is a positive relation between largest IB pulse duration and amplitude; the linear correlation coefficient is 0.385 with outliers excluded. The largest IB pulse in IC flashes typically occurred at a longer time after the first IB pulse (average 4.1 ms) than was the case in CG flashes (average 0.6 ms). In both flash types, the largest IB pulse was the first IB pulse in about 30% of the cases.

  17. Production of lightning NOx and its vertical distribution calculated from three-dimensional cloud-scale chemical transport model simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Ott, Lesley E.; Pickering, Kenneth E.; Stenchikov, Georgiy L.; Allen, Dale J.; DeCaria, Alex J.; Ridley, Brian; Lin, Ruei-Fong; Lang, Stephen; Tao, Wei-Kuo


    A three-dimensional (3-D) cloud-scale chemical transport model that includes a parameterized source of lightning NOx on the basis of observed flash rates has been used to simulate six midlatitude and subtropical thunderstorms observed during four

  18. Deaths and injuries as a result of lightning strikes to aircraft. (United States)

    Cherington, M; Mathys, K


    Aircraft are at risk of being struck by lightning or triggering lightning as they fly through clouds. Commercial and private airplanes have been struck, with resultant deaths and injuries to passengers and crew. We were interested in learning how large a problem existed to the American public from lightning strikes to airplanes. We analyzed data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on lightning-related accidents in the United States from 1963-89. NTSB recorded 40 lightning-related aircraft accidents. There were 10 commercial airplane accidents reported, 4 of which were associated with 260 fatalities and 28 serious injuries. There were 30 private aircraft accidents that accounted for 30 fatalities and 46 serious injuries. While lightning remains a potential risk to aircraft passengers and crew, modern airplanes are better equipped to lessen the dangers of accidents due to lightning.

  19. NO signatures from lightning flashes (United States)

    Stith, J.; Dye, J.; Ridley, B.; Laroche, P.; Defer, E.; Baumann, K.; Hübler, G.; Zerr, R.; Venticinque, M.


    In situ measurements of cloud properties, NO, and other trace gases were made in active thunderstorms by two research aircraft. Concurrent measurements from a three-dimensional (3-D) VHF interferometer and the 2-D National Lightning Detection Network were used to determine lightning frequency and location. The CHILL Doppler radar and the NOAA-WP-3D Orion X band Doppler radar were also used to measure storm characteristics. Two case studies from the (STERAO) Stratosphere-Troposphere Experiments: Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone project in northeastern Colorado during the summer of 1996 are presented. Narrow spikes (0.11-0.96 km across), containing up to 19 ppbv of NO, were observed in the storms. Most were located in or downwind of electrically active regions where the NO produced by lightning would be expected. However, it was difficult to correlate individual flashes with NO spikes. A simple model of the plume of NO from lightning is used to estimate NO production from the mean mixing ratio measured in these spikes. The estimates range from 2.0×1020 to 1.0×1022 molecules of NO per meter of flash length.

  20. Inverted Polarity Thunderstorms Linked with Elevated Cloud Base Height (United States)

    Cummins, K. L.; Williams, E.


    The great majority of thunderstorms worldwide exhibit gross positive dipole structure, produce intracloud lightning that reduces this positive dipole (positive intracloud flashes), and produce negative cloud-to-ground lightning from the lower negative end of this dipole. During the STEPS experiment in 2000 much new evidence for thunderstorms (or cells within multi-cellular storms) with inverted polarity came to light, both from balloon soundings of electric field and from LMA analysis. Many of the storms with inverted polarity cells developed in eastern Colorado. Fleenor et al. (2009) followed up after STEPS to document a dominance of positive polarity CG lightning in many of these cases. In the present study, surface thermodynamic observations (temperature and dew point temperature) have been used to estimate the cloud base heights and temperatures at the time of the Fleenor et al. lightning observations. It was found that when more than 90% of the observed CG lightning polarity within a storm is negative, the cloud base heights were low (2000 m AGL or lower, and warmer, with T>10 C), and when more than 90% of the observed CG lightning within a storm was positive, the cloud base heights were high (3000 m AGL or higher, and colder, with Tmixed polarity were generally associated with intermediate cloud base heights. These findings on inverted polarity thunderstorms are remarkably consistent with results in other parts of the world where strong instability prevails in the presence of high cloud base height: the plateau regions of China (Liu et al., 1989; Qie et al., 2005), and in pre-monsoon India (Pawar et al., 2016), particularly when mixed polarity cases are excluded. Calculations of adiabatic cloud water content for lifting from near 0 oC cast some doubt on earlier speculation (Williams et al., 2005) that the graupel particles in these inverted polarity storms attain a wet growth condition, and so exhibit positive charging following laboratory experiments. This

  1. Relationship between aerosol and lightning over Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), India (United States)

    Lal, D. M.; Ghude, Sachin D.; Mahakur, M.; Waghmare, R. T.; Tiwari, S.; Srivastava, Manoj K.; Meena, G. S.; Chate, D. M.


    The relationship between aerosol and lightning over the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), India has been evaluated by utilising aerosol optical depth (AOD), cloud droplet effective radius and cloud fraction from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Lightning flashes have been observed by the lightning Imaging sensor on the board of Tropical Rainfall and Measuring Mission and humidity from modern-era retrospective-analysis for research and applications for the period of 2001-2012. In this study, the role of aerosol in lightning generation over the north-west sector of IGP has been revealed. It is found that lightning activity increases (decreases) with increasing aerosols during normal (deficient) monsoon rainfall years. However, lightning increases with increasing aerosol during deficient rainfall years when the average value of AOD is less than 0.88. We have found that during deficient rainfall years the moisture content of the atmosphere and cloud fraction is smaller than that during the years with normal or excess monsoon rainfall over the north-west IGP. Over the north-east Bay of Bengal and its adjoining region the variations of moisture and cloud fraction between the deficient and normal rainfall years are minimal. We have found that the occurrence of the lightning over this region is primarily due to its topography and localised circulation. The warm-dry air approaching from north-west converges with moist air emanating from the Bay of Bengal causing instability that creates an environment for deep convective cloud and lightning. The relationship between lightning and aerosol is stronger over the north-west sector of IGP than the north-east, whereas it is moderate over the central IGP. We conclude that aerosol is playing a major role in lightning activity over the north-west sector of IGP, but, local meteorological conditions such as convergences of dry and moist air is the principal cause of lightning over the north-east sector of IGP. In addition

  2. Lightning (United States)

    Pampe, William R.


    Presents basic physical theory for movement of electric charges in clouds, earth, and air during production of lightning and thunder. Amount of electrical energy produced and heating effects during typical thunderstorms is described. Generalized safety practices are given. (JM)

  3. Prevalent lightning sferics at 600 megahertz near Jupiter's poles (United States)

    Brown, Shannon; Janssen, Michael; Adumitroaie, Virgil; Atreya, Sushil; Bolton, Scott; Gulkis, Samuel; Ingersoll, Andrew; Levin, Steven; Li, Cheng; Li, Liming; Lunine, Jonathan; Misra, Sidharth; Orton, Glenn; Steffes, Paul; Tabataba-Vakili, Fachreddin; Kolmašová, Ivana; Imai, Masafumi; Santolík, Ondřej; Kurth, William; Hospodarsky, George; Gurnett, Donald; Connerney, John


    Lightning has been detected on Jupiter by all visiting spacecraft through night-side optical imaging and whistler (lightning-generated radio waves) signatures1-6. Jovian lightning is thought to be generated in the mixed-phase (liquid-ice) region of convective water clouds through a charge-separation process between condensed liquid water and water-ice particles, similar to that of terrestrial (cloud-to-cloud) lightning7-9. Unlike terrestrial lightning, which emits broadly over the radio spectrum up to gigahertz frequencies10,11, lightning on Jupiter has been detected only at kilohertz frequencies, despite a search for signals in the megahertz range12. Strong ionospheric attenuation or a lightning discharge much slower than that on Earth have been suggested as possible explanations for this discrepancy13,14. Here we report observations of Jovian lightning sferics (broadband electromagnetic impulses) at 600 megahertz from the Microwave Radiometer15 onboard the Juno spacecraft. These detections imply that Jovian lightning discharges are not distinct from terrestrial lightning, as previously thought. In the first eight orbits of Juno, we detected 377 lightning sferics from pole to pole. We found lightning to be prevalent in the polar regions, absent near the equator, and most frequent in the northern hemisphere, at latitudes higher than 40 degrees north. Because the distribution of lightning is a proxy for moist convective activity, which is thought to be an important source of outward energy transport from the interior of the planet16,17, increased convection towards the poles could indicate an outward internal heat flux that is preferentially weighted towards the poles9,16,18. The distribution of moist convection is important for understanding the composition, general circulation and energy transport on Jupiter.

  4. Preliminary Assessment of Detection Efficiency for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper Using Intercomparisons with Ground-Based Systems (United States)

    Bateman, Monte; Mach, Douglas; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Koshak, William


    As part of the calibration/validation (cal/val) effort for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on GOES-16, we need to assess instrument performance (detection efficiency and accuracy). One major effort is to calculate the detection efficiency of GLM by comparing to multiple ground-based systems. These comparisons will be done pair-wise between GLM and each other source. A complication in this process is that the ground-based systems sense different properties of the lightning signal than does GLM (e.g., RF vs. optical). Also, each system has a different time and space resolution and accuracy. Preliminary results indicate that GLM is performing at or above its specification.

  5. Lightning attachment process to common buildings (United States)

    Saba, M. M. F.; Paiva, A. R.; Schumann, C.; Ferro, M. A. S.; Naccarato, K. P.; Silva, J. C. O.; Siqueira, F. V. C.; Custódio, D. M.


    The physical mechanism of lightning attachment to grounded structures is one of the most important issues in lightning physics research, and it is the basis for the design of the lightning protection systems. Most of what is known about the attachment process comes from leader propagation models that are mostly based on laboratory observations of long electrical discharges or from observations of lightning attachment to tall structures. In this paper we use high-speed videos to analyze the attachment process of downward lightning flashes to an ordinary residential building. For the first time, we present characteristics of the attachment process to common structures that are present in almost every city (in this case, two buildings under 60 m in São Paulo City, Brazil). Parameters like striking distance and connecting leaders speed, largely used in lightning attachment models and in lightning protection standards, are revealed in this work.Plain Language SummarySince the time of Benjamin Franklin, no one has ever recorded high-speed video images of a lightning connection to a common building. It is very difficult to do it. Cameras need to be very close to the structure chosen to be observed, and long observation time is required to register one lightning strike to that particular structure. Models and theories used to determine the zone of protection of a lightning rod have been developed, but they all suffer from the lack of field data. The submitted manuscript provides results from high-speed video observations of lightning attachment to low buildings that are commonly found in almost every populated area around the world. The proximity of the camera and the high frame rate allowed us to see interesting details that will improve the understanding of the attachment process and, consequently, the models and theories used by lightning protection standards. This paper also presents spectacular images and videos of lightning flashes connecting lightning rods that

  6. Global Electric Circuit Implications of Total Current Measurements over Electrified Clouds (United States)

    Mach, Douglas M.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Bateman, Monte G.


    We determined total conduction (Wilson) currents and flash rates for 850 overflights of electrified clouds spanning regions including the Southeastern United States, the Western Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and adjacent oceans, Central Brazil, and the South Pacific. The overflights include storms over land and ocean, with and without lightning, and with positive and negative Wilson currents. We combined these individual storm overflight statistics with global diurnal lightning variation data from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and Optical Transient Detector (OTD) to estimate the thunderstorm and electrified shower cloud contributions to the diurnal variation in the global electric circuit. The contributions to the global electric circuit from lightning producing clouds are estimated by taking the mean current per flash derived from the overflight data for land and ocean overflights and combining it with the global lightning rates (for land and ocean) and their diurnal variation derived from the LIS/OTD data. We estimate the contribution of non-lightning producing electrified clouds by assuming several different diurnal variations and total non-electrified storm counts to produce estimates of the total storm currents (lightning and non-lightning producing storms). The storm counts and diurnal variations are constrained so that the resultant total current diurnal variation equals the diurnal variation in the fair weather electric field (+/-15%). These assumptions, combined with the airborne and satellite data, suggest that the total mean current in the global electric circuit ranges from 2.0 to 2.7 kA, which is greater than estimates made by others using other methods.

  7. Lightning discharges produced by wind turbines (United States)

    Montanyà, Joan; van der Velde, Oscar; Williams, Earle R.


    New observations with a 3-D Lightning Mapping Array and high-speed video are presented and discussed. The first set of observations shows that under certain thunderstorm conditions, wind turbine blades can produce electric discharges at regular intervals of 3 s in relation to its rotation, over periods of time that range from a few minutes up to hours. This periodic effect has not been observed in static towers indicating that the effect of rotation is playing a critical role. The repeated discharges can occur tens of kilometers away from electrically active thunderstorm areas and may or may not precede a fully developed upward lightning discharge from the turbine. Similar to rockets used for triggering lightning, the fast movement of the blade tip plays an important role on the initiation of the discharge. The movement of the rotor blades allows the tip to "runaway" from the generated corona charge. The second observation is an uncommon upward/downward flash triggered by a wind turbine. In that flash, a negative upward leader was initiated from a wind turbine without preceding lightning activity. The flash produced a negative cloud-to-ground stroke several kilometers from the initiation point. The third observation corresponds to a high-speed video record showing simultaneous upward positive leaders from a group of wind turbines triggered by a preceding intracloud flash. The fact that multiple leaders develop simultaneously indicates a poor shielding effect among them. All these observations provide some special features on the initiation of lightning by nonstatic and complex tall structures.

  8. Runaway breakdown and hydrometeors in lightning initiation. (United States)

    Gurevich, A V; Karashtin, A N


    The particular electric pulse discharges are observed in thunderclouds during the initiation stage of negative cloud-to-ground lightning. The discharges are quite different from conventional streamers or leaders. A detailed analysis reveals that the shape of the pulses is determined by the runaway breakdown of air in the thundercloud electric field initiated by extensive atmospheric showers (RB-EAS). The high amplitude of the pulse electric current is due to the multiple microdischarges at hydrometeors stimulated and synchronized by the low-energy electrons generated in the RB-EAS process. The series of specific pulse discharges leads to charge reset from hydrometeors to the free ions and creates numerous stretched ion clusters, both positive and negative. As a result, a wide region in the thundercloud with a sufficiently high fractal ion conductivity is formed. The charge transport by ions plays a decisive role in the lightning leader preconditioning.

  9. Modeling of X-ray Images and Energy Spectra Produced by Stepping Lightning Leaders (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Marshall, Robert A.; Celestin, Sebastien; Pasko, Victor P.


    Recent ground-based measurements at the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) have greatly improved our knowledge of the energetics, fluence, and evolution of X-ray emissions during natural cloud-to-ground (CG) and rocket-triggered lightning flashes. In this paper, using Monte Carlo simulations and the response matrix of unshielded detectors in the Thunderstorm Energetic Radiation Array (TERA), we calculate the energy spectra of X-rays as would be detected by TERA and directly compare with the observational data during event MSE 10-01. The good agreement obtained between TERA measurements and theoretical calculations supports the mechanism of X-ray production by thermal runaway electrons during the negative corona flash stage of stepping lightning leaders. Modeling results also suggest that measurements of X-ray bursts can be used to estimate the approximate range of potential drop of lightning leaders. Moreover, the X-ray images produced during the leader stepping process in natural negative CG discharges, including both the evolution and morphological features, are theoretically quantified. We show that the compact emission pattern as recently observed in X-ray images is likely produced by X-rays originating from the source region, and the diffuse emission pattern can be explained by the Compton scattering effects.

  10. LOFAR Lightning Imaging: Mapping Lightning With Nanosecond Precision (United States)

    Hare, B. M.; Scholten, O.; Bonardi, A.; Buitink, S.; Corstanje, A.; Ebert, U.; Falcke, H.; Hörandel, J. R.; Leijnse, H.; Mitra, P.; Mulrey, K.; Nelles, A.; Rachen, J. P.; Rossetto, L.; Rutjes, C.; Schellart, P.; Thoudam, S.; Trinh, T. N. G.; ter Veen, S.; Winchen, T.


    Lightning mapping technology has proven instrumental in understanding lightning. In this work we present a pipeline that can use lightning observed by the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope to construct a 3-D map of the flash. We show that LOFAR has unparalleled precision, on the order of meters, even for lightning flashes that are over 20 km outside the area enclosed by LOFAR antennas (˜3,200 km2), and can potentially locate over 10,000 sources per lightning flash. We also show that LOFAR is the first lightning mapping system that is sensitive to the spatial structure of the electrical current during individual lightning leader steps.

  11. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro


    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  12. Preliminary Development and Evaluation of Lightning Jump Algorithms for the Real-Time Detection of Severe Weather (United States)

    Schultz, Christopher J.; Petersen, Walter A.; Carey, Lawrence D.


    Previous studies have demonstrated that rapid increases in total lightning activity (intracloud + cloud-to-ground) are often observed tens of minutes in advance of the occurrence of severe weather at the ground. These rapid increases in lightning activity have been termed "lightning jumps." Herein, we document a positive correlation between lightning jumps and the manifestation of severe weather in thunderstorms occurring across the Tennessee Valley and Washington D.C. A total of 107 thunderstorms were examined in this study, with 69 of the 107 thunderstorms falling into the category of non-severe, and 38 into the category of severe. From the dataset of 69 isolated non-severe thunderstorms, an average peak 1 minute flash rate of 10 flashes/min was determined. A variety of severe thunderstorm types were examined for this study including an MCS, MCV, tornadic outer rainbands of tropical remnants, supercells, and pulse severe thunderstorms. Of the 107 thunderstorms, 85 thunderstorms (47 non-severe, 38 severe) from the Tennessee Valley and Washington D.C tested 6 lightning jump algorithm configurations (Gatlin, Gatlin 45, 2(sigma), 3(sigma), Threshold 10, and Threshold 8). Performance metrics for each algorithm were then calculated, yielding encouraging results from the limited sample of 85 thunderstorms. The 2(sigma) lightning jump algorithm had a high probability of detection (POD; 87%), a modest false alarm rate (FAR; 33%), and a solid Heidke Skill Score (HSS; 0.75). A second and more simplistic lightning jump algorithm named the Threshold 8 lightning jump algorithm also shows promise, with a POD of 81% and a FAR of 41%. Average lead times to severe weather occurrence for these two algorithms were 23 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively. The overall goal of this study is to advance the development of an operationally-applicable jump algorithm that can be used with either total lightning observations made from the ground, or in the near future from space using the

  13. European cold season lightning map for wind turbines based on radio soundings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Stephan; Holbøll, Joachim; Lopez, Javier


    conditions for self-triggered upward lightning, as being observed in Japan and Spain, are identified. This map may give an indication if a potential wind power plant or structure has the risk to be affected by frequent lightning attachments in the cold season which are predominantly upward initiated......In this paper, the meteorological data of cold season thunderstorms in Japan and Spain are reviewed to determine the threshold conditions at which cold season lightning was recorded in the past. The variables investigated are the height of the -10°C and 0°C isotherms above ground, the wind velocity......, the precipitable water in the cloud, and the wind direction. Meteorological data of 72 radio sounding stations in Europe is analyzed for a 5 year period (2009-2014) in the months from October until March. Based on this information, a European map has been created indicating areas where the meteorological...

  14. Observations of lightning processes using VHF radio interferometry (United States)

    Rhodes, C. T.; Shao, X. M.; Krehbiel, P. R.; Thomas, R.


    A single station, multiple baseline radio interferometer was used to locate the direction of VHF radiation from lightning discharges with microsec time resolution. Radiation source directions and electric field waveforms were analyzed for various types of breakdown events. These include initial breakdown and K type events of in-cloud activity, and the leaders of initial and subsequent strokes to ground and activity during and following return strokes. Radiation during the initial breakdown of a flash and in the early stages of initial leaders to ground is found to be similar. In both instances, the activity consists of localized bursts of radiation that are intense and slow moving. Motion within a given burst is unresolved by the interferometer. Radiation from in-cloud K type events is essentially the same as that from dart leaders; in both cases it is produced at the leading edge of a fast moving streamer that propagates along a well defined, often extensive path. K type events are sometimes terminated by fast field changes that are similar to the return stroke initiated by dart leaders; such K type events are the in-cloud analog of the dart leader return stroke process.

  15. Lightning related fatalities in livestock: veterinary expertise and the added value of lightning location data. (United States)

    Vanneste, E; Weyens, P; Poelman, D R; Chiers, K; Deprez, P; Pardon, B


    Although lightning strike is an important cause of sudden death in livestock on pasture and among the main reasons why insurance companies consult an expert veterinarian, scientific information on this subject is limited. The aim of the present study was to provide objective information on the circumstantial evidence and pathological findings in lightning related fatalities (LRF), based on a retrospective analysis of 410 declarations, examined by a single expert veterinarian in Flanders, Belgium, from 1998 to 2012. Predictive logistic models for compatibility with LRF were constructed based on anamnestic, environmental and pathological factors. In addition, the added value of lightning location data (LLD) was evaluated. Pathognomonic singe lesions were present in 84/194 (43%) confirmed reports. Factors which remained significantly associated with LRF in the multivariable model were age, presence of a tree or open water in the near surroundings, tympany and presence of feed in the oral cavity at the time of investigation. This basic model had a sensitivity (Se) of 53.8% and a specificity (Sp) of 88.2%. Relying only on LLD to confirm LRF in livestock resulted in a high Se (91.3%), but a low Sp (41.2%), leading to a high probability that a negative case would be wrongly accepted as an LRF. The best results were obtained when combining the model based on the veterinary expert investigation (circumstantial evidence and pathological findings), together with the detection of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning at the time and location of death (Se 89.1%; Sp 66.7%). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Faraday Cage Protects Against Lightning (United States)

    Jafferis, W.; Hasbrouck, R. T.; Johnson, J. P.


    Faraday cage protects electronic and electronically actuated equipment from lightning. Follows standard lightning-protection principles. Whether lightning strikes cage or cables running to equipment, current canceled or minimized in equipment and discharged into ground. Applicable to protection of scientific instruments, computers, radio transmitters and receivers, and power-switching equipment.

  17. Relating lightning data to fire occurrence data (United States)

    Frank H. Koch


    Lightning disturbance can affect forest health at various scales. Lightning strikes may kill or weaken individual trees. Lightning-damaged trees may in turn function as epicenters of pest outbreaks in forest stands, as is the case with the southern pine beetle and other bark beetles (Rykiel and others 1988).

  18. Statistical Evolution of the Lightning Flash (United States)

    Zoghzoghy, F. G.; Cohen, M.; Said, R.; Inan, U. S.


    Natural lightning is one of the most fascinating and powerful electrical processes on Earth. To date, the physics behind this natural phenomenon are not fully understood, due primarily to the difficulty of obtaining measurements inside thunderstorms and to the wide range of timescales involved (from nanoseconds to seconds). Our aim is to use accurate lightning geo-location data from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) to study statistical patterns in lightning, taking advantage of the fact that millions of lightning flashes occur around the globe every day. We present two sets of results, one involving the patterns of flashes in a storm, and a second involving the patterns of strokes in a flash. These patterns can provide a surrogate measure of the timescales and the spatial extents of the underlying physical processes. First, we study the timescales of charge buildup inside thunderstorms. We find that, following a lightning flash, the probability of another neighboring flash decreases and takes tens of seconds to recover. We find that this suppression effect is a function of flash type, stroke peak current, cloud-to-ground (CG) stroke multiplicity, and other lightning and geographical parameters. We find that the probabilities of subsequent flashes are more suppressed following oceanic lightning, or following flashes with higher peak currents and/or higher multiplicities (for CG flashes). Second, we use NLDN data to study the evolution of the strokes within a CG flash. A CG flash typically includes multiple return strokes, which can occur in the same channel or in multiple channels within a few kilometers. We cluster NLDN stroke data into flashes and produce the probability density function of subsequent strokes as a function of distance and time-delays relative to the previous stroke. Using this technique, we investigate processes which occur during the CG lightning flash with nanosecond to millisecond timescales. For instance, our results suggest

  19. An improved lightning flash rate parameterization developed from Colorado DC3 thunderstorm data for use in cloud-resolving chemical transport models (United States)

    Basarab, B. M.; Rutledge, S. A.; Fuchs, B. R.


    Accurate prediction of total lightning flash rate in thunderstorms is important to improve estimates of nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced by lightning (LNOx) from the storm scale to the global scale. In this study, flash rate parameterization schemes from the literature are evaluated against observed total flash rates for a sample of 11 Colorado thunderstorms, including nine storms from the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) experiment in May-June 2012. Observed flash rates were determined using an automated algorithm that clusters very high frequency radiation sources emitted by electrical breakdown in clouds and detected by the northern Colorado lightning mapping array. Existing schemes were found to inadequately predict flash rates and were updated based on observed relationships between flash rate and simple storm parameters, yielding significant improvement. The most successful updated scheme predicts flash rate based on the radar-derived mixed-phase 35 dBZ echo volume. Parameterizations based on metrics for updraft intensity were also updated but were found to be less reliable predictors of flash rate for this sample of storms. The 35 dBZ volume scheme was tested on a data set containing radar reflectivity volume information for thousands of isolated convective cells in different regions of the U.S. This scheme predicted flash rates to within 5.8% of observed flash rates on average. These results encourage the application of this scheme to larger radar data sets and its possible implementation into cloud-resolving models.

  20. Identification of lightning vulnerability points on complex grounded structures


    Becerra Garcia, Marley; Cooray, Vernon; Hartono, Z.A


    The identification of the most vulnerable points on a given structure to be struck by lightning is an important issue on the design of areliable lightning protection system. Traditionally, these lightning strike points are identified using the rolling sphere method, through anempirical correlation with the prospective peak return stroke current. However, field observations in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore haveshown that the points where lightning flashes strike buildings also depend on the heigh...

  1. A global lightning parameterization based on statistical relationships among environmental factors, aerosols, and convective clouds in the TRMM climatology (United States)

    Stolz, Douglas C.; Rutledge, Steven A.; Pierce, Jeffrey R.; van den Heever, Susan C.


    The objective of this study is to determine the relative contributions of normalized convective available potential energy (NCAPE), cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations, warm cloud depth (WCD), vertical wind shear (SHEAR), and environmental relative humidity (RH) to the variability of lightning and radar reflectivity within convective features (CFs) observed by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Our approach incorporates multidimensional binned representations of observations of CFs and modeled thermodynamics, kinematics, and CCN as inputs to develop approximations for total lightning density (TLD) and the average height of 30 dBZ radar reflectivity (AVGHT30). The results suggest that TLD and AVGHT30 increase with increasing NCAPE, increasing CCN, decreasing WCD, increasing SHEAR, and decreasing RH. Multiple-linear approximations for lightning and radar quantities using the aforementioned predictors account for significant portions of the variance in the binned data set (R2 ≈ 0.69-0.81). The standardized weights attributed to CCN, NCAPE, and WCD are largest, the standardized weight of RH varies relative to other predictors, while the standardized weight for SHEAR is comparatively small. We investigate these statistical relationships for collections of CFs within various geographic areas and compare the aerosol (CCN) and thermodynamic (NCAPE and WCD) contributions to variations in the CF population in a partial sensitivity analysis based on multiple-linear regression approximations computed herein. A global lightning parameterization is developed; the average difference between predicted and observed TLD decreases from +21.6 to +11.6% when using a hybrid approach to combine separate approximations over continents and oceans, thus highlighting the need for regionally targeted investigations in the future.

  2. Estimating the NOx produced by lightning from GOME and NLDN data: a case study in the Gulf of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Beirle


    Full Text Available Nitrogen oxides (NOxNO+NO2 play an important role in tropospheric chemistry, in particular in catalytic ozone production. Lightning provides a natural source of nitrogen oxides, dominating the production in the tropical upper troposphere, with strong impact on tropospheric ozone and the atmosphere's oxidizing capacity. Recent estimates of lightning produced NOx (LNOx are of the order of 5 Tg [N] per year with still high uncertainties in the range of one order of magnitude. The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME on board the ESA-satellite ERS-2 allows the retrieval of tropospheric column densities of NO2 on a global scale. Here we present the GOME NO2 measurement directly over a large convective system over the Gulf of Mexico. Simultaneously, cloud-to-ground (CG flashes are counted by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDNTM, and extrapolated to include intra-cloud (IC+CG flashes based on a climatological IC:CG ratio derived from NASA's space-based lightning sensors. A series of 14 GOME pixels shows largely enhanced column densities over thick and high clouds, coinciding with strong lightning activity. The enhancements can not be explained by transport of anthropogenic NOx and must be due to fresh production of LNOx. A quantitative analysis, accounting in particular for the visibility of LNOx from satellite, yields a LNOx production of 90 (32-240 moles of NOx, or 1.3 (0.4-3.4 kg [N], per flash. If simply extrapolated, this corresponds to a global LNOx production of 1.7 (0.6-4.7Tg [N]/yr.

  3. Lightning Step Leader and Return Stroke Spectra at 100,000 fps (United States)

    Harley, J.; McHarg, M.; Stenbaek-Nielsen, H. C.; Haaland, R. K.; Sonnenfeld, R.; Edens, H. E.; Cummer, S.; Lapierre, J. L.; Maddocks, S.


    A fundamental understanding of lightning can be inferred from the spectral emissions resulting from the leader and return stroke channels. We examine events recorded at 00:58:07 on 19 July 2015 and 06:44:24 on 23 July 2017, both at Langmuir Laboratory. Analysis of both events is supplemented by data from the Lightning Mapping Array at Langmuir. The 00:58:07 event spectra was recorded using a 100 line per mm grating in front of a Phantom V2010 camera with an 85mm (9o FOV) Nikon lens recording at 100,000 frames per second. Coarse resolution spectra (approximately 5 nm resolution) are produced from approximately 400 nm to 800 nm for each frame. We analyze several nitrogen and oxygen lines to understand step leader temperature behavior between cloud and ground. The 06:44:24 event spectra was recorded using a 300 line per mm grating (approximately 1.5 nm resolution) in front of a Phantom V2010 camera with an 50mm (32o FOV) Nikon lens also recording at 100,000 frames per second. Two ionized atomic nitrogen lines at 502 nm and 569 nm appear upon attachment and disappear as the return stroke travels from ground to cloud in approximately 5 frames. We analyze these lines to understand initial return stroke temperature and species behavior.

  4. An Overview of the Total Lightning Jump Algorithm: Past, Present and Future Work (United States)

    Schultz, Christopher J.; Petersen, Walter A.; Carey, Lawrence D.; Deierling, Wiebke; Kessinger, Cathy


    Rapid increases in total lightning prior to the onset of severe and hazardous weather have been observed for several decades. These rapid increases are known as lightning jumps and can precede the occurrence of severe weather by tens of minutes. Over the past decade, a significant effort has been made to quantify lightning jump behavior in relation to its utility as a predictor of severe and hazardous weather. Based on a study of 34 thunderstorms that occurred in the Tennessee Valley, early work conducted in our group at Huntsville determined that it was indeed possible to create a reasonable operational lightning jump algorithm (LJA) based on a statistical framework relying on the variance behavior of the lightning trending signal. We the expanded this framework and tested several variance-related LJA configurations on a much larger sample of 87 severe and non severe thunderstorms. This study determined that a configuration named the "2(sigma)" algorithm had the most promise in development of the operational LJA with a probability of detection (POD) of 87%, a false alarm rate (FAR) of 33%, a Heidke Skill Score (HSS) of 0.75. The 2(sigma) algorithm was then tested on an even larger sample of 711 thunderstorms of all types from four regions of the country where total lightning measurement capability existed. The result was very encouraging.Despite the larger number of storms and the inclusion of different regions of the country, the POD remained high (79%), the FAR was low (36%) and HSS was solid (0.71). Average lead time from jump to severe weather occurrence was 20.65 minutes, with a standard deviation of +/- 15 minutes. Also, trends in total lightning were compared to cloud to ground (CG) lightning trends, and it was determined that total lightning trends had a higher POD (79% vs 66%), lower FAR (36% vs 54 %) and a better HSS (0.71 vs 0.55). From the 711-storm case study it was determined that a majority of missed events were due to severe weather producing

  5. Lightning Location System Data from Wind Power Plants Compared to Meteorological Conditions of Warm- and Cold Thunderstorm Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Stephan; Lopez, Javier; Garolera, Anna Candela


    of topography, height above mean sea level (AMSL), and average ground flash density. For three sites, the most severe lightning events have been identified during the warm and cold months whereas the other two locations exhibit severe lightning detections mainly during the warm months. In this work severity......Five years of Lightning Location System (LLS) data from five different wind turbine sites in Europe are analysed. The sites are located in Croatia, Italy, Spain, France and one offshore wind power plant in the North sea. Each location exhibits individual characteristic properties in terms...... of such an episode can vary from tens of minutes to several hours in the case of new storms being continuously developed in the same area. The distance of the charge separating -10◦ C and the ground is usually larger than 3000 meters. This analyse provides information about the different thunderstorm types which...

  6. On the field-to-current conversion factors for large bipolar lightning discharge events in winter thunderstorms in Japan (United States)

    Chen, Long; Zhang, Qilin; Hou, Wenhao; Tao, Yulang


    In this paper we have simulated the far-field waveform characteristic of large bipolar events (LBEs) occurred in winter thunderstorms in Japan and compared the field-to-current conversion factors (FCCFs) of LBEs with that of the lightning cloud-to-ground (CG) return stroke (RS) in summer thunderstorm. As for the physical process of LBEs, Wu et al. (2014) considered that LBEs may be very similar to the typical lightning RS (RS-like process) or caused by an initial continuous current pulse (ICC-like process) in upward lightning flashes. We assume that the lightning channel length of LBEs ranges from 500 m to 1000 m, and the height of tall object struck by LBEs is from 100 m to 300 m. By using the bouncing wave model, we found that only when the injected current waveform of LBEs is characterized with a symmetric Gaussian pulse, the simulated far-field waveform of LBEs both for RS-like process and ICC-like process is similar to that observed by Wu et al. (2014). For striking tall objects with heights from 100 m and 300 m, the FCCFs of LBEs are positively correlated with its channel length and derivatives of injected current waveform, and the FCCF for RS-like process is about similar to that for ICC-like process. However, the FCCFs of LBEs are very different from lightning RS in summer thunderstorm; that is to say, the FCCFs developed for the well-known lightning RS in summer thunderstorm are not suitable for LBEs.

  7. Lightning in aeronautics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lago, F


    It is generally accepted that a civilian aircraft is struck, on average, once or twice per year. This number tends to indicate that a lightning strike risk is far from being marginal and so requires that aircraft manufacturers have to demonstrate that their aircraft is protected against lightning. The first generation of aircrafts, which were manufactured mainly in aluminium alloy and had electromechanical and pneumatic controls, had a natural immunity to the effects of lightning. Nowadays, aircraft structures are made primarily with composite materials and flight controls are mostly electronic. This aspect of the ''more composite and more electric'' aircraft demands to aircraft manufacturers to pay a particular attention to the lightning protection and to its certification by testing and/or analysis. It is therefore essential to take this risk into account when designing the aircraft. Nevertheless, it is currently impossible to reproduce the entire lightning phenomenon in testing laboratories and the best way to analyse the lightning protection is to reproduce its effects. In this context, a number of standards and guides are produced by standards committees to help laboratories and aircraft manufacturers to perform realistic tests. Although the environment of a laboratory is quite different from those of a storm cloud, the rules of aircraft design, the know-how of aircraft manufacturers, the existence of international work leading to a better understanding of the lightning phenomenon and standards more precise, permit, today, to consider the risk as properly controlled

  8. Dual-Polarization Radar Observations of Upward Lightning-Producing Storms (United States)

    Lueck, R.; Helsdon, J. H.; Warner, T.


    The Upward Lightning Triggering Study (UPLIGHTS) seeks to determine how upward lightning, which originates from the tips of tall objects, is triggered by nearby flash activity. As a component of this study we analyze standard and dual-polarization weather radar data. The Correlation Coefficient (CC) in particular can be used to identify and quantify the melting layer associated with storms that produce upward lightning. It has been proposed that positive charge generation due to aggregate shedding at the melting layer results in a positive charge region just above the cloud base. This positive charge region may serve as a positive potential well favorable for negative leader propagation, which initiate upward positive leaders from tall objects. We characterize the horizontal coverage, thickness and height of the melting layer in addition to cloud base heights when upward lightning occurs to determine trends and possible threshold criteria relating to upward lightning production. Furthermore, we characterize storm type and morphology using relevant schemes as well as precipitation type using the Hydrometer Classification Algorithm (HCA) for upward lightning-producing storms. Ice-phase hydrometeors have been shown to be a significant factor in thunderstorm electrification. Only a small fraction of storms produce upward lightning, so null cases will be examined and compared as well.

  9. Use of High-Resolution WRF Simulations to Forecast Lightning Threat (United States)

    McCaul, E. W., Jr.; LaCasse, K.; Goodman, S. J.; Cecil, D. J.


    Recent observational studies have confirmed the existence of a robust statistical relationship between lightning flash rates and the amount of large precipitating ice hydrometeors aloft in storms. This relationship is exploited, in conjunction with the capabilities of cloud-resolving forecast models such as WRF, to forecast explicitly the threat of lightning from convective storms using selected output fields from the model forecasts. The simulated vertical flux of graupel at -15C and the shape of the simulated reflectivity profile are tested in this study as proxies for charge separation processes and their associated lightning risk. Our lightning forecast method differs from others in that it is entirely based on high-resolution simulation output, without reliance on any climatological data. short [6-8 h) simulations are conducted for a number of case studies for which three-dmmensional lightning validation data from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array are available. Experiments indicate that initialization of the WRF model on a 2 km grid using Eta boundary conditions, Doppler radar radial velocity fields, and METAR and ACARS data y&eld satisfactory simulations. __nalyses of the lightning threat fields suggests that both the graupel flux and reflectivity profile approaches, when properly calibrated, can yield reasonable lightning threat forecasts, although an ensemble approach is probably desirable in order to reduce the tendency for misplacement of modeled storms to hurt the accuracy of the forecasts. Our lightning threat forecasts are also compared to other more traditional means of forecasting thunderstorms, such as those based on inspection of the convective available potential energy field.

  10. Location accuracy evaluation of lightning location systems using natural lightning flashes recorded by a network of high-speed cameras (United States)

    Alves, J.; Saraiva, A. C. V.; Campos, L. Z. D. S.; Pinto, O., Jr.; Antunes, L.


    This work presents a method for the evaluation of location accuracy of all Lightning Location System (LLS) in operation in southeastern Brazil, using natural cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes. This can be done through a multiple high-speed cameras network (RAMMER network) installed in the Paraiba Valley region - SP - Brazil. The RAMMER network (Automated Multi-camera Network for Monitoring and Study of Lightning) is composed by four high-speed cameras operating at 2,500 frames per second. Three stationary black-and-white (B&W) cameras were situated in the cities of São José dos Campos and Caçapava. A fourth color camera was mobile (installed in a car), but operated in a fixed location during the observation period, within the city of São José dos Campos. The average distance among cameras was 13 kilometers. Each RAMMER sensor position was determined so that the network can observe the same lightning flash from different angles and all recorded videos were GPS (Global Position System) time stamped, allowing comparisons of events between cameras and the LLS. The RAMMER sensor is basically composed by a computer, a Phantom high-speed camera version 9.1 and a GPS unit. The lightning cases analyzed in the present work were observed by at least two cameras, their position was visually triangulated and the results compared with BrasilDAT network, during the summer seasons of 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. The visual triangulation method is presented in details. The calibration procedure showed an accuracy of 9 meters between the accurate GPS position of the object triangulated and the result from the visual triangulation method. Lightning return stroke positions, estimated with the visual triangulation method, were compared with LLS locations. Differences between solutions were not greater than 1.8 km.

  11. Frequency domain analysis of lightning protection using four lightning protection rods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javor Vesna


    Full Text Available In this paper the lightning discharge channel is modeled as a vertical monopole antenna excited by a pulse generator at its base. The lightning electromagnetic field of a nearby lightning discharge in the case of lightning protection using four vertical lightning protection rods was determined in the frequency domain. Unknown current distributions were determined by numerical solving of a system of integral equations of two potentials using the Point Matching Method and polynomial approximation of the current distributions. The influence of the real ground, treated as homogeneous loss half-space of known electrical parameters, expressed through a Sommerfeld integral kernel, was modeled using a new Two-image approximation which gives good results in both near and far fields.

  12. Lightning leader models of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (United States)

    Dwyer, J. R.; Liu, N.; Ihaddadene, K. M. A.


    Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are bright sub-millisecond bursts of gamma rays that originate from thunderstorms. Because lightning leaders near the ground have been observed to emit x-rays, presumably due to runaway electron production in the high-field regions near the leader tips, models of TGFs have been developed by several groups that assume a similar production mechanism of runaway electrons from lightning leaders propagating through thunderclouds. However, it remains unclear exactly how and where these runaway electrons are produced, since lightning propagation at thunderstorm altitudes remains poorly understood. In addition, it is not obvious how to connect the observed behavior of the x-ray production from lightning near the ground with the properties of TGFs. For example, it is not clear how to relate the time structure of the x-ray emission near the ground to that of TGFs, since x-rays from stepped leaders near the ground are usually produced in a series of sub-microsecond bursts, but TGFs are usually observed as much longer pulses without clear substructures, at sub-microsecond timescales or otherwise. In this presentation, spacecraft observations of TGFs, ground-based observations of x-rays from lightning and laboratory sparks, and Monte Carlo and PIC simulations of runaway electron and gamma ray production and propagation will be used to constrain the lightning leader models of TGFs.

  13. Overview of Boundary Layer Clouds Using Satellite and Ground-Based Measurements (United States)

    Xi, B.; Dong, X.; Wu, P.; Qiu, S.


    A comprehensive summary of boundary layer clouds properties based on our few recently studies will be presented. The analyses include the global cloud fractions and cloud macro/micro- physical properties based on satellite measurements using both CERES-MODIS and CloudSat/Caliposo data products,; the annual/seasonal/diurnal variations of stratocumulus clouds over different climate regions (mid-latitude land, mid-latitude ocean, and Arctic region) using DOE ARM ground-based measurements over Southern great plain (SGP), Azores (GRW), and North slope of Alaska (NSA) sites; the impact of environmental conditions to the formation and dissipation process of marine boundary layer clouds over Azores site; characterizing Arctice mixed-phase cloud structure and favorable environmental conditions for the formation/maintainess of mixed-phase clouds over NSA site. Though the presentation has widely spread topics, we will focus on the representation of the ground-based measurements over different climate regions; evaluation of satellite retrieved cloud properties using these ground-based measurements, and understanding the uncertainties of both satellite and ground-based retrievals and measurements.

  14. The relationship of lightning activity and short-duation rainfall events during warm seasons over the Beijing metropolitan region (United States)

    Wu, F.; Cui, X.; Zhang, D. L.; Lin, Q.


    The relationship between lightning activity and rainfall associated with 2925 short-duration rainfall (SDR) events over the Beijing metropolitan region (BMR) is examined during the warm seasons of 2006-2007, using the cloud-to-ground (CG) and intracloud (IC) lightning data from Surveillance et Alerte Foudre par Interférometrie Radioélectrique (SAFIR)-3000 and 5-min rainfall data from automatic weather stations (AWSs). To facilitate the analysis of the rainfall-lightning correlations, the SDR events are categorized into six different intensity grades according to their hourly rainfall rates (HRRs), and an optimal radius of 10 km from individual AWSs for counting their associated lightning flashes is used. Results show that the lightning-rainfall correlations vary significantly with different intensity grades. Weak correlations (R 0.4) are found in the weak SDR events, and 40-50% of the events are no-flash ones. And moderate correlation (R 0.6) are found in the moderate SDR events, and > 10-20% of the events are no-flash ones. In contrast, high correlations (R 0.7) are obtained in the SDHR events, and < 10% of the events are no-flash ones. The results indicate that lightning activity is observed more frequently and correlated more robust with the rainfall in the SDHR events. Significant time lagged correlations between lightning and rainfall are also found. About 80% of the SDR events could reach their highest correlation coefficients when the associated lightning flashes shift at time lags of < 25 min before and after rainfall begins. The percentages of SDR events with CG or total lightning activity preceding, lagging or coinciding with rainfall shows that (i) in about 55% of the SDR events lightning flashes preceded rainfall; (ii) the SDR events with lightning flashes lagging behind rainfall accounted for about 30%; and (iii) the SDR events without any time shifts accounted for the remaining 15%. Better lightning-rainfall correlations can be attained when time

  15. Optical design of the lightning imager for MTG (United States)

    Lorenzini, S.; Bardazzi, R.; Di Giampietro, M.; Feresin, F.; Taccola, M.; Cuevas, L. P.


    The Lightning Imager for Meteosat Third Generation is an optical payload with on-board data processing for the detection of lightning. The instrument will provide a global monitoring of lightning events over the full Earth disk from geostationary orbit and will operate in day and night conditions. The requirements of the large field of view together with the high detection efficiency with small and weak optical pulses superimposed to a much brighter and highly spatial and temporal variable background (full operation during day and night conditions, seasonal variations and different albedos between clouds oceans and lands) are driving the design of the optical instrument. The main challenge is to distinguish a true lightning from false events generated by random noise (e.g. background shot noise) or sun glints diffusion or signal variations originated by microvibrations. This can be achieved thanks to a `multi-dimensional' filtering, simultaneously working on the spectral, spatial and temporal domains. The spectral filtering is achieved with a very narrowband filter centred on the bright lightning O2 triplet line (777.4 nm +/- 0.17 nm). The spatial filtering is achieved with a ground sampling distance significantly smaller (between 4 and 5 km at sub satellite pointing) than the dimensions of a typical lightning pulse. The temporal filtering is achieved by sampling continuously the Earth disk within a period close to 1 ms. This paper presents the status of the optical design addressing the trade-off between different configurations and detailing the design and the analyses of the current baseline. Emphasis is given to the discussion of the design drivers and the solutions implemented in particular concerning the spectral filtering and the optimisation of the signal to noise ratio.

  16. Lightning Often Strikes Twice (United States)


    Contrary to popular misconception, lightning often strikes the same place twice. Certain conditions are just ripe for a bolt of electricity to come zapping down; and a lightning strike is powerful enough to do a lot of damage wherever it hits. NASA created the Accurate Location of Lightning Strikes technology to determine the ground strike point of lightning and prevent electrical damage in the immediate vicinity of the Space Shuttle launch pads at Kennedy Space Center. The area surrounding the launch pads is enmeshed in a network of electrical wires and components, and electronic equipment is highly susceptible to lightning strike damage. The accurate knowledge of the striking point is important so that crews can determine which equipment or system needs to be retested following a strike. Accurate to within a few yards, this technology can locate a lightning strike in the perimeter of the launch pad. As an added bonus, the engineers, then knowing where the lightning struck, can adjust the variables that may be attracting the lightning, to create a zone that will be less susceptible to future strikes.

  17. On the Transition from Initial Leader to Stepped Leader in Negative Cloud-to-ground Lightning (United States)

    Stolzenburg, M.; Marshall, T. C.; Karunarathne, S.; Orville, R. E.


    High-speed video and electric field change (E-change) data are used to describe the first 5 ms of a natural negative cloud-to-ground (CG) flash. These observations reveal differences in appearance of both the video luminosity and the E-change pulses before the leader transitions to propagating as a negative stepped leader (SL). During the initial breakdown (IB) stage, the initial leader advances intermittently forward in jumps of 78-175 m, at intervals of 100-280 μs, and in separate bursts that are bright for a few 20-μs video frames. The IB pulses accompanying these luminosity bursts have long duration, large amplitude, and a characteristic bipolar shape in nearby E-change observations. In the time between IB pulses, the initial leader is very dim or not visible during the earliest 1-2 ms of the IB stage. Over the next few milliseconds, the leader propagation transitions to an early SL phase, in which the leader tips advance 20-59 m forward at more regular intervals of 40-80 μs during relatively dim and brief steps. In the E-change data, the accompanying SL pulses have very short duration, small amplitude, and are typically unipolar. These data indicate that when the entire initial leader length behind the lower end begins to remain illuminated between bursts, the propagation mode changes from IB bursts to SL steps, and the IB stage ends. Additional differences in initial leader character are evident during the return stroke, as its luminosity speed decreases sharply upon reaching the topmost initial leader section of the channel, and that section of channel does not saturate the video intensity. Results of these analyses support a prior hypothesis that the early initial leader development occurs in the absence of a continuously hot channel, and consequently, the initial leader propagation is unlike the self-propagating advance of the later stepped leader.

  18. Sao Paulo Lightning Mapping Array (SP-LMA): Network Assessment and Analyses for Intercomparison Studies and GOES-R Proxy Activities (United States)

    Bailey, J. C.; Blakeslee, R. J.; Carey, L. D.; Goodman, S. J.; Rudlosky, S. D.; Albrecht, R.; Morales, C. A.; Anselmo, E. M.; Neves, J. R.; Buechler, D. E.


    A 12 station Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network was deployed during October 2011 in the vicinity of Sao Paulo, Brazil (SP-LMA) to contribute total lightning measurements to an international field campaign [CHUVA - Cloud processes of tHe main precipitation systems in Brazil: A contribUtion to cloud resolVing modeling and to the GPM (GlobAl Precipitation Measurement)]. The SP-LMA was operational from November 2011 through March 2012 during the Vale do Paraiba campaign. Sensor spacing was on the order of 15-30 km, with a network diameter on the order of 40-50km. The SP-LMA provides good 3-D lightning mapping out to 150 km from the network center, with 2-D coverage considerably farther. In addition to supporting CHUVA science/mission objectives, the SP-LMA is supporting the generation of unique proxy data for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), on NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R: scheduled for a 2015 launch). These proxy data will be used to develop and validate operational algorithms so that they will be ready to use on "day1" following the GOES-R launch. As the CHUVA Vale do Paraiba campaign opportunity was formulated, a broad community-based interest developed for a comprehensive Lightning Location System (LLS) intercomparison and assessment study, leading to the participation and/or deployment of eight other ground-based networks and the space-based Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). The SP-LMA data is being intercompared with lightning observations from other deployed lightning networks to advance our understanding of the capabilities/contributions of each of these networks toward GLM proxy and validation activities. This paper addresses the network assessment including noise reduction criteria, detection efficiency estimates, and statistical and climatological (both temporal and spatially) analyses for intercomparison studies and GOES-R proxy activities.

  19. 10. VDE/ABB lightning protection conference. Lectures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    The proceedings of the 10. VDE/ABB lightning protection conference include lectures on the following issues: Status on the standardization and resulting consequences; lightning protection of specific facilities; electrical grounding and potential equalization; lightning research; personal security and protection.

  20. Harmful effects of lightning surge discharge on communications terminal equipments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang, Sisi; Xu, Xiaoying; Tao, Zhigang; Dai, Yanling


    The interference problem of lightning surges on electronic and telecommunication products were examined, and a series of experiments were conducted to analyze the failure situations to find out the mechanisms of failures caused by the lightning surge. In addition, the ways in which lightning surges damaged equipment were deduced. It was found that failure positions were scattered and appeared in groups, and most of them were ground discharge. Internet access transformer had high withstand-voltage under the lightning pulse, and the lightning surge seldom passed through the internet access transformer. The lightning current can release to the ground via the computer network adapter of the terminal user. The study will help to improve the performance of lightning surge protection circuit and protection level.

  1. Subionospheric VLF signatures of nighttime D region perturbations in the vicinity of lightning discharges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inan, U.S.; Shafer, D.C.; Yip, W.Y.; Orville, R.E.


    A 12-hour sequence of perturbations of subionospheric VLF signals observed in association with lightning provided preliminary evidence that the ionospheric regions perturbed in these events may be confined to within ∼ 150 km of the lightning discharges, and that intracloud flashes as well as cloud-to-ground lightning may be important in producing the perturbations. High-resolution analysis of event signatures indicated the presence of two different classes of events. For one set of events, observed during the most active central 6 hours of the observations period, a ∼ 0.6-s delay between the causative lightning and VLF event onset and a ∼ 1-s onset duration was observed, consistent with previously suggested models of the gyroresonant whistler-paritcle interaction that leads to particle precipitation and perturbation of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide. However, another set of events, observed during the first 2 hours of the observation period, exhibited a very different temporal signature, characterized by a much smaller (<50 ms) delay and sometimes also very short (< 50 ms) rise times. Such events are possibly related to previously reported cases of similarly early/fast events and may involve a more direct coupling between the lightning discharge and the lower ionosphere

  2. A case study of lightning, whistlers, and associated ionospheric effects during a substorm particle injection event

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodriguez, J.V.; Inan, U.S.; Li, Y.Q.; Holzworth, R.H.; Smith, A.J.; Orville, R.E.; Rosenberg, T.J.


    Simultaneous ground-based observations of narrowband and broadband VLF radio waves and of cloud-to-ground lightning were made at widely spaced locations during the 1987 Wave-Induced Particle Precipitation (WIPP) campaign, conducted from Wallops Island, Virginia. Based on these observations, the first case study has been made of the relationships among located cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes, whistlers, and associated ionospheric effects during a substorm particle injection event. This event took place 2 days after the strongest geomagnetic storm of 1987, during a reintensification in geomagnetic activity that did not affect the high rate of whistlers observed at Faraday Station, Antarctica. At the time of the injection event, several intense nighttime thunderstorms were located over Long Island and the coast of New England, between 400 km northwest and 600 km north of the region geomagnetically conjugate to Faraday. About two thirds of the CG flashes that were detected in these thunderstorms during the hour following the injection event onset were found to be causatively associated with whistlers received at Faraday. During the same period the amplitude of the 24.0-kHz signal from the NAA transmitter in Cutler, Maine, propagating over the thunderstorm centers toward Wallops Island was repeatedly perturbed in a manner characteristic of previously reported VLF signatures of transient and localized ionization enhancements at D region altitudes. Though such enhancements may have been caused by whistler-induced bursts electron precipitation from the magnetosphere, the data in this case are insufficient to establish a clear connection between the NAA amplitude perturbations and the Faraday Station whistlers. In view of the proximity of the NAA great circle path to the storm center, having the lower ionosphere by intense radiation from lightning may also have played a role in the observed VLF perturbations

  3. Volcanic lightning and plume behavior reveal evolving hazards during the April 2015 eruption of Calbuco volcano, Chile (United States)

    Van Eaton, Alexa; Amigo, Álvaro; Bertin, Daniel; Mastin, Larry G.; Giacosa, Raúl E; González, Jerónimo; Valderrama, Oscar; Fontijn, Karen; Behnke, Sonja A


    Soon after the onset of an eruption, model forecasts of ash dispersal are used to mitigate the hazards to aircraft, infrastructure and communities downwind. However, it is a significant challenge to constrain the model inputs during an evolving eruption. Here we demonstrate that volcanic lightning may be used in tandem with satellite detection to recognize and quantify changes in eruption style and intensity. Using the eruption of Calbuco volcano in southern Chile on 22-23 April 2015, we investigate rates of umbrella cloud expansion from satellite observations, occurrence of lightning, and mapped characteristics of the fall deposits. Our remote-sensing analysis gives a total erupted volume that is within uncertainty of the mapped volume (0.56 ±0.28 km3 bulk). Observations and volcanic plume modeling further suggest that electrical activity was enhanced both by ice formation in the ash clouds >10 km asl and development of a low-level charge layer from ground-hugging currents.

  4. Lightning Applications in Weather and Climate Research (United States)

    Price, Colin G.


    Thunderstorms, and lightning in particular, are a major natural hazard to the public, aviation, power companies, and wildfire managers. Lightning causes great damage and death every year but also tells us about the inner working of storms. Since lightning can be monitored from great distances from the storms themselves, lightning may allow us to provide early warnings for severe weather phenomena such as hail storms, flash floods, tornadoes, and even hurricanes. Lightning itself may impact the climate of the Earth by producing nitrogen oxides (NOx), a precursor of tropospheric ozone, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. Thunderstorms themselves influence the climate system by the redistribution of heat, moisture, and momentum in the atmosphere. What about future changes in lightning and thunderstorm activity? Many studies show that higher surface temperatures produce more lightning, but future changes will depend on what happens to the vertical temperature profile in the troposphere, as well as changes in water balance, and even aerosol loading of the atmosphere. Finally, lightning itself may provide a useful tool for tracking climate change in the future, due to the nonlinear link between lightning, temperature, upper tropospheric water vapor, and cloud cover.

  5. Some of the ball lightning observations could be phosphenes induced by energetic radiation from thunderstorms and lightning (United States)

    Cooray, G. K.; Cooray, G. V.; Dwyer, J. R.


    phosphenes. The study shows that: (i) X-rays and relativistic electrons generated by the lightning leaders are strong enough to induce phosphenes in a person located indoors during a direct lightning strike to a building. (ii) Strong gamma ray busts at ground level produced by thunderstorms could release sufficient energy in the eye to induce phosphenes. (iii) If an air plane encounters the source of an ongoing gamma ray burst in a cloud, the energetic electrons penetrating the airplane during the encounter is strong enough to induce phosphenes in the passengers. It is suggested that some of the ball lightning observations are phosphenes induced by energetic radiation from thunderstorms and lightning. [1] Lipetz, L. E. (1955), The X-ray and radium phosphenes, British Journal of Ophthalmology, 39, pp. 577-598. [2] Fuglesang, C. (2007), Using the human eye to image space radiation or the history and status of the light flash phenomena, Nuclear Instruments and Physics Research A, vol. 580, pp. 861 - 865.

  6. Upper limit set for level of lightning activity on Titan (United States)

    Desch, M. D.; Kaiser, M. L.


    Because optically thick cloud and haze layers prevent lightning detection at optical wavelength on Titan, a search was conducted for lightning-radiated signals (spherics) at radio wavelengths using the planetary radioastronomy instrument aboard Voyager 1. Given the maximum ionosphere density of about 3000/cu cm, lightning spherics should be detectable above an observing frequency of 500 kHz. Since no evidence for spherics is found, an upper limit to the total energy per flash in Titan lightning of about 10 to the 6th J, or about 1000 times weaker than that of typical terrestrial lightning, is inferred.

  7. The Effect of a Corona Discharge on a Lightning Attachment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aleksandrov, N.L.; Bazelyan, E.M.; Raizer, Yu.P.


    The interaction between the lightning leader and the space charge accumulated near the top of a ground object in the atmospheric electric field is considered using analytical and numerical models developed earlier to describe spark discharges in long laboratory gaps. The specific features of a nonstationary corona discharge that develops in the electric field of a thundercloud and a downward lightning leader are analyzed. Conditions for the development of an upward lightning discharge from a ground object and for the propagation of an upward-connecting leader from the object toward a downward lightning leader (the process determining the point of strike to the ground) are investigated. Possible mechanisms for the interaction of the corona space charge with an upward leader and prospects of using it to control downward lightning discharges are analyzed

  8. Triggered lightning strikes to aircraft and natural intracloud discharges (United States)

    Mazur, Vladislav


    The physical model of Mazur (1989) for triggering lightning strikes by aircraft was used to interpret the initiation of intracloud flashes observed by the French UHF-VHF interferometric system. It is shown that both the intracloud discharges and airplane-triggered lightning strikes were initiated by simultaneous bidirectional development of the negative stepped leader and the positive leader-continous current process. However, the negative stepped leader phase in triggered flashes is of shorter duration (tens of milliseconds), than that in intracloud flashes (usually hundreds of milliseconds). This is considered to be due to the fact that, on the aircraft there is a single initiation process, versus the numerous initiation processes that occur inside the cloud.

  9. Properties of the unusually short pulse sequences occurring prior to the first strokes of negative cloud-to-ground lightning flashes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolmašová, Ivana; Santolík, O.; Farges, T.; Rison, W.; Lán, Radek; Uhlíř, Luděk


    Roč. 41, č. 14 (2014), s. 5316-5324 ISSN 0094-8276 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-31899S Grant - others:Rada Programu interní podpory projektů mezinárodní spolupráce AV ČR M100421206 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : lightning initiation * preliminary breakdown pulses * duration of breakdown process Subject RIV: BL - Plasma and Gas Discharge Physics Impact factor: 4.456, year: 2013

  10. International Aerospace and Ground Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity (8th): Lightning Technology Roundup, held at Fort Worth, Texas on 21-23 June 1983. (United States)


    with earth or an proposed by Joseph Louis Gay- Lussac object on it is then: (of gas- law fame) in 1823. He defined the protected volume to be a cylinder Fg...0 ED 30 A4S E a 70 so go IME ow TNM OW0 𔃻- ... 10618 11M. law ~ 10 0Ff lows rREOUMNCY INXI PREQUENMY ig) Figure 2 - LIGHTNING WAVE FORM The "initial...diverei- physical law which makes even mobile fied over the last 48 years. It negative (or positive) cloud charges includes in essence also the

  11. Mathematical Formulation of the Remote Electric and Magnetic Emissions of the Lightning Dart Leader and Return Stroke (United States)

    Thiemann, Edward M. B.

    Lightning detection and geolocation networks have found widespread use by the utility, air traffic control and forestry industries as a means of locating strikes and predicting imminent recurrence. Accurate lightning geolocation requires detecting VLF radio emissions at multiple sites using a distributed sensor network with typical baselines exceeding 150 km, along with precision time of arrival estimation to triangulate the origin of a strike. The trend has been towards increasing network accuracy without increasing sensor density by incorporating precision GPS synchronized clocks and faster front-end signal processing. Because lightning radio waveforms evolve as they propagate over a finitely conducting earth, and that measurements for a given strike may have disparate propagation path lengths, accurate models are required to determine waveform fiducials for precise strike location. The transition between the leader phase and return stroke phase may offer such a fiducial and warrants quantitative modeling to improve strike location accuracy. The VLF spectrum of the ubiquitous downward negative lightning strike is able to be modeled by the transfer of several Coulombs of negative charge from cloud to ground in a two-step process. The lightning stepped leader ionizes a plasma channel downward from the cloud at a velocity of approximately 0.05c, leaving a column of charge in its path. Upon connection with a streamer, the subsequent return stroke initiates at or near ground level and travels upward at an average but variable velocity of 0.3c. The return stroke neutralizes any negative charge along its path. Subsequent dart leader and return strokes often travel smoothly down the heated channel left by a preceding stroke, lacking the halting motion of the preceding initial stepped leader and initial return stroke. Existing lightning models often neglect the leader current and rely on approximations when solving for the return stroke. In this thesis, I present an

  12. Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) for the International Space Station (ISS): Mission Description and Science Goals (United States)

    Blakeslee, R. J.; Christian, H. J.; Mach, D. M.; Buechler, D. E.; Koshak, W. J.; Walker, T. D.; Bateman, M.; Stewart, M. F.; O'Brien, S.; Wilson, T.; hide


    In recent years, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and their partners have developed and demonstrated space-based lightning observations as an effective remote sensing tool for Earth science research and applications. The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) continues to acquire global observations of total (i.e., intracloud and cloud-to-ground) lightning after 17 years on-orbit. However, TRMM is now low on fuel, so this mission will soon be completed. As a follow on to this mission, a space-qualified LIS built as the flight spare for TRMM has been selected for flight as a science mission on the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS LIS will be flown as a hosted payload on the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP) H5 mission, which has a January 2016 baseline launch date aboard a SpaceX launch vehicle for a 2-4 year or longer mission. The LIS measures the amount, rate, and radiant energy of total lightning over the Earth. More specifically, it measures lightning during both day and night, with storm scale resolution (approx. 4 km), millisecond timing, and high, uniform detection efficiency, without any land-ocean bias. Lightning is a direct and most impressive response to intense atmospheric convection. It has been found that lightning measured by LIS can be quantitatively related to thunderstorm and other geophysical processes. Therefore, the ISS LIS lightning observations will continue to provide important gap-filling inputs to pressing Earth system science issues across a broad range of disciplines, including weather, climate, atmospheric chemistry, and lightning physics. A unique contribution from the ISS platform will be the availability of real-time lightning data, especially valuable for operational applications over data sparse regions such as the oceans. The ISS platform will also uniquely enable LIS to provide simultaneous and complementary observations

  13. Global Lightning Response to Forbush Decreases in Short-term (United States)

    Li, H.; Wu, Q.; Wang, C.


    During the past three decades, particular scientific attention has been drawn to the potential link between solar activities and global climate change. How the sun modulates the climate has always been controversial. There are three relatively widely accepted mechanisms illustrating this process: the total solar irradiance (TSI), the solar ultraviolet radiation (SUR), and the space weather mechanisms. As for space weather mechanism, the sun influences the microphysical process in cloud by modulating the cosmic ray flux and thus changes the cloud cover, which finally affects the earth's radiation balance. Unfortunately, the lack of related observations and some opposite research results make this mechanism rather debatable. In order to provide possible evidence for space weather mechanism, we study the influence of Forbush decreases (FDs) of galactic cosmic ray on global lightning activities, which to some extent represents the basic process of cosmic ray-atmospheric coupling. We use the daily lightning counts from 1998 to 2014 observed by LIS sensor aboard the TRMM satellite. Considering the "diurnal distribution" (occurring more in the afternoon than in the morning) and the "seasonal distribution" (occurring more in summer than in winter) of lightning activities as well as the 49-day precession of TRMM satellite, the daily lightning counts show an intricate periodic fluctuation. We propose a 3-step approach - latitude zone limitation, orbit branch selection and local time normalization - to eliminate it. As for FDs, we select them by checking the hourly neutron counts variation of each month of 17 years obtained from the Oulu Cosmic Ray Station. During the selection, we choose the FDs which are "strong" (decrease more than 6%) and "standard" (strongly decrease in a few hours to one day and gradually recover in about one week) to diminish the meteorological influence and other possible disturbance. For both case study and temporal superposition of several cases

  14. Neutron generation in lightning bolts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, G.N.; Razdan, H.; Bhat, C.L.; Ali, Q.M.


    To ascertain neutron generation in lightning bolts, the authors have searched for neutrons from individual lightning strokes, for a time-interval comparable with the duration of the lightning stroke. 10 7 -10 10 neutrons per stroke were found, thus providing the first experimental evidence that neutrons are generated in lightning discharges. (U.K.)

  15. An Investigation of the Kinematic and Microphysical Control of Lightning Rate, Extent and NOX Production using DC3 Observations and the NASA Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) (United States)

    Carey, L. D.; Koshak, W. J.; Peterson, H. S.; Matthee, R.; Bain, A. L.


    The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) experiment seeks to quantify the relationship between storm physics, lightning characteristics and the production of nitrogen oxides via lightning (LNOX). The focus of this study is to investigate the kinematic and microphysical control of lightning properties, particularly those that may govern LNOX production, such as flash rate, type and extent across Alabama during DC3. Prior studies have demonstrated that lightning flash rate and type is correlated to kinematic and microphysical properties in the mixed-phase region of thunderstorms such as updraft volume and graupel mass. More study is required to generalize these relationships in a wide variety of storm modes and meteorological conditions. Less is known about the co-evolving relationship between storm physics, morphology and three-dimensional flash extent, despite its importance for LNOX production. To address this conceptual gap, the NASA Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) is applied to North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) and Vaisala National Lightning Detection NetworkTM (NLDN) observations following ordinary convective cells through their lifecycle. LNOM provides estimates of flash rate, flash type, channel length distributions, lightning segment altitude distributions (SADs) and lightning NOX production profiles. For this study, LNOM is applied in a Lagrangian sense to multicell thunderstorms over Northern Alabama on two days during DC3 (21 May and 11 June 2012) in which aircraft observations of NOX are available for comparison. The LNOM lightning characteristics and LNOX production estimates are compared to the evolution of updraft and precipitation properties inferred from dual-Doppler and polarimetric radar analyses applied to observations from a nearby radar network, including the UAH Advanced Radar for Meteorological and Operational Research (ARMOR). Given complex multicell evolution, particular attention is paid to storm morphology, cell

  16. An Investigation of the Kinematic and Microphysical Control of Lightning Rate, Extent and NOx Production using DC3 Observations and the NASA Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) (United States)

    Carey, Lawrence; Koshak, William; Peterson, Harold; Matthee, Retha; Bain, Lamont


    The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) experiment seeks to quantify the relationship between storm physics, lightning characteristics and the production of nitrogen oxides via lightning (LNOx). The focus of this study is to investigate the kinematic and microphysical control of lightning properties, particularly those that may govern LNOx production, such as flash rate, type and extent across Alabama during DC3. Prior studies have demonstrated that lightning flash rate and type is correlated to kinematic and microphysical properties in the mixed-phase region of thunderstorms such as updraft volume and graupel mass. More study is required to generalize these relationships in a wide variety of storm modes and meteorological conditions. Less is known about the co-evolving relationship between storm physics, morphology and three-dimensional flash extent, despite its importance for LNOx production. To address this conceptual gap, the NASA Lightning Nitrogen Oxides Model (LNOM) is applied to North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) and Vaisala National Lightning Detection Network(TM) (NLDN) observations following ordinary convective cells through their lifecycle. LNOM provides estimates of flash rate, flash type, channel length distributions, lightning segment altitude distributions (SADs) and lightning NOx production profiles. For this study, LNOM is applied in a Lagrangian sense to multicell thunderstorms over Northern Alabama on two days during DC3 (21 May and 11 June 2012) in which aircraft observations of NOx are available for comparison. The LNOM lightning characteristics and LNOX production estimates are compared to the evolution of updraft and precipitation properties inferred from dual-Doppler and polarimetric radar analyses applied to observations from a nearby radar network, including the UAH Advanced Radar for Meteorological and Operational Research (ARMOR). Given complex multicell evolution, particular attention is paid to storm morphology, cell

  17. 3D modeling of lightning-induced electromagnetic pulses on Venus, Jupiter and Saturn (United States)

    Pérez-Invernón, Francisco J.; Luque, Alejandro; Gordillo-Vázquez, Francisco J.


    powerful tool to obtain information about planetary atmospheres, such as density profiles of electrons or other components. Our model may also be useful to extend some studies about the chemical impact of EMP pulses in the terrestrial atmosphere [4]. References [1] Luque, A., D. Dubrovin, F. J. Gordillo-Vázquez, U. Ebert, F. C. Parra-Rojas, Y. Yair, and C. Price (2014), Coupling between atmospheric layers in gaseous giant planets due to lightning-generated electromagnetic pulses, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Phys), 119, 8705, doi: 10.1002/2014JA020457. [2] Pérez-Invernón, F. J., A. Luque, and F. J. Gordillo-Vázquez (2016), Mesospheric optical signatures of possible lightning on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Phys), 121, 7026, doi: 10.1029/2016JA022886. [3] Lee, J. H., and D. K. Kalluri (1999), Three-dimensional FDTD simulation of electromagnetic wave transformation in a dynamic inhomogeneous magnetized plasma, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 47, 1146, doi:10.1109/8.785745. [4] Marshall, R. A., U. S. Inan, and V. S. Glukhov (2010), Elves and associated electron density changes due to cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning discharges, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Phys), 115, A00E17, doi:10.1029/2009JA014469.

  18. High-detail snapshots of rare gigantic jet lightning (United States)

    Schultz, Colin


    In the ionosphere, more than 80 kilometers above Earth's surface, incoming radiation reacts with the thin air to produce highly charged ions, inducing an electric potential between the ionosphere and the surface. This charge difference is dissipated by a slow leak from the ionosphere during calm weather and reinvigorated by a charge built up near the surface during a thunderstorm. In 2001, however, researchers discovered gigantic jets (GJs), powerful lightning that arcs from tropospheric clouds up to the ionosphere, suggesting there may be an alternate path by which charge is redistributed. GJs are transient species, and little is known about how much charge they can carry, how they form, or how common they are. In a step toward answering these questions, Lu et al. report on two GJs that occurred near very high frequency (VHF) lightning detection systems, which track the development of lightning in three spatial dimensions, giving an indication of the generation mechanism. The researchers also measured the charge transfer in the two GJs through remote sensing of magnetic fields. They found that both jets originated from the development of otherwise normal intracloud lightning. The dissipation of the cloud's positively charged upper layer allowed the negative lightning channel to break through and travel up out of the top of the cloud to the ionosphere. The first jet, which occurred off the coast of Florida, leapt up to 80 kilometers, depositing 110 coulombs of negative charge in 370 milliseconds. The second jet, observed in Oklahoma, traveled up to 90 kilometers, raising only 10-20 coulombs in 300 milliseconds. Each new observation of gigantic jets such as these can provide valuable information toward understanding this novel atmospheric behavior. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047662, 2011)

  19. Electrostatic charge bounds for ball lightning models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephan, Karl D


    Several current theories concerning the nature of ball lightning predict a substantial electrostatic charge in order to account for its observed motion and shape (Turner 1998 Phys. Rep. 293 1; Abrahamson and Dinniss 2000 Nature 403 519). Using charged soap bubbles as a physical model for ball lightning, we show that the magnitude of charge predicted by some of these theories is too high to allow for the types of motion commonly observed in natural ball lightning, which includes horizontal motion above the ground and movement near grounded conductors. Experiments show that at charge levels of only 10-15 nC, 3-cm-diameter soap bubbles tend to be attracted by induced charges to the nearest grounded conductor and rupture. We conclude with a scaling rule that can be used to extrapolate these results to larger objects and surroundings

  20. Pre-Launch GOES-R Risk Reduction Activities for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (United States)

    Goodman, S. J.; Blakeslee, R. J.; Boccippio, D. J.; Christian, H. J.; Koshak, W. J.; Petersen, W. A.


    The GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is a new instrument planned for GOES-R that will greatly improve storm hazard nowcasting and increase warning lead time day and night. Daytime detection of lightning is a particularly significant technological advance given the fact that the solar illuminated cloud-top signal can exceed the intensity of the lightning signal by a factor of one hundred. Our approach is detailed across three broad themes which include: Data Processing Algorithm Readiness, Forecast Applications, and Radiance Data Mining. These themes address how the data will be processed and distributed, and the algorithms and models for developing, producing, and using the data products. These pre-launch risk reduction activities will accelerate the operational and research use of the GLM data once GOES-R begins on-orbit operations. The GLM will provide unprecedented capabilities for tracking thunderstorms and earlier warning of impending severe and hazardous weather threats. By providing direct information on lightning initiation, propagation, extent, and rate, the GLM will also capture the updraft dynamics and life cycle of convective storms, as well as internal ice precipitation processes. The GLM provides information directly from the heart of the thunderstorm as opposed to cloud-top only. Nowcasting applications enabled by the GLM data will expedite the warning and response time of emergency management systems, improve the dispatch of electric power utility repair crews, and improve airline routing around thunderstorms thereby improving safety and efficiency, saving fuel and reducing delays. The use of GLM data will assist the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service in quickly detecting lightning ground strikes that have a high probability of causing fires. Finally, GLM data will help assess the role of thunderstorms and deep convection in global climate, and will improve regional air quality and global chemistry/climate modeling

  1. Lightning-Sensor Data Help In Understanding Thunderstorms (United States)

    Goodman, Steven J.


    NASA technical memorandum discusses research on use of data from network of ground-based magnetic direction-finding ground-strike lightning sensors to diagnose and predict occurrence and evolution of thunderstorms. Purposes of study to explore applicability and limitations of extrapolation techniques used to generate forecasts from data; to examine physically-based, nonlinear mathematical models for applicability to lightning-forecast problem; and to determine valid extrapolation ranges of such models for various weather scenarios.

  2. Packaging Waste and Hitting Home Runs: How Education and Lightning Strike Detection Technology Supports Company and Community Activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deecke, T.A.; Hyde, J.V.; Hylko, J.M.


    The weather is the most significant and unmanageable variable when performing environmental remediation activities. This variable can contribute to the failure of a project in two ways: 1) severe injury to an employee or employees following a cloud-to-ground lightning strike without prior visual or audible warnings; and 2) excessive 'down time' associated with mobilization and demobilization activities after a false alarm (e.g., lightning was seen in the distance but was actually moving away from the site). Therefore, in order for a project to be successful from both safety and financial viewpoints, the uncertainties associated with inclement weather, specifically lightning, need to be understood to eliminate the element of surprise. This paper discusses educational information related to the history and research of lightning, how lightning storms develop, types of lightning, the mechanisms of lightning injuries and fatalities, and follow-up medical treatment. Fortunately, lightning storm monitoring does not have to be either costly or elaborate. WESKEM, LLC selected the Boltek StormTracker Lightning Detection System with the Aninoquisi Lightning 2000 TM software. This fixed system, used in combination with online weather web pages, monitors and alarms WESKEM, LLC field personnel in the event of an approaching lightning storm. This application was expanded to justify the purchase of the hand-held Sky Scan Lightning/Storm Detector Model P5 used by the Heath Youth Athletic Association (HYAA) which is a non-profit, charitable organization offering sports programs for the youth and young adults in the local community. Fortunately, a lightning injury or fatality has never occurred on a WESKEM Paducah project or an HYAA-sponsored event. Using these fixed and hand-held systems will continue to prevent such injuries from occurring in the foreseeable future. (authors)

  3. Behaviour of multiple lightning dischargers under a tropical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... discharger from surrounding dischargers, instead of incre-asing with the average spacing between dischargers. The point of strike of lightning discharge depended on the line of least stress rather than the height clearance from the cloud; which determined the charge structure and dynamics of the cloud particulates.

  4. Strategies for cloud-top phase determination: differentiation between thin cirrus clouds and snow in manual (ground truth) analyses (United States)

    Hutchison, Keith D.; Etherton, Brian J.; Topping, Phillip C.


    Quantitative assessments on the performance of automated cloud analysis algorithms require the creation of highly accurate, manual cloud, no cloud (CNC) images from multispectral meteorological satellite data. In general, the methodology to create ground truth analyses for the evaluation of cloud detection algorithms is relatively straightforward. However, when focus shifts toward quantifying the performance of automated cloud classification algorithms, the task of creating ground truth images becomes much more complicated since these CNC analyses must differentiate between water and ice cloud tops while ensuring that inaccuracies in automated cloud detection are not propagated into the results of the cloud classification algorithm. The process of creating these ground truth CNC analyses may become particularly difficult when little or no spectral signature is evident between a cloud and its background, as appears to be the case when thin cirrus is present over snow-covered surfaces. In this paper, procedures are described that enhance the researcher's ability to manually interpret and differentiate between thin cirrus clouds and snow-covered surfaces in daytime AVHRR imagery. The methodology uses data in up to six AVHRR spectral bands, including an additional band derived from the daytime 3.7 micron channel, which has proven invaluable for the manual discrimination between thin cirrus clouds and snow. It is concluded that while the 1.6 micron channel remains essential to differentiate between thin ice clouds and snow. However, this capability that may be lost if the 3.7 micron data switches to a nighttime-only transmission with the launch of future NOAA satellites.

  5. The relationship of lightning activity and short-duration rainfall events during warm seasons over the Beijing metropolitan region (United States)

    Wu, Fan; Cui, Xiaopeng; Zhang, Da-Lin; Qiao, Lin


    The relationship between lightning activity and rainfall associated with 2925 short-duration rainfall (SDR) events over the Beijing metropolitan region (BMR) is examined during the warm seasons of 2006-2007, using the cloud-to-ground (CG) and intracloud (IC) lightning data from Surveillance et Alerte Foudre par Interférometrie Radioélectrique (SAFIR)-3000 and 5-min rainfall data from automatic weather stations (AWSs). An optimal radius of 10 km around selected AWSs is used to determine the lightning-rainfall relationship. The lightning-rainfall correlations vary significantly, depending upon the intensity of SDR events. That is, correlation coefficient (R 0.7) for the short-duration heavy rainfall (SDHR, i.e., ≥ 20 mm h- 1) events is found higher than that (R 0.4) for the weak SDR (i.e., 5-10 mm h- 1) events, and lower percentage of the SDHR events (< 10%) than the weak SDR events (40-50%) are observed with few flashes. Significant time-lagged correlations between lightning and rainfall are also found. About 80% of the SDR events could reach their highest correlation coefficients when the associated lightning flashes shift at time lags of < 25 min before and after rainfall begins. Those events with lightning preceding rainfall account for 50-60% of the total SDR events. Better lightning-rainfall correlations can be attained when time lags are incorporated, with the use of total (CG and IC) lightning data. These results appear to have important implications for improving the nowcast of SDHR events.

  6. Evaluating lightning hazards to building environments using explicit numerical solutions of Maxwell's equations (United States)

    Collier, Richard S.; McKenna, Paul M.; Perala, Rodney A.


    The objective here is to describe the lightning hazards to buildings and their internal environments using advanced formulations of Maxwell's Equations. The method described is the Three Dimensional Finite Difference Time Domain Solution. It can be used to solve for the lightning interaction with such structures in three dimensions with the inclusion of a considerable amount of detail. Special techniques were developed for including wire, plumbing, and rebar into the model. Some buildings have provisions for lightning protection in the form of air terminals connected to a ground counterpoise system. It is shown that fields and currents within these structures can be significantly high during a lightning strike. Time lapse video presentations were made showing the electric and magnetic field distributions on selected cross sections of the buildings during a simulated lightning strike.

  7. The Ground Flash Fraction Retrieval Algorithm Employing Differential Evolution: Simulations and Applications (United States)

    Koshak, William; Solakiewicz, Richard


    The ability to estimate the fraction of ground flashes in a set of flashes observed by a satellite lightning imager, such as the future GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), would likely improve operational and scientific applications (e.g., severe weather warnings, lightning nitrogen oxides studies, and global electric circuit analyses). A Bayesian inversion method, called the Ground Flash Fraction Retrieval Algorithm (GoFFRA), was recently developed for estimating the ground flash fraction. The method uses a constrained mixed exponential distribution model to describe a particular lightning optical measurement called the Maximum Group Area (MGA). To obtain the optimum model parameters (one of which is the desired ground flash fraction), a scalar function must be minimized. This minimization is difficult because of two problems: (1) Label Switching (LS), and (2) Parameter Identity Theft (PIT). The LS problem is well known in the literature on mixed exponential distributions, and the PIT problem was discovered in this study. Each problem occurs when one allows the numerical minimizer to freely roam through the parameter search space; this allows certain solution parameters to interchange roles which leads to fundamental ambiguities, and solution error. A major accomplishment of this study is that we have employed a state-of-the-art genetic-based global optimization algorithm called Differential Evolution (DE) that constrains the parameter search in such a way as to remove both the LS and PIT problems. To test the performance of the GoFFRA when DE is employed, we applied it to analyze simulated MGA datasets that we generated from known mixed exponential distributions. Moreover, we evaluated the GoFFRA/DE method by applying it to analyze actual MGAs derived from low-Earth orbiting lightning imaging sensor data; the actual MGA data were classified as either ground or cloud flash MGAs using National Lightning Detection Network[TM] (NLDN) data. Solution error

  8. Lightning discrimination by a ground-based nuclear burst detection system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thornbrough, A.D.


    Sandia Laboratories is developing for the U.S. Army a Ground-Based Nuclear Burst Detection System to provide pertinent information for its field commanders and higher authorities. The equipment must operate in all kinds of weather and produce very low false alarms under all types of conditions. With these requirements, a study of the effects during thunderstorms, which includes thousands of lightning flashes, was conducted. The results of these studies were that, with suitable discrimination, the system had no false alarms during a period of high thunderstorm activity in the Albuquerque area for the time from September 13 to October 3, 1977. Data and plots are included of those false alarms that were recorded before the final discriminants were implemented to provide an inventory of waveshapes for additional analysis

  9. Lightning discrimination by a ground-based nuclear burst detection system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thornbrough, A.D.


    Sandia Laboratories is developing for the U.S. Army a Ground-Based Nuclear Burst Detection System to provide pertinent information for its field commanders and higher authorities. The equipment must operate in all kinds of weather and produce very low false alarms under all types of conditions. With these requirements, a study of the effects during thunderstorms, which includes thousands of lightning flashes, was conducted. The results of these studies were that, with suitable discrimination, the system had no false alarms during a period of high thunderstorm activity in the Albuquerque area for the time from September 13 to October 3, 1977. Data and plots are included of those false alarms that were recorded before the final discriminants were implemented to provide an inventory of waveshapes for additional analysis.

  10. Measured electric field intensities near electric cloud discharges detected by the Kennedy Space Center's Lightning Detection and Ranging System, LDAR (United States)

    Poehler, H. A.


    For a summer thunderstorm, for which simultaneous, airborne electric field measurements and Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR) System data was available, measurements were coordinated to present a picture of the electric field intensity near cloud electrical discharges detected by the LDAR System. Radar precipitation echos from NOAA's 10 cm weather radar and measured airborne electric field intensities were superimposed on LDAR PPI plots to present a coordinated data picture of thunderstorm activity.

  11. Evaluation of Transient Pin-Stress Requirements for Spacecraft Launching in Lightning Environments. Pain Free Analysis to Alleviate Those Pin Stress Headaches (United States)

    Edwards, Paul; Terseck, Alex; Trout, Dawn


    Spacecraft are generally protected from direct lightning attachment by encapsulation within the payload fairing of a launch vehicle and the ground structures that exist at the launch site. Regardless of where lightning strikes, potentially damaging indirect effects prevail from the coupling of electromagnetic fields into a loop created by outer shield of the payload umbilical. The energy coupled into individual spacecraft circuits is dependent on the umbilical current drive, the cable transfer impedance and the source/ load circuitry, and the reference potential used. Lightning induced transient susceptibility of the spacecraft avionics needs to be fully understood in order to define realistic re-test criteria in the event of a lightning occurrence during the launch campaign. Use of standards such as RTCA/DO-160 & SAE 5412 has some applicability but do not represent the indirect environment adequately. This paper evaluates the launch pad environments, the measurement data available, and computer simulations to provide pain-free analysis to alleviate the transient pin-stress headaches for spacecraft launching in Lightning environments.

  12. a Point Cloud Classification Approach Based on Vertical Structures of Ground Objects (United States)

    Zhao, Y.; Hu, Q.; Hu, W.


    This paper proposes a novel method for point cloud classification using vertical structural characteristics of ground objects. Since urbanization develops rapidly nowadays, urban ground objects also change frequently. Conventional photogrammetric methods cannot satisfy the requirements of updating the ground objects' information efficiently, so LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is employed to accomplish this task. LiDAR data, namely point cloud data, can obtain detailed three-dimensional coordinates of ground objects, but this kind of data is discrete and unorganized. To accomplish ground objects classification with point cloud, we first construct horizontal grids and vertical layers to organize point cloud data, and then calculate vertical characteristics, including density and measures of dispersion, and form characteristic curves for each grids. With the help of PCA processing and K-means algorithm, we analyze the similarities and differences of characteristic curves. Curves that have similar features will be classified into the same class and point cloud correspond to these curves will be classified as well. The whole process is simple but effective, and this approach does not need assistance of other data sources. In this study, point cloud data are classified into three classes, which are vegetation, buildings, and roads. When horizontal grid spacing and vertical layer spacing are 3 m and 1 m respectively, vertical characteristic is set as density, and the number of dimensions after PCA processing is 11, the overall precision of classification result is about 86.31 %. The result can help us quickly understand the distribution of various ground objects.

  13. Tropic lightning: myth or menace? (United States)

    McCarthy, John


    Lightning is one of the leading causes of death related to environmental disaster. Of all lightning fatalities documented between 2006 and 2012, leisure activities contributed the largest proportion of deaths, with water-associated, sports, and camping being the most common. Despite the prevalence of these activities throughout the islands, Hawai'i has had zero documented lightning fatalities since weather data tracking was initiated in 1959. There is a common misconception that lightning does not strike the ground in Hawai'i. This myth may contribute to a potentially dangerous false sense of security, and recognition of warning signs and risk factor modification remain the most important prevention strategies. Lightning damage occurs on a spectrum, from minor burns to multi-organ dysfunction. After injury, initial treatment should focus on "reverse triage" and immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation when indicated, followed by transfer to a healthcare facility. Definitive treatment entails monitoring and management of potential sequelae, to include cardiovascular, neurologic, dermatologic, ophthalmologic, audiovestibular, and psychiatric complications.

  14. Lightning measurements from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (United States)

    Scarf, F. L.; Russell, C. T.


    The plasma wave instrument on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter frequently detects strong and impulsive low-frequency signals when the spacecraft traverses the nightside ionosphere near periapsis. These particular noise bursts appear only when the local magnetic field is strong and steady and when the field is oriented to point down to the ionosphere thus; the signals have all characteristics of lightning whistlers. We have tried to identify lightning sources between the cloud layers and the planet itself by tracing rays along the B-field from the Orbiter down toward the surface. An extensive data set, consisting of measurements through Orbit 1185, strongly indicates a clustering of lightning sources near the Beta and Phoebe Regios, with an additional significant cluster near the Atla Regio at the eastern edge of Aphrodite Terra. These results suggest that there are localized lightning sources at or near the planetary surface.

  15. Analysis of warm season thunderstorms using an object-oriented tracking method based on radar and total lightning data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Rigo


    Full Text Available Monitoring thunderstorms activity is an essential part of operational weather surveillance given their potential hazards, including lightning, hail, heavy rainfall, strong winds or even tornadoes. This study has two main objectives: firstly, the description of a methodology, based on radar and total lightning data to characterise thunderstorms in real-time; secondly, the application of this methodology to 66 thunderstorms that affected Catalonia (NE Spain in the summer of 2006. An object-oriented tracking procedure is employed, where different observation data types generate four different types of objects (radar 1-km CAPPI reflectivity composites, radar reflectivity volumetric data, cloud-to-ground lightning data and intra-cloud lightning data. In the framework proposed, these objects are the building blocks of a higher level object, the thunderstorm.

    The methodology is demonstrated with a dataset of thunderstorms whose main characteristics, along the complete life cycle of the convective structures (development, maturity and dissipation, are described statistically. The development and dissipation stages present similar durations in most cases examined. On the contrary, the duration of the maturity phase is much more variable and related to the thunderstorm intensity, defined here in terms of lightning flash rate. Most of the activity of IC and CG flashes is registered in the maturity stage. In the development stage little CG flashes are observed (2% to 5%, while for the dissipation phase is possible to observe a few more CG flashes (10% to 15%. Additionally, a selection of thunderstorms is used to examine general life cycle patterns, obtained from the analysis of normalized (with respect to thunderstorm total duration and maximum value of variables considered thunderstorm parameters. Among other findings, the study indicates that the normalized duration of the three stages of thunderstorm life cycle is similar in most thunderstorms

  16. Analysis of warm season thunderstorms using an object-oriented tracking method based on radar and total lightning data (United States)

    Rigo, T.; Pineda, N.; Bech, J.


    Monitoring thunderstorms activity is an essential part of operational weather surveillance given their potential hazards, including lightning, hail, heavy rainfall, strong winds or even tornadoes. This study has two main objectives: firstly, the description of a methodology, based on radar and total lightning data to characterise thunderstorms in real-time; secondly, the application of this methodology to 66 thunderstorms that affected Catalonia (NE Spain) in the summer of 2006. An object-oriented tracking procedure is employed, where different observation data types generate four different types of objects (radar 1-km CAPPI reflectivity composites, radar reflectivity volumetric data, cloud-to-ground lightning data and intra-cloud lightning data). In the framework proposed, these objects are the building blocks of a higher level object, the thunderstorm. The methodology is demonstrated with a dataset of thunderstorms whose main characteristics, along the complete life cycle of the convective structures (development, maturity and dissipation), are described statistically. The development and dissipation stages present similar durations in most cases examined. On the contrary, the duration of the maturity phase is much more variable and related to the thunderstorm intensity, defined here in terms of lightning flash rate. Most of the activity of IC and CG flashes is registered in the maturity stage. In the development stage little CG flashes are observed (2% to 5%), while for the dissipation phase is possible to observe a few more CG flashes (10% to 15%). Additionally, a selection of thunderstorms is used to examine general life cycle patterns, obtained from the analysis of normalized (with respect to thunderstorm total duration and maximum value of variables considered) thunderstorm parameters. Among other findings, the study indicates that the normalized duration of the three stages of thunderstorm life cycle is similar in most thunderstorms, with the longest

  17. The Geostationary Lightning Mapper: Its Performance and Calibration (United States)

    Christian, H. J., Jr.


    The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) has been developed to be an operational instrument on the GOES-R series of spacecraft. The GLM is a unique instrument, unlike other meteorological instruments, both in how it operates and in the information content that it provides. Instrumentally, it is an event detector, rather than an imager. While processing almost a billion pixels per second with 14 bits of resolution, the event detection process reduces the required telemetry bandwidth by almost 105, thus keeping the telemetry requirements modest and enabling efficient ground processing that leads to rapid data distribution to operational users. The GLM was designed to detect about 90 percent of the total lightning flashes within its almost hemispherical field of view. Based on laboratory calibration, we expect the on-orbit detection efficiency to be closer to 85%, making it the highest performing, large area coverage total lightning detector. It has a number of unique design features that will enable it have near uniform special resolution over most of its field of view and to operate with minimal impact on performance during solar eclipses. The GLM has no dedicated on-orbit calibration system, thus the ground-based calibration provides the bases for the predicted radiometric performance. A number of problems were encountered during the calibration of Flight Model 1. The issues arouse from GLM design features including its wide field of view, fast lens, the narrow-band interference filters located in both object and collimated space and the fact that the GLM is inherently a event detector yet the calibration procedures required both calibration of images and events. The GLM calibration techniques were based on those developed for the Lightning Imaging Sensor calibration, but there are enough differences between the sensors that the initial GLM calibration suggested that it is significantly more sensitive than its design parameters. The calibration discrepancies have

  18. A lightning prevention system for nuclear operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lanzoni, J.A.; Carpenter, R.B.; Tinsley, R.H.


    Lightning presents a significant threat to the uninterrupted operation of nuclear power generation facilities. There exists two categories of lightning protection systems-collectors and preventors. Collectors are air terminals, overhead shield wires and other devices designed to collect incoming lightning strikes. Preventors, on the other hand, lower the electrical potential between a thundercloud and ground to a level lower than that required to collect a strike. The Dissipation Array reg-sign Systems prevents lightning strikes from terminating in the protected area, consequently eliminating both the direct hazard and indirect effects of lightning. Over 1,600 Dissipation Array reg-sign Systems are currently in service, with more than 10,500 system-years of operating experience and a historical success rate of over ninety-nine percent. Lightning Eliminators ampersand Consultants has fulfilled 24 contracts for Dissipation Array reg-sign Systems at nuclear power generation facilities

  19. A novel technique for extracting clouds base height using ground based imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hirsch


    Full Text Available The height of a cloud in the atmospheric column is a key parameter in its characterization. Several remote sensing techniques (passive and active, either ground-based or on space-borne platforms and in-situ measurements are routinely used in order to estimate top and base heights of clouds. In this article we present a novel method that combines thermal imaging from the ground and sounded wind profile in order to derive the cloud base height. This method is independent of cloud types, making it efficient for both low boundary layer and high clouds. In addition, using thermal imaging ensures extraction of clouds' features during daytime as well as at nighttime. The proposed technique was validated by comparison to active sounding by ceilometers (which is a standard ground based method, to lifted condensation level (LCL calculations, and to MODIS products obtained from space. As all passive remote sensing techniques, the proposed method extracts only the height of the lowest cloud layer, thus upper cloud layers are not detected. Nevertheless, the information derived from this method can be complementary to space-borne cloud top measurements when deep-convective clouds are present. Unlike techniques such as LCL, this method is not limited to boundary layer clouds, and can extract the cloud base height at any level, as long as sufficient thermal contrast exists between the radiative temperatures of the cloud and its surrounding air parcel. Another advantage of the proposed method is its simplicity and modest power needs, making it particularly suitable for field measurements and deployment at remote locations. Our method can be further simplified for use with visible CCD or CMOS camera (although nighttime clouds will not be observed.

  20. Polarimetric radar convective cell tracking reveals large sensitivity of cloud precipitation and electrification properties to CCN (United States)

    Hu, J.; Rosenfeld, D.; Zhang, P.; Snyder, J.; Orville, R. E.; Ryzhkov, A.; Zrnic, D.; Williams, E. R.; Zhang, R.


    Here we apply the cell tracking methodology, shown in our companion poster, to quantifying factors affecting the vigor and the time-height evolution of hydrometeors and electrification properties of convective cells. Benefitting from the Dual-polarimetric NEXRAD radar network, we composite more than 5000 well-tracked cells among three radars (at Houston, Lubbock and Oklahoma City), stratified by CCN, CAPE and land/sea locations. The analyzed cell properties include Z, ZDR, Kdp, and ρhv, Dm (raindrop diameter) and Nw (raindrop concentration) by the algorithm of Bringi et al. (2003). Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data is also included in the analysis, which provides a 3D structure of lightning occurrence and RF power. The contrasting CCN conditions over marine, land, pristine and polluted areas are identified based on the satellite retrieval technique described in Rosenfeld et al. (2016). The results show that more CCN are associated with: Increased echo top height, manifesting the invigoration effect. Enhanced reflectivities, especially above the freezing level at around 4.5 km. Raindrop sizes at the initial stage increase at the expense of their concentrations, due to the smaller cloud droplets and suppressed coalescence. Larger propensity for hail. Lightning sources increase with greater CCN concentration and is likely due to the delayed warm rain process and enhanced mixed phase process under more CCN condition, when activated CCN into cloud droplets is too high (> 1000 cm-3) the glaciation is delayed too much and leave little ice at lower levels and thus decrease lightning activity. Land pristine clouds have fewer lightning sources than polluted clouds. Marine pristine clouds seldom have lightning Increased CAPE had a similar effect to the effect of added CCN. The cloud tracking and properties are obtained by a new methodology of Multi-Cell Identification and Tracking (MCIT) algorithm (Hu et al, 2017), with details about the algorithm to be found in the author

  1. New Physical Mechanism for Lightning (United States)

    Artekha, Sergey N.; Belyan, Andrey V.


    The article is devoted to electromagnetic phenomena in the atmosphere. The set of experimental data on the thunderstorm activity is analyzed. It helps to identify a possible physical mechanism of lightning flashes. This mechanism can involve the formation of metallic bonds in thunderclouds. The analysis of the problem is performed at a microphysical level within the framework of quantum mechanics. The mechanism of appearance of metallic conductivity includes the resonant tunneling of electrons along resonance-percolation trajectories. Such bonds allow the charges from the vast cloud charged subsystems concentrate quickly in lightning channel. The formation of metal bonds in the thunderstorm cloudiness is described as the second-order phase transition. A successive mechanism for the process of formation and development of the lightning channel is suggested. This mechanism is associated with the change in the orientation of crystals in growing electric field. Possible consequences of the quantum-mechanical mechanism under discussion are compared with the results of observations.

  2. Situational Lightning Climatologies (United States)

    Bauman, William; Crawford, Winifred


    Research has revealed distinct spatial and temporal distributions of lightning occurrence that are strongly influenced by large-scale atmospheric flow regimes. It was believed there were two flow systems, but it has been discovered that actually there are seven distinct flow regimes. The Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) has recalculated the lightning climatologies for the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), and the eight airfields in the National Weather Service in Melbourne (NWS MLB) County Warning Area (CWA) using individual lightning strike data to improve the accuracy of the climatologies. The software determines the location of each CG lightning strike with 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-nmi (.9.3-, 18.5-, 37-, 55.6-km) radii from each airfield. Each CG lightning strike is binned at 1-, 3-, and 6-hour intervals at each specified radius. The software merges the CG lightning strike time intervals and distance with each wind flow regime and creates probability statistics for each time interval, radii, and flow regime, and stratifies them by month and warm season. The AMU also updated the graphical user interface (GUI) with the new data.

  3. Evaluation of the Performance Characteristics of CGLSS II and U.S. NLDN Using Ground-Truth Dalta from Launch Complex 398, Kennedy Space Center, Florida (United States)

    Mata, C. T.; Mata, A. G.; Rakov, V. A.; Nag, A.; Saul, J.


    A new comprehensive lightning instrumentation system has been designed for Launch Complex 39B (LC39B) at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This new instrumentation system includes seven synchronized high-speed video cameras, current sensors installed on the nine downconductors of the new lightning protection system (LPS) for LC39B; four dH/dt, 3-axis measurement stations; and five dE/dt stations composed of two antennas each. The LPS received 8 direct lightning strikes (a total of 19 strokes) from March 31 through December 31 2011. The measured peak currents and locations are compared to those reported by the Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS II) and the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). Results of comparison are presented and analyzed in this paper.

  4. Electrical Ground System Design of PEFP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mun, Kyeong Jun; Jeon, Gye Po; Park, Sung Sik; Min, Yi Sub; Nam, Jung Min; Cho, Jang Hyung; Kim, Jun Yeon


    Since host site host site was selected Gyeong-ju city in January, 2006. we need design revision of Proton Accelerator research center to reflect on host site characteristics and several conditions. In this paper, electrical grounding and lightning protection design scheme is introduced. In electrical grounding system design of PEFP, we classified electrical facilities into 4 groups; equipment grounding (type A), instrument grounding (Type A), high frequency instrument grounding (Type C) and lightning arrestor grounding (Type D). Lightning protection system is designed in all buildings of proton accelerator research center of PEFP, including switchyard

  5. Electrical Ground System Design of PEFP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mun, Kyeong Jun; Jeon, Gye Po; Park, Sung Sik; Min, Yi Sub; Nam, Jung Min; Cho, Jang Hyung; Kim, Jun Yeon [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)


    Since host site host site was selected Gyeong-ju city in January, 2006. we need design revision of Proton Accelerator research center to reflect on host site characteristics and several conditions. In this paper, electrical grounding and lightning protection design scheme is introduced. In electrical grounding system design of PEFP, we classified electrical facilities into 4 groups; equipment grounding (type A), instrument grounding (Type A), high frequency instrument grounding (Type C) and lightning arrestor grounding (Type D). Lightning protection system is designed in all buildings of proton accelerator research center of PEFP, including switchyard

  6. Retrieval of liquid water cloud properties from ground-based remote sensing observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knist, C.L.


    Accurate ground-based remotely sensed microphysical and optical properties of liquid water clouds are essential references to validate satellite-observed cloud properties and to improve cloud parameterizations in weather and climate models. This requires the evaluation of algorithms for retrieval of

  7. Phosphine and methylphosphine production by simulated lightning - s study for the volatile phosphorus cycle and cloud formation in the earth atmosphere


    Glindemann, D.; Edwards, M.; Schrems, Otto


    Phosphine (PH3), was recently found worldwide even in the remote atmosphere (Naturwissenschaften 83 (1996a,131, Atmos. Environ. 37 (2003) 2429). It is of interest to find natural mechanisms which could produce phosphine gas and drive a volatile link of the atmospheric phosphorus cycle and the formation of phosphoric acid as possible condensation nuclei for clouds.Here we report on simulated lightning exposing sodium phosphate in a reducing medium (methane model atmosphere or organic matter) f...

  8. Macrophysical and optical properties of midlatitude cirrus clouds from four ground-based lidars and collocated CALIOP observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dupont, Jean-Charles; Haeffelin, M.; Morille, Y.; Noel, V.; Keckhut, P.; Winker, D.; Comstock, Jennifer M.; Chervet, P.; Roblin, A.


    Ground-based lidar and CALIOP datasets gathered over four mid-latitude sites, two US and two French sites, are used to evaluate the consistency of cloud macrophysical and optical property climatologies that can be derived by such datasets. The consistency in average cloud height (both base and top height) between the CALIOP and ground datasets ranges from -0.4km to +0.5km. The cloud geometrical thickness distributions vary significantly between the different datasets, due in part to the original vertical resolutions of the lidar profiles. Average cloud geometrical thicknesses vary from 1.2 to 1.9km, i.e. by more than 50%. Cloud optical thickness distributions in subvisible, semi-transparent and moderate intervals differ by more than 50% between ground and space-based datasets. The cirrus clouds with 2 optical thickness below 0.1 (not included in historical cloud climatologies) represent 30-50% of the non-opaque cirrus class. The differences in average cloud base altitude between ground and CALIOP datasets of 0.0-0.1 km, 0.0-0.2 km and 0.0-0.2 km can be attributed to irregular sampling of seasonal variations in the ground-based data, to day-night differences in detection capabilities by CALIOP, and to the restriction to situations without low-level clouds in ground-based data, respectively. The cloud geometrical thicknesses are not affected by irregular sampling of seasonal variations in the ground-based data, while up to 0.0-0.2 km and 0.1-0.3 km differences can be attributed to day-night differences in detection capabilities by CALIOP, and to the restriction to situations without lowlevel clouds in ground-based data, respectively.

  9. Effects of indirect lightning strokes on lossy power distribution lines in the presence of nonlinear loads

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahimian, M. S.; Sadeghi, S. H. H.; Moini, R.


    Cloud-to-ground lightning strokes can include dangerous overvoltage on power distribution overhead lines. In this paper, a new algorithm is propagated within a distribution network including nonlinear apparatus. The coupling between the lightning channel and the overhead line is based on an antenna theory model and employs the method of moment for solving the governing electric field integral equation. The computed induced overvoltage is then used in the electromagnetic transient program to analyze its propagation within the distribution network. In this regard, the accuracy of the new coupling method is demonstrated by comparing the calculated induced over voltages using the new method and those obtained using the conventional methods. Simulation results are presented to show how the induced overvoltage is penetrated in a typical distribution network, consisting of overhead lines and underground cables, a distribution transformer protected by surge arresters and a three-phase resistive load

  10. Quantification and identification of lightning damage in tropical forests. (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Gora, Evan M; Burchfield, Jeffrey M; Bitzer, Phillip M; Detto, Matteo


    Accurate estimates of tree mortality are essential for the development of mechanistic forest dynamics models, and for estimating carbon storage and cycling. However, identifying agents of tree mortality is difficult and imprecise. Although lightning kills thousands of trees each year and is an important agent of mortality in some forests, the frequency and distribution of lightning-caused tree death remain unknown for most forests. Moreover, because all evidence regarding the effects of lightning on trees is necessarily anecdotal and post hoc, rigorous tests of hypotheses regarding the ecological effects of lightning are impossible. We developed a combined electronic sensor/camera-based system for the location and characterization of lightning strikes to the forest canopy in near real time and tested the system in the forest of Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Cameras mounted on towers provided continuous video recordings of the forest canopy that were analyzed to determine the locations of lightning strikes. We used a preliminary version of this system to record and locate 18 lightning strikes to the forest over a 3-year period. Data from field surveys of known lightning strike locations (obtained from the camera system) enabled us to develop a protocol for reliable, ground-based identification of suspected lightning damage to tropical trees. In all cases, lightning damage was relatively inconspicuous; it would have been overlooked by ground-based observers having no knowledge of the event. We identified three types of evidence that can be used to consistently identify lightning strike damage in tropical forests: (1) localized and directionally biased branch mortality associated with flashover among tree and sapling crowns, (2) mortality of lianas or saplings near lianas, and (3) scorched or wilting epiphytic and hemiepiphytic plants. The longitudinal trunk scars that are typical of lightning-damaged temperate trees were never observed in this study. Given the

  11. Electrical discharge occurring between a negatively charged particle cloud and a grounded sphere electrode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higashiyama, Y; Migita, S; Toki, K; Sugimoto, T


    Electrostatic discharge occurring between a space-charge cloud and a grounded object was investigated using a large-scale charged particle cloud formed by using three set of cloud generators consisting of a blower and corona charger. The ejecting velocity of the particles affects the formation of the charged cloud. At the lower velocity, the charged cloud spread due to electrostatic repulsion force, while at the higher velocity cloud forms an elongated conical shape. To cause electrostatic discharge between the cloud and a grounded object, a grounded sphere electrode with 100 mm in diameter was set at the inside or outside of the cloud. The brush-like discharge channels reached the maximum length of 0.55 m. The discharge current has a waveform with single or multi-peak, a current peak of several amperes, the maximum charge quantity of 2 μC, and the duration of several microseconds. The relationship between the charge quantity and the current peak or the duration in each discharge was examined. The discharge between the cloud and the electrode placed at the outside of the cloud has relatively longer channels and multi-peak current with the longer duration, while that at the inside of the cloud has the lower charge quantity with single peak.

  12. Tropical Cyclone Lightning Distribution and Its Relationship to Convection and Intensity Change (United States)

    Rodgers, Edward; Wienman, James; Pierce, Harold; Olson, William


    The long distance National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) was used to monitor the distribution of lightning strokes in various 1998 and 1999 western North Atlantic tropical cyclones. These ground-based lightning observations together with the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and the Tropical Rain Mapping Mission (TRMM) Microwave Instrument (TMI) derived convective rain rates were used to monitor the propagation of electrically charged convective rain bands aid to qualitatively estimate intensification. An example of the lightning analyses was performed on hurricane George between 25-28 September, 1998 when the system left Key West and moved towards the Louisiana coast. During this period of time, George's maximum winds increased from 38 to 45 meters per second on 25 September and then remained steady state until it made landfall. Time-radius displays of the lightning strokes indicated that the greatest number of lightning strokes occurred within the outer core region (greater than 165 km) with little or no lightning strokes at radii less than 165 km. The trend in these lightning strokes decreased as George move into the Gulf of Mexico and showed no inward propagation. The lack inward propagating lightning strokes with time indicated that there was no evidence that an eye wall replacement was occurring that could alter George's intensity. Since George was steady state at this time, this result is not surprising. Time-azimuth displays of lightning strokes in an annulus whose outer and inner radii were respectively, 222 and 333 km from George's center were also constructed. A result from this analysis indicated that the maximum number of strokes occurred in the forward and rear right quadrant when George was over the Gulf of Mexico. This result is, consistent with the aircraft and satellite observations of maximum rainfall.

  13. An Evaluation of Lightning Flash Rate Parameterizations Based on Observations of Colorado Storms during DC3 (United States)

    Basarab, B.; Fuchs, B.; Rutledge, S. A.


    Predicting lightning activity in thunderstorms is important in order to accurately quantify the production of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2) by lightning (LNOx). Lightning is an important global source of NOx, and since NOx is a chemical precursor to ozone, the climatological impacts of LNOx could be significant. Many cloud-resolving models rely on parameterizations to predict lightning and LNOx since the processes leading to charge separation and lightning discharge are not yet fully understood. This study evaluates predicted flash rates based on existing lightning parameterizations against flash rates observed for Colorado storms during the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Experiment (DC3). Evaluating lightning parameterizations against storm observations is a useful way to possibly improve the prediction of flash rates and LNOx in models. Additionally, since convective storms that form in the eastern plains of Colorado can be different thermodynamically and electrically from storms in other regions, it is useful to test existing parameterizations against observations from these storms. We present an analysis of the dynamics, microphysics, and lightning characteristics of two case studies, severe storms that developed on 6 and 7 June 2012. This analysis includes dual-Doppler derived horizontal and vertical velocities, a hydrometeor identification based on polarimetric radar variables using the CSU-CHILL radar, and insight into the charge structure using observations from the northern Colorado Lightning Mapping Array (LMA). Flash rates were inferred from the LMA data using a flash counting algorithm. We have calculated various microphysical and dynamical parameters for these storms that have been used in empirical flash rate parameterizations. In particular, maximum vertical velocity has been used to predict flash rates in some cloud-resolving chemistry simulations. We diagnose flash rates for the 6 and 7 June storms using this parameterization and compare

  14. Green Lightning Channels From the Chaiten Volcano in Chile Photographed By Carlos Gutierrez May 2-3, 2008 (United States)

    Few, A. A.


    The two photographs containing the green lightning channels appeared on the web site (The Big Picture, June 4, 2008). These web photographs were of limited resolution (176 Kb) making the interpretation of the green channels difficult. The agent for Gutierrez, Landov LLC, made available the two photographs as high resolution digital photographs (1.4 Mb and 1.5 Mb) that appear on the poster. Upon close examination of the green channels it is possible to exclude negative discharges or their remnants as being the source of the green channels; negative discharges require white-hot ionization processes at the leading tip of the channel. There are several examples of the white negative channels on the photographs. The green channels might be positive streamers. In thunderstorms positive streamers propagate within the negative charged region of the cloud collecting electrons, which are supplied to the connected negative discharge channel, hence they are not observed in thunderstorms. They can be detected and mapped inside the thunderstorm from observations of their electromagnetic radiations. Positive streamers are cooler than negative discharges because electrons are convergent on the leading tip of the positive streamer maintaining its conductivity. For the negative leading tips the electrons are divergent and new electrons must be generated by hot ionization processes. A close examination reveals that the green channels track the edge of the ash cloud, which if a positive streamer would indicate a negative surface charge on the cloud. Most likely the green color results from excited oxygen atoms returning to the ground state and emitting a green photon. This is the process that produces the green aurora, and if this produces green lightning, it places several constraints on the conditions of the channel. The two photographs below are selected clips from the much larger photographs; these show the green lightning channels.

  15. Lightning and 85-GHz MCSs in the Global Tropics (United States)

    Toracinta, E. Richard; Zipser, E. J.


    Numerous observations of tropical convection show that tropical continental mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are much more prolific lightning producers than their oceanic counterparts. Satellite-based climatologies using 85-GHz passive microwave ice-scattering signatures from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) indicate that MCSs of various size and intensity are found throughout the global tropics. In contrast, global lightning distributions show a strong land bias with an order of magnitude difference between land and ocean lightning. This is somewhat puzzling, since 85-GHz ice-scattering and the charge separation processes that lead to lightning are both thought to depend upon the existence of large graupel particles. The fact that low 85-GHz brightness temperatures are observed in tropical oceanic MCSs containing virtually no lightning leads to the postulate that tropical oceanic and tropical continental MCSs have fundamentally different hydrometeor profiles through the mixed phase region of the cloud (0 C Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), and the first space-borne radar, facilitates high-resolution case studies of MCS structure throughout the global tropics. An important precursor, however, is to better understand the distribution of MCSs and lightning in the tropics. With that objective in mind, this research undertakes a systematic comparison of 85-GHz-defined MCSs and lightning over the global tropics for a full year, as an initial step toward quantifying differences between land and ocean convective systems.

  16. Simulating lightning tests to radar system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blaj, M.A.; Buesink, Frederik Johannes Karel; Leferink, Frank Bernardus Johannes


    The risk of destruction due to lightning makes simulating the effects of lightning strikes a necessity. We modeled a radar enclosure and simulated the effect of a lightning strike. The results have been validated using full threat lightning current tests.

  17. High-Altitude Cirrus Clouds and Climate

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    , thunder or lightning, rainbows or halos. A cloud is a visible aggregate of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air. Most clouds result from cooling due to lifting of moisture containing air. Those associated with ...

  18. Doppler Radar and Lightning Network Observations of a Severe Outbreak of Tropical Cyclone Tornadoes (United States)

    Mccaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Buechler, Dennis E.; Goodman, Steven J.; Cammarata, Michael


    Data from a single Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) and the National Lightning Detection Network are used to examine the characteristics of the convective storms that produced a severe tornado outbreak, including three tornadoes that reached F3 intensity, within Tropical Storm Beryl s remnants on 16 August 1994. Comparison of the radar data with reports of tornadoes suggests that only 13 cells produced the 29 tornadoes that were documented in Georgia and the Carolinas on that date. Six of these cells spawned multiple tornadoes, and the radar data confirm the presence of miniature supercells. One of the cells was identifiable on radar for 11 h. spawning tornadoes over a time period spanning approximately 6.5 h. Several other tornadic cells also exhibited great longevity, with cell lifetimes longer than ever previously documented in a landfalling tropical cyclone (TC) tornado event. This event is easily the most intense TC tornado outbreak yet documented with WSR-88Ds. Time-height analyses of the three strongest tornadic supercells are presented in order to document storm kinematic structure and to show how these storms appear at different ranges from a WSR-88D. In addition, cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data are examined in Beryl s remnants. Although the tornadic cells were responsible for most of Beryl's CG lightning, their flash rates were only weak to moderate, and in all the tornadic storms the lightning flashes were almost entirely negative in polarity. A few of the single-tornado storms produced no detectable CG lightning at all. There is evidence that CG lightning rates decreased during the tornadoes, compared to 30-min periods before the tornadoes. A number of the storms spawned tornadoes just after producing their final CG lightning flashes. Contrary to the findings for flash rates, both peak currents and positive flash percentages were larger in Beryl's nontornadic storms than in the tornadic ones.

  19. Visual Analysis for Nowcasting of Multidimensional Lightning Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Peters


    Full Text Available Globally, most weather-related damages are caused by thunderstorms. Besides floods, strong wind, and hail, one of the major thunderstorm ground effects is lightning. Therefore, lightning investigations, including detection, cluster identification, tracking, and nowcasting are essential. To enable reliable decisions, current and predicted lightning cluster- and track features as well as analysis results have to be represented in the most appropriate way. Our paper introduces a framework which includes identification, tracking, nowcasting, and in particular visualization and statistical analysis of dynamic lightning data in three-dimensional space. The paper is specifically focused on enabling users to conduct the visual analysis of lightning data for the purpose of identification and interpretation of spatial-temporal patterns embedded in lightning data, and their dynamics. A graphic user interface (GUI is developed, wherein lightning tracks and predicted lightning clusters, including their prediction certainty, can be investigated within a 3D view or within a Space-Time-Cube. In contrast to previous work, our approach provides insight into the dynamics of past and predicted 3D lightning clusters and cluster features over time. We conclude that an interactive visual exploration in combination with a statistical analysis can provide new knowledge within lightning investigations and, thus, support decision-making in weather forecast or lightning damage prevention.

  20. From the clouds to the ground - snow precipitation patterns vs. snow accumulation patterns (United States)

    Gerber, Franziska; Besic, Nikola; Mott, Rebecca; Gabella, Marco; Germann, Urs; Bühler, Yves; Marty, Mauro; Berne, Alexis; Lehning, Michael


    Knowledge about snow distribution and snow accumulation patterns is important and valuable for different applications such as the prediction of seasonal water resources or avalanche forecasting. Furthermore, accumulated snow on the ground is an important ground truth for validating meteorological and climatological model predictions of precipitation in high mountains and polar regions. Snow accumulation patterns are determined by many different processes from ice crystal nucleation in clouds to snow redistribution by wind and avalanches. In between, snow precipitation undergoes different dynamical and microphysical processes, such as ice crystal growth, aggregation and riming, which determine the growth of individual particles and thereby influence the intensity and structure of the snowfall event. In alpine terrain the interaction of different processes and the topography (e.g. lifting condensation and low level cloud formation, which may result in a seeder-feeder effect) may lead to orographic enhancement of precipitation. Furthermore, the redistribution of snow particles in the air by wind results in preferential deposition of precipitation. Even though orographic enhancement is addressed in numerous studies, the relative importance of micro-physical and dynamically induced mechanisms on local snowfall amounts and especially snow accumulation patterns is hardly known. To better understand the relative importance of different processes on snow precipitation and accumulation we analyze snowfall and snow accumulation between January and March 2016 in Davos (Switzerland). We compare MeteoSwiss operational weather radar measurements on Weissfluhgipfel to a spatially continuous snow accumulation map derived from airborne digital sensing (ADS) snow height for the area of Dischma valley in the vicinity of the weather radar. Additionally, we include snow height measurements from automatic snow stations close to the weather radar. Large-scale radar snow accumulation

  1. Lightning Radio Source Retrieval Using Advanced Lightning Direction Finder (ALDF) Networks (United States)

    Koshak, William J.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Bailey, J. C.


    A linear algebraic solution is provided for the problem of retrieving the location and time of occurrence of lightning ground strikes from an Advanced Lightning Direction Finder (ALDF) network. The ALDF network measures field strength, magnetic bearing and arrival time of lightning radio emissions. Solutions for the plane (i.e., no Earth curvature) are provided that implement all of tile measurements mentioned above. Tests of the retrieval method are provided using computer-simulated data sets. We also introduce a quadratic planar solution that is useful when only three arrival time measurements are available. The algebra of the quadratic root results are examined in detail to clarify what portions of the analysis region lead to fundamental ambiguities in source location. Complex root results are shown to be associated with the presence of measurement errors when the lightning source lies near an outer sensor baseline of the ALDF network. In the absence of measurement errors, quadratic root degeneracy (no source location ambiguity) is shown to exist exactly on the outer sensor baselines for arbitrary non-collinear network geometries. The accuracy of the quadratic planar method is tested with computer generated data sets. The results are generally better than those obtained from the three station linear planar method when bearing errors are about 2 deg. We also note some of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods over the nonlinear method of chi(sup 2) minimization employed by the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and discussed in Cummins et al.(1993, 1995, 1998).

  2. A self-similar magnetohydrodynamic model for ball lightnings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsui, K. H.


    Ball lightning is modeled by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations in two-dimensional spherical geometry with azimuthal symmetry. Dynamic evolutions in the radial direction are described by the self-similar evolution function y(t). The plasma pressure, mass density, and magnetic fields are solved in terms of the radial label η. This model gives spherical MHD plasmoids with axisymmetric force-free magnetic field, and spherically symmetric plasma pressure and mass density, which self-consistently determine the polytropic index γ. The spatially oscillating nature of the radial and meridional field structures indicate embedded regions of closed field lines. These regions are named secondary plasmoids, whereas the overall self-similar spherical structure is named the primary plasmoid. According to this model, the time evolution function allows the primary plasmoid expand outward in two modes. The corresponding ejection of the embedded secondary plasmoids results in ball lightning offering an answer as how they come into being. The first is an accelerated expanding mode. This mode appears to fit plasmoids ejected from thundercloud tops with acceleration to ionosphere seen in high altitude atmospheric observations of sprites and blue jets. It also appears to account for midair high-speed ball lightning overtaking airplanes, and ground level high-speed energetic ball lightning. The second is a decelerated expanding mode, and it appears to be compatible to slowly moving ball lightning seen near ground level. The inverse of this second mode corresponds to an accelerated inward collapse, which could bring ball lightning to an end sometimes with a cracking sound

  3. Atmospheric electricity. [lightning protection criteria in spacecraft design (United States)

    Daniels, G. E.


    Atmospheric electricity must be considered in the design, transportation, and operation of aerospace vehicles. The effect of the atmosphere as an insulator and conductor of high voltage electricity, at various atmospheric pressures, must also be considered. The vehicle can be protected as follows: (1) By insuring that all metallic sections are connected by electrical bonding so that the current flow from a lightning stroke is conducted over the skin without any gaps where sparking would occur or current would be carried inside; (2) by protecting buildings and other structures on the ground with a system of lightning rods and wires over the outside to carry the lightning stroke into the ground; (3) by providing a zone of protection for launch complexes; (4) by providing protection devices in critical circuits; (5) by using systems which have no single failure mode; and (6) by appropriate shielding of units sensitive to electromagnetic radiation.

  4. A first look at lightning energy determined from GLM (United States)

    Bitzer, P. M.; Burchfield, J. C.; Brunner, K. N.


    The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) was launched in November 2016 onboard GOES-16 has been undergoing post launch and product post launch testing. While these have typically focused on lightning metrics such as detection efficiency, false alarm rate, and location accuracy, there are other attributes of the lightning discharge that are provided by GLM data. Namely, the optical energy radiated by lightning may provide information useful for lightning physics and the relationship of lightning energy to severe weather development. This work presents initial estimates of the lightning optical energy detected by GLM during this initial testing, with a focus on observations during field campaign during spring 2017 in Huntsville. This region is advantageous for the comparison due to the proliferation of ground-based lightning instrumentation, including a lightning mapping array, interferometer, HAMMA (an array of electric field change meters), high speed video cameras, and several long range VLF networks. In addition, the field campaign included airborne observations of the optical emission and electric field changes. The initial estimates will be compared with previous observations using TRMM-LIS. In addition, a comparison between the operational and scientific GLM data sets will also be discussed.

  5. The spatio-temporal distribution of lightning over Israel and the neighboring area and its relation to regional synoptic systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Shalev


    Full Text Available The spatio-temporal distribution of lightning flashes over Israel and the neighboring area and its relation to the regional synoptic systems has been studied, based on data obtained from the Israel Lightning Location System (ILLS operated by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC. The system detects cloud-to-ground lightning discharges in a range of ~500 km around central Israel (32.5° N, 35° E. The study period was defined for annual activity from August through July, for 5 seasons in the period 2004–2010.

    The spatial distribution of lightning flash density indicates the highest concentration over the Mediterranean Sea, attributed to the contribution of moisture as well as sensible and latent heat fluxes from the sea surface. Other centers of high density appear along the coastal plain, orographic barriers, especially in northern Israel, and downwind from the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, Israel. The intra-annual distribution shows an absence of lightning during the summer months (JJA due to the persistent subsidence over the region. The vast majority of lightning activity occurs during 7 months, October to April. Although over 65 % of the rainfall in Israel is obtained during the winter months (DJF, only 35 % of lightning flashes occur in these months. October is the richest month, with 40 % of total annual flashes. This is attributed both to tropical intrusions, i.e., Red Sea Troughs (RST, which are characterized by intense static instability and convection, and to Cyprus Lows (CLs arriving from the west.

    Based on daily study of the spatial distribution of lightning, three patterns have been defined; "land", "maritime" and "hybrid". CLs cause high flash density over the Mediterranean Sea, whereas some of the RST days are typified by flashes over land. The pattern defined "hybrid" is a combination of the other 2 patterns. On CL days, only the maritime pattern was noted, whereas in RST days all 3 patterns were found

  6. Long-Range Lightning Products for Short Term Forecasting of Tropical Cyclogenesis (United States)

    Businger, S.; Pessi, A.; Robinson, T.; Stolz, D.


    This paper will describe innovative graphical products derived in real time from long-range lightning data. The products have been designed to aid in short-term forecasting of tropical cyclone development for the Tropical Cyclone Structure Experiment 2010 (TCS10) held over the western Pacific Ocean from 17 August to 17 October 2010 and are available online at The long-range lightning data are from Vaisala’s Global Lightning Data 360 (GLD360) network and include time, location, current strength, polarity, and data quality indication. The products currently provided in real time include i. Infrared satellite imagery overlaid with lighting flash locations, with color indication of current strength and polarity (shades of blue for negative to ground and red for positive to ground). ii. A 15x15 degree storm-centered tile of IR imagery overlaid with lightning data as in i). iii. A pseudo reflectivity product showing estimates of radar reflectivity based on lightning rate - rain rate conversion derived from TRMM and PacNet data. iv. A lightning history product that plots each hour of lightning flash locations in a different color for a 12-hour period. v. Graphs of lightning counts within 50 or 300 km radius, respectively, of the storm center vs storm central sea-level pressure. vi. A 2-D graphic showing storm core lightning density along the storm track. The first three products above can be looped to gain a better understanding of the evolution of the lightning and storm structure. Examples of the graphics and their utility will be demonstrated and discussed. Histogram of lightning counts within 50 km of the storm center and graph of storm central pressure as a function of time.

  7. Utilizing ISS Camera Systems for Scientific Analysis of Lightning Characteristics and comparison with ISS-LIS and GLM (United States)

    Schultz, C. J.; Lang, T. J.; Leake, S.; Runco, M.; Blakeslee, R. J.


    Video and still frame images from cameras aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are used to inspire, educate, and provide a unique vantage point from low-Earth orbit that is second to none; however, these cameras have overlooked capabilities for contributing to scientific analysis of the Earth and near-space environment. The goal of this project is to study how georeferenced video/images from available ISS camera systems can be useful for scientific analysis, using lightning properties as a demonstration. Camera images from the crew cameras and high definition video from the Chiba University Meteor Camera were combined with lightning data from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), ISS-Lightning Imaging Sensor (ISS-LIS), the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and lightning mapping arrays. These cameras provide significant spatial resolution advantages ( 10 times or better) over ISS-LIS and GLM, but with lower temporal resolution. Therefore, they can serve as a complementarity analysis tool for studying lightning and thunderstorm processes from space. Lightning sensor data, Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) derived city light maps, and other geographic databases were combined with the ISS attitude and position data to reverse geolocate each image or frame. An open-source Python toolkit has been developed to assist with this effort. Next, the locations and sizes of all flashes in each frame or image were computed and compared with flash characteristics from all available lightning datasets. This allowed for characterization of cloud features that are below the 4-km and 8-km resolution of ISS-LIS and GLM which may reduce the light that reaches the ISS-LIS or GLM sensor. In the case of video, consecutive frames were overlaid to determine the rate of change of the light escaping cloud top. Characterization of the rate of change in geometry, more generally the radius, of light escaping cloud top was integrated with the NLDN, ISS-LIS and

  8. Improving Individual Acceptance of Health Clouds through Confidentiality Assurance. (United States)

    Ermakova, Tatiana; Fabian, Benjamin; Zarnekow, Rüdiger


    Cloud computing promises to essentially improve healthcare delivery performance. However, shifting sensitive medical records to third-party cloud providers could create an adoption hurdle because of security and privacy concerns. This study examines the effect of confidentiality assurance in a cloud-computing environment on individuals' willingness to accept the infrastructure for inter-organizational sharing of medical data. We empirically investigate our research question by a survey with over 260 full responses. For the setting with a high confidentiality assurance, we base on a recent multi-cloud architecture which provides very high confidentiality assurance through a secret-sharing mechanism: Health information is cryptographically encoded and distributed in a way that no single and no small group of cloud providers is able to decode it. Our results indicate the importance of confidentiality assurance in individuals' acceptance of health clouds for sensitive medical data. Specifically, this finding holds for a variety of practically relevant circumstances, i.e., in the absence and despite the presence of conventional offline alternatives and along with pseudonymization. On the other hand, we do not find support for the effect of confidentiality assurance in individuals' acceptance of health clouds for non-sensitive medical data. These results could support the process of privacy engineering for health-cloud solutions.

  9. Automated cloud classification using a ground based infra-red camera and texture analysis techniques (United States)

    Rumi, Emal; Kerr, David; Coupland, Jeremy M.; Sandford, Andrew P.; Brettle, Mike J.


    Clouds play an important role in influencing the dynamics of local and global weather and climate conditions. Continuous monitoring of clouds is vital for weather forecasting and for air-traffic control. Convective clouds such as Towering Cumulus (TCU) and Cumulonimbus clouds (CB) are associated with thunderstorms, turbulence and atmospheric instability. Human observers periodically report the presence of CB and TCU clouds during operational hours at airports and observatories; however such observations are expensive and time limited. Robust, automatic classification of cloud type using infrared ground-based instrumentation offers the advantage of continuous, real-time (24/7) data capture and the representation of cloud structure in the form of a thermal map, which can greatly help to characterise certain cloud formations. The work presented here utilised a ground based infrared (8-14 μm) imaging device mounted on a pan/tilt unit for capturing high spatial resolution sky images. These images were processed to extract 45 separate textural features using statistical and spatial frequency based analytical techniques. These features were used to train a weighted k-nearest neighbour (KNN) classifier in order to determine cloud type. Ground truth data were obtained by inspection of images captured simultaneously from a visible wavelength colour camera at the same installation, with approximately the same field of view as the infrared device. These images were classified by a trained cloud observer. Results from the KNN classifier gave an encouraging success rate. A Probability of Detection (POD) of up to 90% with a Probability of False Alarm (POFA) as low as 16% was achieved.

  10. Lightning NOx and Impacts on Air Quality (United States)

    Murray, Lee T.


    Lightning generates relatively large but uncertain quantities of nitrogen oxides, critical precursors for ozone and hydroxyl radical (OH), the primary tropospheric oxidants. Lightning nitrogen oxide strongly influences background ozone and OH due to high ozone production efficiencies in the free troposphere, effecting small but non-negligible contributions to surface pollutant concentrations. Lightning globally contributes 3-4 ppbv of simulated annual-mean policy-relevant background (PRB) surface ozone, comprised of local, regional, and hemispheric components, and up to 18 ppbv during individual events. Feedbacks via methane may counter some of these effects on decadal time scales. Lightning contributes approximately 1 percent to annual-mean surface particulate matter, as a direct precursor and by promoting faster oxidation of other precursors. Lightning also ignites wildfires and contributes to nitrogen deposition. Urban pollution influences lightning itself, with implications for regional lightning-nitrogen oxide production and feedbacks on downwind surface pollution. How lightning emissions will change in a warming world remains uncertain.

  11. Unusual lightning electric field waveforms observed in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Uppsala, Sweden (United States)

    Adhikari, Pitri Bhakta; Sharma, Shriram; Baral, Kedarnath; Rakov, Vladimir A.


    Unusual lightning events have been observed in Uppsala, Sweden, and Kathmandu, Nepal, using essentially the same electric field measuring system developed at Uppsala University. They occurred in the storms that also generated ;normal; lightning events. The unusual events recorded in Uppsala occurred on one thunderstorm day. Similar events were observed in Kathmandu on multiple thunderstorm days. The unusual events were analyzed in this study assuming them to be positive ground flashes (+CGs), although we cannot rule out the possibility that some or most of them were actually cloud discharges (ICs). The unusual events were each characterized by a relatively slow, negative (atmospheric electricity sign convention) electric field waveform preceded by a pronounced opposite-polarity pulse whose duration was some tens of microseconds. To the best of our knowledge, such unusual events have not been reported in the literature. The average amplitudes of the opposite-polarity pulses with respect to those of the following main waveform were found to be about 33% in Uppsala (N = 31) and about 38% in Kathmandu (N = 327). The average durations of the main waveform and the preceding opposite-polarity pulse in Uppsala were 8.24 ms and 57.1 μs, respectively, and their counterparts in Kathmandu were 421 μs and 39.7 μs. Electric field waveforms characteristic of negative ground flashes (-CGs) were also observed, and none of them exhibited an opposite-polarity pulse prior to the main waveform. Possible origins of the unusual field waveforms are discussed.

  12. Aerosol and Cloud Properties during the Cloud Cheju ABC Plume -Asian Monsoon Experiment (CAPMEX) 2008: Linking between Ground-based and UAV Measurements (United States)

    Kim, S.; Yoon, S.; Venkata Ramana, M.; Ramanathan, V.; Nguyen, H.; Park, S.; Kim, M.


    Cheju Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) Plume-Monsoon Experiment (CAPMEX), comprehsensive ground-based measurements and a series of data-gathering flights by specially equipped autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (AUAVs) for aerosol and cloud, had conducted at Jeju (formerly, Cheju), South Korea during August-September 2008, to improve our understanding of how the reduction of anthropogenic emissions in China (so-called “great shutdown” ) during and after the Summer Beijing Olympic Games 2008 effcts on the air quliaty and radiation budgets and how atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs) influences solar radiation budget off Asian continent. Large numbers of in-situ and remote sensing instruments at the Gosan ABC observatory and miniaturized instruments on the aircraft measure a range of properties such as the quantity of soot, size-segregated aerosol particle numbers, total particle numbers, size-segregated cloud droplet numbers (only AUAV), aerosol scattering properties (only ground), aerosol vertical distribution, column-integrated aerosol properties, and meteorological variables. By integrating ground-level and high-elevation AUAV measurements with NASA-satellite observations (e.g., MODIS, CALIPSO), we investigate the long range transport of aerosols, the impact of ABCs on clouds, and the role of biogenic and anthropogenic aerosols on cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). In this talk, we will present the results from CAPMEX focusing on: (1) the characteristics of aerosol optical, physical and chemical properties at Gosan observatory, (2) aerosol solar heating calculated from the ground-based micro-pulse lidar and AERONET sun/sky radiometer synergy, and comparison with direct measurements from UAV, and (3) aerosol-cloud interactions in conjunction with measurements by satellites and Gosan observatory.

  13. Combined VLF and VHF lightning observations of Hurricane Rita landfall (United States)

    Henderson, B. G.; Suszcynsky, D. M.; Wiens, K. C.; Hamlin, T.; Jeffery, C. A.; Orville, R. E.


    Hurricane Rita displayed abundant lightning in its northern eyewall as it made landfall at 0740 UTC 24 Sep 2005 near the Texas/Louisiana border. For this work, we combined VHF and VLF lightning data from Hurricane Rita, along with radar observations from Gulf Coast WSR-88D stations, for the purpose of demonstrating the combined utility of these two spectral regions for hurricane lightning monitoring. Lightning is a direct consequence of the electrification and breakdown processes that take place during the convective stages of thunderstorm development. As Rita approached the Gulf coast, the VHF lightning emissions were distinctly periodic with a period of 1.5 to 2 hours, which is consistent with the rotational period of hurricanes. VLF lightning emissions, measured by LASA and NLDN, were present in some of these VHF bursts but not all of them. At landfall, there was a significant increase in lightning emissions, accompanied by a significant convective surge observed in radar. Furthermore, VLF and VHF lightning source heights clearly increase as a function of time. The evolution of the IC/CG ratio is consistent with that seen in thunderstorms, showing a dominance of IC activity during storm development, followed by an increase in CG activity at the storm’s peak. The periodic VHF lightning events are correlated with increases in convective growth (quantified by the volume of radar echo >40 dB) above 7 km altitude. VLF can discriminate between lightning types, and in the LASA data, Rita landfall lightning activity was dominated by Narrow Bi-polar Events (NBEs)—high-energy, high-altitude, compact intra-cloud discharges. The opportunity to locate NBE lightning sources in altitude may be particularly useful in quantifying the vertical extent (strength) of the convective development and in possibly deducing vertical charge distributions.

  14. Venus Express Contributions to the Study of Planetary Lightning (United States)

    Russell, C. T.; Hart, R. A.; Zhang, T. L.


    Jupiter, and Saturn are expected to generate the electrical potential differences in their clouds sufficient to cause a breakdown in the atmosphere,creating a conducting path for the electric potential to discharge. This high-energy phenomenon creates a hot, high-pressure channel that enables chemical reactions not possible under usual local thermodynamic conditions. Thus it is of some interest to determine if lightning occurs in an atmosphere. While Venus is not usually considered one of the wet planets, lightning has been an object of interest since the Venera landers. It was observed with electromagnetic coils on Venera 11, 12, 13, 14 landers [2]. It was observed with a visible spectrometer on the Venera 9 orbits [1]. It was mapped during solar occultations by the electric antenna on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter [4]. These measurements revealed extensive lightning activity with an electromagnetic energy flux similar to that on Earth. However, the observations were limited in number in the atmosphere and to the nightside from orbit. In order to improve the understanding of Venus lightning, the Venus Express magnetometer was given a 128-Hz sampling rate that could cover much of the ELF frequencies at which lightning could be observed in the weak magnetic fields of the Venus ionosphere [5]. This investigation was immediately successful [3], but mastering the cleaning of the broadband data took several years to accomplish. Furthermore, the high polar latitudes of VEX periapsis were not the ideal locations to conduct the more global survey that was desired. Fortunately, after precessing poleward over the first few years the latitude of periapsis has returned to lower latitudes(Figures 1 and 2) and active electrical storms are now being studied. The charged constituent of the Venus atmosphere need not be water. In fact, we believe it is H2SO4 which polarizes much as water does and which freezes and melts at similar temperatures. If it is H2SO4, we would expect the

  15. Spatial distribution and temporal variations of occurrence frequency of lightning whistlers observed by VLF/WBA onboard Akebono (United States)

    Oike, Yuta; Kasahara, Yoshiya; Goto, Yoshitaka


    We statistically analyzed lightning whistlers detected from the analog waveform data below 15 kHz observed by the VLF instruments onboard Akebono. We examined the large amount of data obtained at Uchinoura Space Center in Japan for 22 years from 1989 to 2010. The lightning whistlers were mainly observed inside the L shell region below 2. Seasonal dependence of the occurrence frequency of lightning whistlers has two peaks around July to August and December to January. As lightning is most active in summer, in general, these two peaks correspond to summer in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. Diurnal variation of the occurrence frequency showed that lightning whistlers begin to increase in the early evening and remain at a high-occurrence level through the night with a peak around 21 in magnetic local time (MLT). This peak shifts toward nightside compared with lightning activity, which begins to rise around noon and peaks in the late afternoon. This trend is supposed to be caused by attenuation of VLF wave in the ionosphere in the daytime. Comparison study with the ground-based observation revealed consistent results, except that the peak of the ground-based observation appeared after midnight while our measurements obtained by Akebono was around 21 in MLT. This difference is explained qualitatively in terms that lightning whistlers measured at the ground station passed through the ionosphere twice above both source region and the ground station. These facts provide an important clue to evaluate quantitatively the absorption effect of lightning whistler in the ionosphere.

  16. Comparison of cloud top heights derived from FY-2 meteorological satellites with heights derived from ground-based millimeter wavelength cloud radar (United States)

    Wang, Zhe; Wang, Zhenhui; Cao, Xiaozhong; Tao, Fa


    Clouds are currently observed by both ground-based and satellite remote sensing techniques. Each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the observation method, instrument performance and the methods used for retrieval. It is important to study synergistic cloud measurements to improve the reliability of the observations and to verify the different techniques. The FY-2 geostationary orbiting meteorological satellites continuously observe the sky over China. Their cloud top temperature product can be processed to retrieve the cloud top height (CTH). The ground-based millimeter wavelength cloud radar can acquire information about the vertical structure of clouds-such as the cloud base height (CBH), CTH and the cloud thickness-and can continuously monitor changes in the vertical profiles of clouds. The CTHs were retrieved using both cloud top temperature data from the FY-2 satellites and the cloud radar reflectivity data for the same time period (June 2015 to May 2016) and the resulting datasets were compared in order to evaluate the accuracy of CTH retrievals using FY-2 satellites. The results show that the concordance rate of cloud detection between the two datasets was 78.1%. Higher consistencies were obtained for thicker clouds with larger echo intensity and for more continuous clouds. The average difference in the CTH between the two techniques was 1.46 km. The difference in CTH between low- and mid-level clouds was less than that for high-level clouds. An attenuation threshold of the cloud radar for rainfall was 0.2 mm/min; a rainfall intensity below this threshold had no effect on the CTH. The satellite CTH can be used to compensate for the attenuation error in the cloud radar data.

  17. Effects of Lightning and Other Meteorological Factors on Fire Activity in the North American Boreal Forest: Implications for Fire Weather Forecasting (United States)

    Peterson, D.; Wang, J.; Ichoku, C.; Remer, L. A.


    The effects of lightning and other meteorological factors on wildfire activity in the North American boreal forest are statistically analyzed during the fire seasons of 2000-2006 through an integration of the following data sets: the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) level 2 fire products, the 3-hourly 32-kin gridded meteorological data from North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), and the lightning data collected by the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) and the Alaska Lightning Detection Network (ALDN). Positive anomalies of the 500 hPa geopotential height field, convective available potential energy (CAPE), number of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, and the number of consecutive dry days are found to be statistically important to the seasonal variation of MODIS fire counts in a large portion of Canada and the entirety of Alaska. Analysis of fire occurrence patterns in the eastern and western boreal forest regions shows that dry (in the absence of precipitation) lightning strikes account for only 20% of the total lightning strikes, but are associated with (and likely cause) 40% of the MODIS observed fire counts in these regions. The chance for ignition increases when a threshold of at least 10 dry strikes per NARR grid box and at least 10 consecutive dry days is reached. Due to the orientation of the large-scale pattern, complex differences in fire and lightning occurrence and variability were also found between the eastern and western sub-regions. Locations with a high percentage of dry strikes commonly experience an increased number of fire counts, but the mean number of fire counts per dry strike is more than 50% higher in western boreal forest sub-region, suggesting a geographic and possible topographic influence. While wet lightning events are found to occur with a large range of CAPE values, a high probability for dry lightning occurs only when 500 hPa geopotential heights are above 5700m and CAPE values are near the maximum

  18. Aerosol indirect effect on tropospheric ozone via lightning (United States)

    Yuan, T.; Remer, L. A.; Bian, H.; Ziemke, J. R.; Albrecht, R. I.; Pickering, K. E.; Oreopoulos, L.; Goodman, S. J.; Yu, H.; Allen, D. J.


    Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a pollutant and major greenhouse gas and its radiative forcing is still uncertain. The unresolved difference between modeled and observed natural background O3 concentrations is a key source of the uncertainty. Here we demonstrate remarkable sensitivity of lightning activity to aerosol loading with lightning activity increasing more than 30 times per unit of aerosol optical depth over our study area. We provide observational evidence that indicates the observed increase in lightning activity is caused by the influx of aerosols from a volcano. Satellite data analyses suggest O3 is increased as a result of aerosol-induced increase in lightning and lightning produced NOx. Model simulations with prescribed lightning change corroborate the satellite data analysis. This aerosol-O3 connection is achieved via aerosol increasing lightning and thus lightning produced nitrogen oxides. This aerosol-lightning-ozone link provides a potential physical mechanism that may account for a part of the model-observation difference in background O3 concentration. More importantly, O3 production increase from this link is concentrated in the upper troposphere, where O3 is most efficient as a greenhouse gas. Both of these implications suggest a stronger O3 historical radiative forcing. This introduces a new pathway, through which increasing in aerosols from pre-industrial time to present day enhances tropospheric O3 production. Aerosol forcing thus has a warming component via its effect on O3 production. Sensitivity simulations suggest that 4-8% increase of tropospheric ozone, mainly in the tropics, is expected if aerosol-lighting-ozone link is parameterized, depending on the background emission scenario. We note, however, substantial uncertainties remain on the exact magnitude of aerosol effect on tropospheric O3 via lightning. The challenges for obtaining a quantitative global estimate of this effect are also discussed. Our results have significant implications

  19. A Method to Estimate the Probability That Any Individual Lightning Stroke Contacted the Surface Within Any Radius of Any Point (United States)

    Huddleston, Lisa L.; Roeder, William; Merceret, Francis J.


    A technique has been developed to calculate the probability that any nearby lightning stroke is within any radius of any point of interest. In practice, this provides the probability that a nearby lightning stroke was within a key distance of a facility, rather than the error ellipses centered on the stroke. This process takes the current bivariate Gaussian distribution of probability density provided by the current lightning location error ellipse for the most likely location of a lightning stroke and integrates it to get the probability that the stroke is inside any specified radius. This new facility-centric technique will be much more useful to the space launch customers and may supersede the lightning error ellipse approach discussed in [5], [6].

  20. Lightning protection for wind turbines in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuan Nguyen


    Full Text Available Wind energy has become increasingly important in the total electrical energy supply mix in Vietnam over the last few years. Small, kW turbines were installed in isolated areas a decade ago, while wind farms of several MW to few hundred MW are now being connected directly to national grid, with many additional projects in planning or under construction to fulfill an objective of 6% of the total installed capacity by 2030 (approximately 6200 MW of wind energy component. The increase in wind farm generation results in increased damage from lightning. In this paper, the annual frequency of lightning strikes to wind turbines in Vietnam is calculated using electrogeometric model. Reported lightning incidents to three major wind farms in Vietnam are summarized. Possible causes of failure are discussed, and an EMTP simulation for each incident was performed accordingly. The simulations suggest the failure mechanisms as well the potential of improved grounding to reduce lightning induced damage in future windfarms.

  1. Designing concept on lightning protection of overhead power distribution line

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yokoyama, Shigeru [Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Kanagawa-ken (Japan)], E-mail:


    The principle is shown for lightning protection of power distribution lines taking the effects of surge arresters, overhead ground wires and their combined use into consideration. Moreover an outline of a rational design method targeting direct lightning hits, induced over voltages and back flow currents from high structures. (author)

  2. Magnetic field generated by lightning protection system (United States)

    Geri, A.; Veca, G. M.


    A lightning protection system for today's civil buildings must be electromagnetically compatible with the electronic equipment present in the building. This paper highlights a mathematic model which analyzes the electromagnetic effects in the environment in which the lightning protection system is. This model is developed by means of finite elements of an electrical circuit where each element is represented by a double pole circuit according to the trapezoidal algorithm developed using the finite difference method. It is thus possible to analyze the electromagnetic phenomena associated with the transient effects created by the lightning stroke even for a high-intensity current. Referring to an elementary system comprised of an air terminal, a down conductor, and a ground terminal, numerical results are here laid out.


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The GPM Ground Validation NCAR Cloud Microphysics Particle Probes MC3E dataset was collected during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E),...

  4. Estimates of lightning NOx production from GOME satellite observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boersma, K.F.; Eskes, H.J.; Meijer, E.W.; Kelder, H.M.


    Tropospheric NO2 column retreivals from the Global Ozone Monitoring Expeiment (GOME) satellite spectrometer are used to quantify the source strength and 3-D distribution of lightning produced nitrogen oxides (NOx=NO+NO2). A sharp increase of NO2 is observed at convective cloud tops with increasing

  5. The Lightning Mapping Imager (LMI) on the FY-4 satellite and a typical application experiment using the LMI data (United States)

    Huang, F.; Hui, W.; Li, X.; Liu, R.; Zhang, Z.; Zheng, Y.; Kang, N.


    The Lightning Mapping Imager (LMI) on the FY-4A satellite, which was launched successfully in December 2016, is the first satellite-based lightning detector from space independently developed in China, and one of the world's first two stationary satellite LMIs. The optical imaging technique with a 400x600 CCD array plane and a frequency of 500 frames/s is adopted in the FY-4A LMI to perform real-time and continuous observation of total lightening in the Chinese mainland and adjacent areas. As of July 2017, the in-orbit test shows that the lightening observation date could be accurately obtained by the FY-4A LMI, and that the geo-location could be verified by the ground lightening observation network over China. Since the beginning of the 2017 flood season, every process of strong thunderstorms has been monitored by the FY-4A LMI throughout the various areas of China, and of these are used as a typical application case in this talk. On April 8 and 9, 2017, a strong convective precipitation process occurred in the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China. The observation data of the FY-4A LMI are used to monitor the occurrence, development, shift and extinction of the thunderstorm track. By means of analyzing the station's synchronous precipitation observation data, it is indicated that the moving track of the thunderstorm is not completely consistent with that of the precipitation center, and while the distribution areas of thunderstorm and precipitation are consistent to a certain extent, a significant difference also exists. This difference is mainly caused by the convective precipitation and stratus precipitation area during the precipitation process. Through comparative analysis, the preliminary satellite and foundation lightening observation data show a higher consistency. However, the time of lightening activity observed by satellite is one hour earlier than that of the ground observation, which is likely related to the total lightning observation by

  6. Combined Aircraft and Satellite-Derived Storm Electric Current and Lightning Rates Measurements and Implications for the Global Electric Circuit (United States)

    Mach, Douglas M.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Bateman, Monte G.


    Using rotating vane electric field mills and Gerdien capacitors, we measured the electric field profile and conductivity during 850 overflights of electrified shower clouds and thunderstorms spanning regions including the Southeastern United States, the Western Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and adjacent oceans, Central Brazil, and the South Pacific. The overflights include storms over land and ocean, with and without lightning, and with positive and negative fields above the storms. The measurements were made with the NASA ER-2 and the Altus-II high altitude aircrafts. Peak electric fields, with lightning transients removed, ranged from -1.0 kV/m to 16 kV/m, with a mean value of 0.9 kV/m. The median peak field was 0.29 kV/m. Integrating our electric field and conductivity data, we determined total conduction currents and flash rates for each overpass. With knowledge of the storm location (land or ocean) and type (with or without lightning), we determine the mean currents by location and type. The mean current for ocean storms with lightning is 1.6 A while the mean current for land storms with lightning is 1.0 A. The mean current for oceanic storms without lightning (i.e., electrified shower clouds) is 0.39 A and the mean current for land storms without lightning is 0.13 A. Thus, on average, land storms with or without lightning have about half the mean current as their corresponding oceanic storm counterparts. Over three-quarters (78%) of the land storms had detectable lightning, while less than half (43%) of the oceanic storms had lightning. We did not find any significant regional or latitudinal based patterns in our total conduction currents. By combining the aircraft derived storm currents and flash rates with diurnal lightning statistics derived from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and Optical Transient Detector (OTD) low Earth orbiting satellites, we reproduce the diurnal variation in the global electric circuit (i.e., the Carnegie

  7. Understanding the Relationships Between Lightning, Cloud Microphysics, and Airborne Radar-derived Storm Structure During Hurricane Karl (2010) (United States)

    Reinhart, Brad; Fuelberg, Henry; Blakeslee, Richard; Mach, Douglas; Heymsfield, Andrew; Bansemer, Aaron; Durden, Stephen L.; Tanelli, Simone; Heymsfield, Gerald; Lambrigtsen, Bjorn


    This study explores relationships between lightning, cloud microphysics, and tropical cyclone (TC) storm structure in Hurricane Karl (16 September 2010) using data collected by the NASA DC-8 and Global Hawk (GH) aircraft during NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment. The research capitalizes on the unique opportunity provided by GRIP to synthesize multiple datasets from two aircraft and analyze the microphysical and kinematic properties of an electrified TC. Five coordinated flight legs through Karl by the DC-8 and GH are investigated, focusing on the inner-core region (within 50km of the storm center) where the lightning was concentrated and the aircraft were well coordinated. GRIP datasets are used to compare properties of electrified and nonelectrified inner-core regions that are related to the noninductive charging mechanism, which is widely accepted to explain the observed electric fields within thunderstorms. Three common characteristics of Karl's electrified regions are identified: 1) strong updrafts of 10-20ms21, 2) deep mixed-phase layers indicated by reflectivities.30 dBZ extending several kilometers above the freezing level, and 3) microphysical environments consisting of graupel, very small ice particles, and the inferred presence of supercooled water. These characteristics describe an environment favorable for in situ noninductive charging and, hence, TC electrification. The electrified regions in Karl's inner core are attributable to a microphysical environment that was conducive to electrification because of occasional, strong convective updrafts in the eyewall.

  8. A High-Speed Spectroscopy System for Observing Lightning and Transient Luminous Events (United States)

    Boggs, L.; Liu, N.; Austin, M.; Aguirre, F.; Tilles, J.; Nag, A.; Lazarus, S. M.; Rassoul, H.


    Here we present a high-speed spectroscopy system that can be used to record atmospheric electrical discharges, including lightning and transient luminous events. The system consists of a Phantom V1210 high-speed camera, a Volume Phase Holographic (VPH) grism, an optional optical slit, and lenses. The spectrograph has the capability to record videos at speeds of 200,000 frames per second and has an effective wavelength band of 550-775 nm for the first order spectra. When the slit is used, the system has a spectral resolution of about 0.25 nm per pixel. We have constructed a durable enclosure made of heavy duty aluminum to house the high-speed spectrograph. It has two fans for continuous air flow and a removable tray to mount the spectrograph components. In addition, a Watec video camera (30 frames per second) is attached to the top of the enclosure to provide a scene view. A heavy duty Pelco pan/tilt motor is used to position the enclosure and can be controlled remotely through a Rasperry Pi computer. An observation campaign has been conducted during the summer and fall of 2017 at the Florida Institute of Technology. Several close cloud-to-ground discharges were recorded at 57,000 frames per second. The spectrum of a downward stepped negative leader and a positive cloud-to-ground return stroke will be reported on.

  9. In situ chemical composition measurement of individual cloud residue particles at a mountain site, southern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Lin


    Full Text Available To investigate how atmospheric aerosol particles interact with chemical composition of cloud droplets, a ground-based counterflow virtual impactor (GCVI coupled with a real-time single-particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SPAMS was used to assess the chemical composition and mixing state of individual cloud residue particles in the Nanling Mountains (1690 m a. s. l. , southern China, in January 2016. The cloud residues were classified into nine particle types: aged elemental carbon (EC, potassium-rich (K-rich, amine, dust, Pb, Fe, organic carbon (OC, sodium-rich (Na-rich and Other. The largest fraction of the total cloud residues was the aged EC type (49.3 %, followed by the K-rich type (33.9 %. Abundant aged EC cloud residues that mixed internally with inorganic salts were found in air masses from northerly polluted areas. The number fraction (NF of the K-rich cloud residues increased within southwesterly air masses from fire activities in Southeast Asia. When air masses changed from northerly polluted areas to southwesterly ocean and livestock areas, the amine particles increased from 0.2 to 15.1 % of the total cloud residues. The dust, Fe, Pb, Na-rich and OC particle types had a low contribution (0.5–4.1 % to the total cloud residues. Higher fraction of nitrate (88–89 % was found in the dust and Na-rich cloud residues relative to sulfate (41–42 % and ammonium (15–23 %. Higher intensity of nitrate was found in the cloud residues relative to the ambient particles. Compared with nonactivated particles, nitrate intensity decreased in all cloud residues except for dust type. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on in situ observation of the chemical composition and mixing state of individual cloud residue particles in China.

  10. Seasonal and Local Characteristics of Lightning Outages of Power Distribution Lines in Hokuriku Area (United States)

    Sugimoto, Hitoshi; Shimasaki, Katsuhiko

    The proportion of the lightning outages in all outages on Japanese 6.6kV distribution lines is high with approximately 20 percent, and then lightning protections are very important for supply reliability of 6.6kV lines. It is effective for the lightning performance to apply countermeasures in order of the area where a large number of the lightning outages occur. Winter lightning occurs in Hokuriku area, therefore it is also important to understand the seasonal characteristics of the lightning outages. In summer 70 percent of the lightning outages on distribution lines in Hokuriku area were due to sparkover, such as power wire breakings and failures of pole-mounted transformers. However, in winter almost half of lightning-damaged equipments were surge arrester failures. The number of the lightning outages per lightning strokes detected by the lightning location system (LLS) in winter was 4.4 times larger than that in summer. The authors have presumed the occurrence of lightning outages from lightning stroke density, 50% value of lightning current and installation rate of lightning protection equipments and overhead ground wire by multiple regression analysis. The presumed results suggest the local difference in the lightning outages.

  11. Exploring the relationship between a ground-based network and airborne CCN spectra observed at the cloud level (United States)

    Corrigan, C.; Roberts, G. C.; Ritchie, J.; Creamean, J.; White, A. B.


    Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are aerosol particles that participate in the formation of clouds, and consequently, play a significant role in the influence of anthropogenic aerosols on atmospheric processes and climate change. Ultimately, the CCN of the most interest occupy the part of the atmosphere where cloud processes are occurring. A question arises as to whether in-cloud CCN are properly represented by the measurements of CCN at the ground level. While different locations may result in different answers depending upon local meteorology, the data set collected during CalWater 2011 may allow us to answer to what degree the ground-based observations of CCN are sufficient for evaluating cloud micro-physics over California's Central Valley and the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. During CalWater 2011, ground observations were performed at three different altitudes to assess the evolution of cloud-active aerosols as they were transported from sources in California's Central Valley to the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. CCN spectra were collected over a supersaturation range of 0.08 to 0.80%. Results from these data sets show a diurnal cycle with aerosol concentrations increasing during the afternoon and retreating during the night. In addition, a CCN instrument was placed aboard aircraft for several flights and was able to collect vertical profiles that encompassed the altitudes of the ground sites. The flight data shows a large drop in CCN concentration above the boundary layer and suggests the highest altitude ground site at China Wall ( 1540 masl)was sometimes above the Central Valley boundary layer. By using estimates of boundary layer heights over the mid-altitude site at Sugar Pine Dam (1060 masl), the events when the China Wall site is near or above the boundary layer are identified. During these events, the CCN measurements at China Wall best represent in-cloud CCN behavior. The results of this analysis may be applied towards a

  12. Photonuclear reactions triggered by lightning discharge. (United States)

    Enoto, Teruaki; Wada, Yuuki; Furuta, Yoshihiro; Nakazawa, Kazuhiro; Yuasa, Takayuki; Okuda, Kazufumi; Makishima, Kazuo; Sato, Mitsuteru; Sato, Yousuke; Nakano, Toshio; Umemoto, Daigo; Tsuchiya, Harufumi


    Lightning and thunderclouds are natural particle accelerators. Avalanches of relativistic runaway electrons, which develop in electric fields within thunderclouds, emit bremsstrahlung γ-rays. These γ-rays have been detected by ground-based observatories, by airborne detectors and as terrestrial γ-ray flashes from space. The energy of the γ-rays is sufficiently high that they can trigger atmospheric photonuclear reactions that produce neutrons and eventually positrons via β + decay of the unstable radioactive isotopes, most notably 13 N, which is generated via 14 N + γ →  13 N + n, where γ denotes a photon and n a neutron. However, this reaction has hitherto not been observed conclusively, despite increasing observational evidence of neutrons and positrons that are presumably derived from such reactions. Here we report ground-based observations of neutron and positron signals after lightning. During a thunderstorm on 6 February 2017 in Japan, a γ-ray flash with a duration of less than one millisecond was detected at our monitoring sites 0.5-1.7 kilometres away from the lightning. The subsequent γ-ray afterglow subsided quickly, with an exponential decay constant of 40-60 milliseconds, and was followed by prolonged line emission at about 0.511 megaelectronvolts, which lasted for a minute. The observed decay timescale and spectral cutoff at about 10 megaelectronvolts of the γ-ray afterglow are well explained by de-excitation γ-rays from nuclei excited by neutron capture. The centre energy of the prolonged line emission corresponds to electron-positron annihilation, providing conclusive evidence of positrons being produced after the lightning.

  13. The Potential Impact of Satellite-Retrieved Cloud Parameters on Ground-Level PM2.5 Mass and Composition (United States)

    Belle, Jessica H.; Chang, Howard H.; Wang, Yujie; Hu, Xuefei; Lyapustin, Alexei; Liu, Yang


    Satellite-retrieved aerosol optical properties have been extensively used to estimate ground-level fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in support of air pollution health effects research and air quality assessment at the urban to global scales. However, a large proportion, approximately 70%, of satellite observations of aerosols are missing as a result of cloud-cover, surface brightness, and snow-cover. The resulting PM2.5 estimates could therefore be biased due to this non-random data missingness. Cloud-cover in particular has the potential to impact ground-level PM2.5 concentrations through complex chemical and physical processes. We developed a series of statistical models using the Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC) aerosol product at 1 km resolution with information from the MODIS cloud product and meteorological information to investigate the extent to which cloud parameters and associated meteorological conditions impact ground-level aerosols at two urban sites in the US: Atlanta and San Francisco. We find that changes in temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, planetary boundary layer height, convective available potential energy, precipitation, cloud effective radius, cloud optical depth, and cloud emissivity are associated with changes in PM2.5 concentration and composition, and the changes differ by overpass time and cloud phase as well as between the San Francisco and Atlanta sites. A case-study at the San Francisco site confirmed that accounting for cloud-cover and associated meteorological conditions could substantially alter the spatial distribution of monthly ground-level PM2.5 concentrations.

  14. The Potential Impact of Satellite-Retrieved Cloud Parameters on Ground-Level PM2.5 Mass and Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica H. Belle


    Full Text Available Satellite-retrieved aerosol optical properties have been extensively used to estimate ground-level fine particulate matter (PM2.5 concentrations in support of air pollution health effects research and air quality assessment at the urban to global scales. However, a large proportion, ~70%, of satellite observations of aerosols are missing as a result of cloud-cover, surface brightness, and snow-cover. The resulting PM2.5 estimates could therefore be biased due to this non-random data missingness. Cloud-cover in particular has the potential to impact ground-level PM2.5 concentrations through complex chemical and physical processes. We developed a series of statistical models using the Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC aerosol product at 1 km resolution with information from the MODIS cloud product and meteorological information to investigate the extent to which cloud parameters and associated meteorological conditions impact ground-level aerosols at two urban sites in the US: Atlanta and San Francisco. We find that changes in temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, planetary boundary layer height, convective available potential energy, precipitation, cloud effective radius, cloud optical depth, and cloud emissivity are associated with changes in PM2.5 concentration and composition, and the changes differ by overpass time and cloud phase as well as between the San Francisco and Atlanta sites. A case-study at the San Francisco site confirmed that accounting for cloud-cover and associated meteorological conditions could substantially alter the spatial distribution of monthly ground-level PM2.5 concentrations.

  15. SAETTA: high resolution 3D mapping of the lightning activity around Corsica Island (United States)

    Coquillat, Sylvain; Defer, Eric; Lambert, Dominique; Pinty, Jean-Pierre; Pont, Véronique; Prieur, Serge


    In the frame of the French atmospheric observatory CORSiCA (, a total lightning activity detection system called SAETTA (Suivi de l'Activité Electrique Tridimensionnelle Totale de l'Atmosphère) has been deployed in Corsica Island in order to strengthen the potential of observation of convective events causing heavy rainfall and flash floods in the West Mediterranean basin. SAETTA is a network of 12 LMA stations (Lightning Mapping Array) developed by New Mexico Tech (USA). The instrument allows observing lightning flashes in 3D and real time, at high temporal (80 µs) and spatial resolutions. It detects the radiations emitted by cloud discharges in the 60-66 MHz band, in a radius of about 350 km from the centre of the network, in passive mode and standalone (solar panel and batteries). Initially deployed in May 2014, SAETTA operated from July 13 to October 20 in 2014 and from April 19 to December 1st in 2015. It is now in permanent operation since 16 April 2016. Many high quality observations have been performed so far that provide an accurate location in space and time of the convective events. They also bring interesting dynamical and microphysical features of those events. For example the intensity of the convective surges, the transport of charged ice particles in the stratiform area of the thunderclouds can be deduced from SAETTA observations. Specific events have also been detected as well: bolts-from-the-blue, inter cloud discharges, high level discharges in convective but also in stratiform areas, inverted dipoles. The specific lightning patterns of 2015 illustrate the complex influence of the relief, probably via slope and valley winds over Corsica and via induced lee-side convergences over the sea. SAETTA is expected to operate for at least a decade over Corsica so it will participate to the calibration/validation of upcoming lightning detectors from space such as MTG-LI. It will also be a key instrument during the field

  16. Lightning-produced Carbon Species in the Atmosphere of Saturn (United States)

    Delitsky, Mona; Baines, K. H.


    Recent studies by Baines et al (2009) indicate that thunderstorm-associated clouds on Saturn are spectrally dark from 0.7 to 4 um, darker than regular clouds. This darkening is found to be consistent with the presence of particles of elemental carbon, such as in the form of soot particles mixed in with spectrally bright condensates. This carbon is thought to be generated by lightning-induced dissociation of methane. Lightning on Saturn will input large amounts of energy to a narrow column of atmosphere and generate products at high energies such as radicals and ions. After the column cools down, the new chemical species recombine and are frozen into a new chemical equilibrium. Experimental studies in the literature of reactions of methane and other gases in plasma discharges (which simulate lightning) indicate that, even with high ratios of hydrogen/methane, the elemental carbon obtained will form solid dark particles that persist and have a very high C/H ratio. Basically, they are mostly pure carbon, in the form of soot, amorphous carbon, graphite, graphene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon black, carbon onions, etc. Hydrogen will act as a sealant onto the particles and attach to dangling bonds on their growing surfaces. Even in experiments to form the most crystalline allotrope of carbon, that is, diamond, the presence of hydrogen does not inhibit diamond formation, even at the low pressures in the atmospheres of the Jovian planets or in the interstellar medium (Allamandola et al 1991). Therefore, some form of elemental carbon is likely produced in Saturnian storm clouds and may occur as dark particles of either amorphous carbon, PAHs or crystalline carbon in a form such as graphite. ..Refs: Baines et al., PSS 57, 1650-1658 (2009) ; Allamandola et al., Meteoritics 26, 313 (1991).

  17. Can High-resolution WRF Simulations Be Used for Short-term Forecasting of Lightning? (United States)

    Goodman, S. J.; Lapenta, W.; McCaul, E. W., Jr.; LaCasse, K.; Petersen, W.


    A number of research teams have begun to make quasi-operational forecast simulations at high resolution with models such as the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. These model runs have used horizontal meshes of 2-4 km grid spacing, and thus resolved convective storms explicitly. In the light of recent global satellite-based observational studies that reveal robust relationships between total lightning flash rates and integrated amounts of precipitation-size ice hydrometeors in storms, it is natural to inquire about the capabilities of these convection-resolving models in representing the ice hydrometeor fields faithfully. If they do, this might make operational short-term forecasts of lightning activity feasible. We examine high-resolution WRF simulations from several Southeastern cases for which either NLDN or LMA lightning data were available. All the WRF runs use a standard microphysics package that depicts only three ice species, cloud ice, snow and graupel. The realism of the WRF simulations is examined by comparisons with both lightning and radar observations and with additional even higher-resolution cloud-resolving model runs. Preliminary findings are encouraging in that they suggest that WRF often makes convective storms of the proper size in approximately the right location, but they also indicate that higher resolution and better hydrometeor microphysics would be helpful in improving the realism of the updraft strengths, reflectivity and ice hydrometeor fields.

  18. Quantifying the impact of cloud cover on ground radiation flux measurements using hemispherical images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roupioz, L.; Colin, J.; Jia, L.; Nerry, F.; Menenti, M.


    Linking observed or estimated ground incoming solar radiation with cloud coverage is difficult since the latter is usually poorly described in standard meteorological observation protocols. To investigate the benefits of detailed observation and characterization of cloud coverage and

  19. 18th international conference on lightning protection ICLP '85. Conference proceedings. 18. internationale Blitzschutzkonferenz ICLP '85. Conference Proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    The proceedings contain all conference papers on the following main topics: 1) Research on thunderstorm and lightning (12 papers); 2) striking mechanism (6 papers); 3) lightning down conductors and grounding (10 papers); 4) electromagnetic lightning impulse (LEMP) and induction effects (9 papers); 5) protection of electronic systems and devices (16 papers); 6) life hazard due to lightning (9 papers).

  20. Lightning rod ionizing natural ionca - Ionic electrode active trimetallictriac of grounding - Definitive and total solution against 'blackouts' and electrical faults generated by atmospheric charges (lightning)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cabareda, Luis


    The Natural Ionizing System of Electrical Protection conformed by: Lightning Rod Ionizing Natural Ionca and Ionic Electrode Active Trimetallic Triac of Grounding offers Total Protection, Maximum Security and Zero Risk to Clinics, Hospitals, Integral Diagnostic Center, avoiding ''the burning'' of Electronics Cards; Refineries, Tanks and Stations of Fuel Provision; Electrical Substations, Towers and Transmission Lines with transformer protection, motors, elevators, A/C, mechanicals stairs, portable and cooling equipment, electrical plants, others. This New High Technology is the solution to the paradigm of Benjamin Franklin and it's the mechanism to end the 'Blackouts' that produces so many damages and losses throughout the world.

  1. Sao Paulo Lightning Mapping Array (SP-LMA): Deployment and Plans (United States)

    Bailey, J. C.; Carey, L. D.; Blakeslee, R. J.; Albrecht, R.; Morales, C. A.; Pinto, O., Jr.


    An 8-10 station Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network is being deployed in the vicinity of Sao Paulo to create the SP-LMA for total lightning measurements in association with the international CHUVA [Cloud processes of tHe main precipitation systems in Brazil: A contribUtion to cloud resolVing modeling and to the GPM (GlobAl Precipitation Measurement)] field campaign. Besides supporting CHUVA science/mission objectives and the Sao Luz Paraitinga intensive operation period (IOP) in December 2011-January 2012, the SP-LMA will support the generation of unique proxy data for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), both sensors on the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R), presently under development and scheduled for a 2015 launch. The proxy data will be used to develop and validate operational algorithms so that they will be ready for use on "day1" following the launch of GOES-R. A preliminary survey of potential sites in the vicinity of Sao Paulo was conducted in December 2009 and January 2010, followed up by a detailed survey in July 2010, with initial network deployment scheduled for October 2010. However, due to a delay in the Sa Luz Paraitinga IOP, the SP-LMA will now be installed in July 2011 and operated for one year. Spacing between stations is on the order of 15-30 km, with the network "diameter" being on the order of 30-40 km, which provides good 3-D lightning mapping 150 km from the network center. Optionally, 1-3 additional stations may be deployed in the vicinity of Sa Jos dos Campos.

  2. Lightning protection scheme for the CPRF/ZTH system complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konkel, H.


    This paper describes some of the background in the design and the lightning protection and grounding scheme recommended for the CPRF/ZTH system at the Los Alamos Laboratory. Standard power industry practices were applied to minimize the effect on both the system and personnel of a high magnitude, direct lightning discharge in the CPRF/ZTH area. The recommended scheme is in compliance with existing local and national electric and safety codes. 7 refs., 3 figs

  3. Long-term impacts of aerosols on precipitation and lightning over the Pearl River Delta megacity area in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Wang


    Full Text Available Seven-year measurements of precipitation, lightning flashes, and visibility from 2000 to 2006 have been analyzed in the Pearl River Delta (PRD region, China, with a focus on the Guangzhou megacity area. Statistical analysis shows that the occurrence of heavy rainfall (>25 mm per day and frequency of lightning strikes are reversely correlated to visibility during this period. To elucidate the effects of aerosols on cloud processes, precipitation, and lightning activity, a cloud resolving – Weather Research and Forecasting (CR-WRF model with a two-moment bulk microphysical scheme is employed to simulate a mesoscale convective system occurring on 28 Match 2009 in the Guangzhou megacity area. The model predicted evolutions of composite radar reflectivity and accumulated precipitation are in agreement with measurements from S-band weather radars and automatic gauge stations. The calculated lightning potential index (LPI exhibits temporal and spatial consistence with lightning flashes recorded by a local lightning detection network. Sensitivity experiments have been performed to reflect aerosol conditions representative of polluted and clean cases. The simulations suggest that precipitation and LPI are enhanced by about 16% and 50%, respectively, under the polluted aerosol condition. Our results suggest that elevated aerosol loading suppresses light and moderate precipitation (less than 25 mm per day, but enhances heavy precipitation. The responses of hydrometeors and latent heat release to different aerosol loadings reveal the physical mechanism for the precipitation and lightning enhancement in the Guangzhou megacity area, showing more efficient mixed phase processes and intensified convection under the polluted aerosol condition.

  4. The VLF fingerprint of elves: Step-like and long-recovery early VLF perturbations caused by powerful ±CG lightning EM pulses (United States)

    Haldoupis, Christos; Cohen, Morris; Arnone, Enrico; Cotts, Benjamin; Dietrich, Stefano


    Subionospheric VLF recordings are investigated in relation with intense cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data. Lightning impacts the lower ionosphere via heating and ionization changes which produce VLF signal perturbations known as early VLF events. Typically, early events recover in about 100 s, but a small subclass does not recover for many minutes, known as long-recovery early events (LORE). In this study, we identify LORE as a distinct category of early VLF events, whose signature may occur either on its own or alongside the short-lived typical early VLF event. Since LORE onsets coincide with powerful lightning strokes of either polarity (±), we infer that they are due to long-lasting ionization changes in the uppermost D region ionosphere caused by electromagnetic pulses emitted by strong ± CG lightning peak currents of typically > 250 kA, which are also known to generate elves. The LORE perturbations are detected when the discharge is located within ~250 km from the great circle path of a VLF transmitter-receiver link. The probability of occurrence increases with stroke intensity and approaches unity for discharges with peak currents ≥ ~300 kA. LOREs are nighttime phenomena that occur preferentially, at least in the present regional data set, during winter when strong ± CG discharges are more frequent and intense. The evidence suggests LORE as a distinct signature representing the VLF fingerprint of elves, a fact which, although was predicted by theory, it escaped identification in the long-going VLF research of lightning effects in the lower ionosphere.

  5. Developing Lightning Prediction Tools for the CCAFS Dual-Polarimetric Radar (United States)

    Petersen, W. A.; Carey, L. D.; Deierling, W.; Johnson, E.; Bateman, M.


    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of Alabama Huntsville are collaborating with the 45th Weather Squadron (45WS) to develop improved lightning prediction capabilities for the new C-band dual-polarimetric weather radar being acquired for use by 45WS and launch weather forecasters at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). In particular, these algorithms will focus on lightning onset, cessation and combined lightning-radar applications for convective winds assessment. Research using radar reflectivity (Z) data for prediction of lightning onset has been extensively discussed in the literature and subsequently applied by launch weather forecasters as it pertains to lightning nowcasting. Currently the forecasters apply a relatively straight forward but effective temperature-Z threshold algorithm for assessing the likelihood of lightning onset in a given storm. In addition, a layered VIL above the freezing level product is used as automated guidance for the onset of lightning. Only limited research and field work has been conducted on lightning cessation using Z and vertically-integrated Z for determining cessation. Though not used operationally vertically-integrated Z (basis for VIL) has recently shown promise as a tool for use in nowcasting lightning cessation. The work discussed herein leverages and expands upon these and similar reflectivity-threshold approaches via the application/addition of over two decades of polarimetric radar research focused on distinct multi-parameter radar signatures of ice/mixed-phase initiation and ice-crystal orientation in highly electrified convective clouds. Specifically, our approach is based on numerous previous studies that have observed repeatable patterns in the behavior of the vertical hydrometeor column as it relates to the temporal evolution of differential reflectivity and depolarization (manifested in either LDR or p(sub hv)), development of in-situ mixed and ice phase microphysics, electric fields, and

  6. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets (United States)

    Rimmer, Paul; Ardaseva, Aleksandra; Hodosan, Gabriella; Helling, Christiane


    Miller and Urey performed a ground-breaking experiment, in which they discovered that electric discharges through a low redox ratio gas of methane, ammonia, water vapor and hydrogen produced a variety of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Since this experiment, there has been significant interest on the connection between lightning chemistry and the origin of life. Investigation into the atmosphere of the Early Earth has generated a serious challenge for this project, as it has been determined both that Earth's early atmosphere was likely dominated by carbon dioxide and molecular nitrogen with only small amounts of hydrogen, having a very high redox ratio, and that discharges in gases with high redox ratios fail to yield more than trace amounts of biologically relevant products. This challenge has motivated several origin of life researchers to abandon lightning chemistry, and to concentrate on other pathways for prebiotic synthesis. The discovery of over 2000 exoplanets includes a handful of rocky planets within the habitable zones around their host stars. These planets can be viewed as remote laboratories in which efficient lightning driven prebiotic synthesis may take place. This is because many of these rocky exoplanets, called super-Earths, have masses significantly greater than that of Earth. This higher mass would allow them to more retain greater amounts hydrogen within their atmosphere, reducing the redox ratio. Discharges in super-Earth atmospheres can therefore result in a significant yield of amino acids. In this talk, I will discuss new work on what lightning might look like on exoplanets, and on lightning driven chemistry on super-Earths. Using a chemical kinetics model for a super-Earth atmosphere with smaller redox ratios, I will show that in the presence of lightning, the production of the amino acid glycine is enhanced up to a certain point, but with very low redox ratios, the production of glycine is again inhibited. I will conclude

  7. Lightning-based propagation of convective rain fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Dietrich


    Full Text Available This paper describes a new multi-sensor approach for continuously monitoring convective rain cells. It exploits lightning data from surface networks to propagate rain fields estimated from multi-frequency brightness temperature measurements taken by the AMSU/MHS microwave radiometers onboard NOAA/EUMETSAT low Earth orbiting operational satellites. Specifically, the method allows inferring the development (movement, morphology and intensity of convective rain cells from the spatial and temporal distribution of lightning strokes following any observation by a satellite-borne microwave radiometer. Obviously, this is particularly attractive for real-time operational purposes, due to the sporadic nature of the low Earth orbiting satellite measurements and the continuous availability of ground-based lightning measurements – as is the case in most of the Mediterranean region. A preliminary assessment of the lightning-based rainfall propagation algorithm has been successfully made by using two pairs of consecutive AMSU observations, in conjunction with lightning measurements from the ZEUS network, for two convective events. Specifically, we show that the evolving rain fields, which are estimated by applying the algorithm to the satellite-based rainfall estimates for the first AMSU overpass, show an overall agreement with the satellite-based rainfall estimates for the second AMSU overpass.

  8. Two upward lightning at the Eagle Nest tower


    Montañá Puig, Juan; Van der Velde, Oscar Arnoud; Romero Durán, David; March Nomen, Víctor; Solà de Las Fuentes, Gloria; Pineda Ruegg, Nicolau; Soula, Serge; Hermoso Alameda, Blas


    A new instrument composed by a high speed camera, two high energy detectors, a E-field antenna and a VHF antenna were installed at the Eagle Nest tower (northeast of Spain) during summer 2011. With this equipment several lightning flashes to the tower and its vicinity have been observed. This paper presents two examples: the first was an upward negative leader triggered by a close c1oud-to-ground flash and the second was an upward negative flash not associated with previous lightning activity...

  9. A multi-sensor study of the impact of ground-based glaciogenic seeding on orogrpahic clouds and precipitation (United States)

    Pokharel, Binod

    in individual WCR reflectivity transects downwind of the silver iodide (AgI) generators, and that the natural trends in the precipitation over short timescales can easily overwhelm any seeding-induced change. Therefore the ASCII experimental design included a control region, upwind of the AgI generators. The three case studies generally show an increase in surface snow particle concentration in the target region during the seeding period. Frequency-by-altitude displays of all WCR reflectivity data collected during the flights show slightly higher reflectivity values during seeding near the ground, at least when compared to the control region, in all three cases. This also applies to the two other radar systems (MRR and DOW), both with their own sampling strategy and target/control regions. An examination of all ASCII cases combined (the "composite" analysis) also shows a positive trend in low-level reflectivity relative to the control region, both in convective and in stratiform cases. Also, convective cells sampled at flight level downwind of the AgI generators contain a higher concentration of small ice crystals during seeding. A word of caution is warranted: both the magnitude and the sign of the change in the target region, compared to that in the control region, varies from case to case in the composite, and amongst the three radar systems (WCR, DOW and MRR). We speculate that this variation is only partly driven by different responses of orographic clouds to glaciogenic seeding, related to factors such as cloud base and cloud top temperature, cloud liquid water content, and snow growth mechanism. Instead, most of this variation probably relates to non-homogenous natural trends across the mountain range, and/or to sample unrepresentativeness, especially for the (relative small) control region, in other words to the sampling methods. The impact of natural variability and sampling aliasing can only be overcome by a storm sample size much larger than that collected

  10. Backscatter in a cloudy atmosphere as a lightning-threat indicator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kocifaj, Miroslav; Videen, Gorden; Klačka, Jozef


    We present a remote-sensing method for identifying electrically charged droplets in clouds. Our methodology utilizes the electromagnetic (EM) radiation backscattered by the cloud at multiple wavelengths. In general, the backscatter from collections of charged and neutral particles differs in Rayleigh regime. While a uniformly charged sphere can resonate with an incident EM radiation depending on electrostatic potential at the particle surface, the scatter by a neutral particle is governed by the Lorenz–Mie theory, thus resulting in different surface excitations. The effects of electric charges and other microphysical parameters on the electromagnetic interactions with particles are not easily separable. Because the spectral profile of the dielectric function for liquid water (or alternatively icy grains) is known, retrieval of net charges are possible based on the optical behavior of the backscattered EM signals. Such information can be used to determine charge build-up in the atmosphere, which is a condition for lightning. A basic configuration of a measuring system for lightning threats is discussed and described schematically. - Highlights: • Electrically charged and neutral particles scatter in a different way. • Net surface charge on spherical particles is a modulator of backscatter signal. • Radar echoes are source of information on electrically charged droplets. • Remote-sensing method can be used to identify increased chance of lightning

  11. Reconciling Ground-Based and Space-Based Estimates of the Frequency of Occurrence and Radiative Effect of Clouds around Darwin, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Protat, Alain; Young, Stuart; McFarlane, Sally A.; L' Ecuyer, Tristan; Mace, Gerald G.; Comstock, Jennifer M.; Long, Charles N.; Berry, Elizabeth; Delanoe, Julien


    The objective of this paper is to investigate whether estimates of the cloud frequency of occurrence and associated cloud radiative forcing as derived from ground-based and satellite active remote sensing and radiative transfer calculations can be reconciled over a well instrumented active remote sensing site located in Darwin, Australia, despite the very different viewing geometry and instrument characteristics. It is found that the ground-based radar-lidar combination at Darwin does not detect most of the cirrus clouds above 10 km (due to limited lidar detection capability and signal obscuration by low-level clouds) and that the CloudSat radar - Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) combination underreports the hydrometeor frequency of occurrence below 2 km height, due to instrument limitations at these heights. The radiative impact associated with these differences in cloud frequency of occurrence is large on the surface downwelling shortwave fluxes (ground and satellite) and the top-of atmosphere upwelling shortwave and longwave fluxes (ground). Good agreement is found for other radiative fluxes. Large differences in radiative heating rate as derived from ground and satellite radar-lidar instruments and RT calculations are also found above 10 km (up to 0.35 Kday-1 for the shortwave and 0.8 Kday-1 for the longwave). Given that the ground-based and satellite estimates of cloud frequency of occurrence and radiative impact cannot be fully reconciled over Darwin, caution should be exercised when evaluating the representation of clouds and cloud-radiation interactions in large-scale models and limitations of each set of instrumentation should be considered when interpreting model-observations differences.

  12. Fully Convolutional Networks for Ground Classification from LIDAR Point Clouds (United States)

    Rizaldy, A.; Persello, C.; Gevaert, C. M.; Oude Elberink, S. J.


    Deep Learning has been massively used for image classification in recent years. The use of deep learning for ground classification from LIDAR point clouds has also been recently studied. However, point clouds need to be converted into an image in order to use Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). In state-of-the-art techniques, this conversion is slow because each point is converted into a separate image. This approach leads to highly redundant computation during conversion and classification. The goal of this study is to design a more efficient data conversion and ground classification. This goal is achieved by first converting the whole point cloud into a single image. The classification is then performed by a Fully Convolutional Network (FCN), a modified version of CNN designed for pixel-wise image classification. The proposed method is significantly faster than state-of-the-art techniques. On the ISPRS Filter Test dataset, it is 78 times faster for conversion and 16 times faster for classification. Our experimental analysis on the same dataset shows that the proposed method results in 5.22 % of total error, 4.10 % of type I error, and 15.07 % of type II error. Compared to the previous CNN-based technique and LAStools software, the proposed method reduces the total error and type I error (while type II error is slightly higher). The method was also tested on a very high point density LIDAR point clouds resulting in 4.02 % of total error, 2.15 % of type I error and 6.14 % of type II error.

  13. Assessment of Lightning Shielding Performance of a 400 kV Double-Circuit Fully Composite Pylon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jahangirl, Tohid; Bak, Claus Leth; Silva, Filipe Miguel Faria da


    of diagonal and differs from other widely used configurations in overhead transmission lines i.e. horizontal, delta and vertical configurations. On the other hand, unlike traditional steel lattice towers, the pylon removes access to ground potential due to its non-conductive materials and therefore......, the lightning shielding of pylon requires a ground potential access to shield wires which can be achieved by utilizing ground cable inside the hollow cross-arm and pylon body. However, efficient assigning of lightning shielding system for the fully composite pylon is one of the major challenges...

  14. Nearshore regional behavior of lightning interaction with wind turbines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert A. Malinga


    Full Text Available The severity of lightning strikes on offshore wind turbines built along coastal and nearshore regions can pose safety concerns that are often overlooked. In this research study the behavior of electrical discharges for wind turbines that might be located in the nearshore regions along the East Coast of China and Sea of Japan were characterized using a physics-based model that accounted for a total of eleven different geometrical and lightning parameters. Utilizing the electrical potential field predicted using this model it was then possible to estimate the frequency of lightning strikes and the distribution of electrical loads utilizing established semi-empirical relationships and available data. The total number of annual lightning strikes on an offshore wind turbine was found to vary with hub elevation, extent of cloud cover, season and geographical location. The annual lightning strike rate on a wind turbine along the nearshore region on the Sea of Japan during the winter season was shown to be moderately larger compared to the lightning strike frequency on a turbine structure on the East Coast of China. Short duration electrical discharges, represented using marginal probability functions, were found to vary with season and geographical location, exhibiting trends consistent with the distribution of the electrical peak current. It was demonstrated that electrical discharges of moderately long duration typically occur in the winter months on the East Coast of China and the summer season along the Sea of Japan. In contrast, severe electrical discharges are typical of summer thunderstorms on the East Coast of China and winter frontal storm systems along the West Coast of Japan. The electrical charge and specific energy dissipated during lightning discharges on an offshore wind turbine was found to vary stochastically, with severe electrical discharges corresponding to large electrical currents of long duration.

  15. Nonlinear FDTD Analysis of Lightning-Generated Sferics (United States)

    Erdman, A.; Moore, R. C.


    Lightning strikes are extremely powerful natural events producing wideband electromagnetic waves. The EMP radiation and quasi-electrostatic field changes from powerful lightning discharges are capable of directly heating and ionizing the lower ionosphere. These changes to the electrical parameters of the lower ionosphere in turn modify the way different components of the wideband sferic propagate through and reflect from the lower ionosphere. Here we present the results of a new FDTD model that utilizes a 2D cylindrically symmetric grid with second-order accurate centered-difference differentials to evaluate a large number of chemical reactions pertinent to the D-region in order to update the electron density and conductivity every iteration. Using this model, we are able to evaluate the impact of lightning strikes of varying magnitude and analyze the role of ionospheric self-action in changing in the sferic waveform observed on the ground.

  16. D region disturbances caused by electromagnetic pulses from lightning (United States)

    Rodriguez, Juan V.; Inan, Umran S.; Bell, Timothy F.


    Attention is given to a simple formulation of the propagation and absorption in a magnetized collisional plasma of EM pulses from lightning which describes the effect of discharge orientation and radiated electric field on the structure and magnitude of heating and secondary ionization in the D region. Radiation from most lightning discharges can heat substantially, but only the most intense (not less than 20 V/m) are likely to cause ionization enhancements not less than 10 percent of the ambient in a single ionization cycle. This dependence on the radiated electric field is modified by the discharge radiation pattern: a horizontal cloud discharge tends to cause larger heating and ionizaton maxima while a vertical return stroke causes disturbances of a larger horizontal extent.

  17. Lightning Return Stroke Current Analysis Using Electromagnetic Models and the 3D-FDTD Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaddour Arzag


    Full Text Available The three dimensions finite difference time domain method (3D-FDTD is employed to calculate lightning return stoke current distributions in a vertical lightning channel. The latter is excited at its bottom by a lumped current source above a flat perfectly conducting ground. In this study four lightning return stroke electromagnetic models are used. The calculating approach, which is based on Taflove formulation of the 3D-FDTD method combined to the UPML boundary conditions, is implemented on Matlab environment. For validation needs, the obtained lightning return stroke space and time distributions are compared with others taken from specialized literature.

  18. Lightning NOx influence on large-scale NOy and O3 plumes observed over the northern mid-latitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Gressent


    Full Text Available This paper describes the NOy plumes originating from lightning emissions based on 4 yr (2001–2005 of MOZAIC measurements in the upper troposphere of the northern mid-latitudes, together with ground- and space-based observations of lightning flashes and clouds. This analysis is primarily for the North Atlantic region where the MOZAIC flights are the most frequent and for which the measurements are well representative in space and time. The study investigates the influence of lightning NOx (LNOx emissions on large-scale (300–2000 km plumes (LSPs of NOy. One hundred and twenty seven LSPs (6% of the total MOZAIC NOy dataset have been attributed to LNOx emissions. Most of these LSPs were recorded over North America and the Atlantic mainly in spring and summer during the maximum lightning activity occurrence. The majority of the LSPs (74% is related to warm conveyor belts and extra-tropical cyclones originating from North America and entering the intercontinental transport pathway between North America and Europe, leading to a negative (positive west to east NOy (O3 zonal gradient with −0.4 (+18 ppbv difference during spring and −0.6 (+14 ppbv difference in summer. The NOy zonal gradient can correspond to the mixing of the plume with the background air. On the other hand, the O3 gradient is associated with both mixing of background air and with photochemical production during transport. Such transatlantic LSPs may have a potential impact on the European pollution. The remaining sampled LSPs are related to mesoscale convection over Western Europe and the Mediterranean Sea (18% and to tropical convection (8%.

  19. Oceanic Storm Characteristics off the Kennedy Space Center Coast (United States)

    Wilson, J. G.; Simpson, A. A.; Cummins, K. L.; Kiriazes, J. J.; Brown, R. G.; Mata, C. T.


    Natural cloud-to-ground lightning may behave differently depending on the characteristics of the attachment mediums, including the peak current (inferred from radiation fields) and the number of ground strike locations per flash. Existing literature has raised questions over the years on these characteristics of lightning over oceans, and the behaviors are not yet well understood. To investigate this we will obtain identical electric field observations over adjacent land and ocean regions during both clear air and thunderstorm periods. Oceanic observations will be obtained using a 3-meter NOAA buoy that has been instrumented with a Campbell Scientific electric field mill and New Mexico Techs slow antenna, to measure the electric fields aloft. We are currently obtaining measurements from this system on-shore at the Florida coast, to calibrate and better understand the behavior of the system in elevated-field environments. Sometime during winter 2013, this system will be moored 20NM off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center. Measurements from this system will be compared to the existing on-shore electric field mill suite of 31 sensors and a coastal slow antenna. Supporting observations will be provided by New Mexico Techs Lightning Mapping Array, the Eastern Range Cloud to Ground Lightning Surveillance System, and the National Lightning Detection Network. An existing network of high-speed cameras will be used to capture cloud-to-ground lightning strikes over the terrain regions to identify a valid data set for analysis. This on-going project will demonstrate the value of off-shore electric field measurements for safety-related decision making at KSC, and may improve our understanding of relative lightning risk to objects on the ground vs. ocean. This presentation will provide an overview of this new instrumentation, and a summary of our progress to date.

  20. Comparison of monthly nighttime cloud fraction products from MODIS and AIRS and ground-based camera over Manila Observatory (14.64N, 121.07E) (United States)

    Gacal, G. F. B.; Lagrosas, N.


    Cloud detection nowadays is primarily achieved by the utilization of various sensors aboard satellites. These include MODIS Aqua, MODIS Terra, and AIRS with products that include nighttime cloud fraction. Ground-based instruments are, however, only secondary to these satellites when it comes to cloud detection. Nonetheless, these ground-based instruments (e.g., LIDARs, ceilometers, and sky-cameras) offer significant datasets about a particular region's cloud cover values. For nighttime operations of cloud detection instruments, satellite-based instruments are more reliably and prominently used than ground-based ones. Therefore if a ground-based instrument for nighttime operations is operated, it ought to produce reliable scientific datasets. The objective of this study is to do a comparison between the results of a nighttime ground-based instrument (sky-camera) and that of MODIS Aqua and MODIS Terra. A Canon Powershot A2300 is placed ontop of Manila Observatory (14.64N, 121.07E) and is configured to take images of the night sky at 5min intervals. To detect pixels with clouds, the pictures are converted to grayscale format. Thresholding technique is used to screen pixels with cloud and pixels without clouds. If the pixel value is greater than 17, it is considered as a cloud; otherwise, a noncloud (Gacal et al., 2016). This algorithm is applied to the data gathered from Oct 2015 to Oct 2016. A scatter plot between satellite cloud fraction in the area covering the area 14.2877N, 120.9869E, 14.7711N and 121.4539E and ground cloud cover is graphed to find the monthly correlation. During wet season (June - November), the satellite nighttime cloud fraction vs ground measured cloud cover produce an acceptable R2 (Aqua= 0.74, Terra= 0.71, AIRS= 0.76). However, during dry season, poor R2 values are obtained (AIRS= 0.39, Aqua & Terra = 0.01). The high correlation during wet season can be attributed to a high probability that the camera and satellite see the same clouds


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rizaldy


    Full Text Available Deep Learning has been massively used for image classification in recent years. The use of deep learning for ground classification from LIDAR point clouds has also been recently studied. However, point clouds need to be converted into an image in order to use Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs. In state-of-the-art techniques, this conversion is slow because each point is converted into a separate image. This approach leads to highly redundant computation during conversion and classification. The goal of this study is to design a more efficient data conversion and ground classification. This goal is achieved by first converting the whole point cloud into a single image. The classification is then performed by a Fully Convolutional Network (FCN, a modified version of CNN designed for pixel-wise image classification. The proposed method is significantly faster than state-of-the-art techniques. On the ISPRS Filter Test dataset, it is 78 times faster for conversion and 16 times faster for classification. Our experimental analysis on the same dataset shows that the proposed method results in 5.22 % of total error, 4.10 % of type I error, and 15.07 % of type II error. Compared to the previous CNN-based technique and LAStools software, the proposed method reduces the total error and type I error (while type II error is slightly higher. The method was also tested on a very high point density LIDAR point clouds resulting in 4.02 % of total error, 2.15 % of type I error and 6.14 % of type II error.

  2. Storm and cloud dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Cotton, William R


    This book focuses on the dynamics of clouds and of precipitating mesoscale meteorological systems. Clouds and precipitating mesoscale systems represent some of the most important and scientifically exciting weather systems in the world. These are the systems that produce torrential rains, severe winds including downburst and tornadoes, hail, thunder and lightning, and major snow storms. Forecasting such storms represents a major challenge since they are too small to be adequately resolved by conventional observing networks and numerical prediction models.Key Features* Key Highlight

  3. LOFAR lightning imaging : mapping lightning with nanosecond precision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hare, B.M.; Scholten, O.; Bonardi, A.; Buitink, S.; Corstanje, A.; Ebert, U.; Falcke, H.; Hörandel, J.R.; Leijnse, H.; Mitra, P.; Mulrey, K.; Nelles, A.; Rachen, J. P.; Rossetto, L.; Rutjes, C.; Schellart, P.; Thoudam, S.; Trinh, T.N.G.; ter Veen, S.; Winchen, T.


    Lightning mapping technology has proven instrumental in understanding lightning. In this work we present a pipeline that can use lightning observed by the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) radio telescope to construct a 3-D map of the flash. We show that LOFAR has unparalleled precision, on the order of

  4. Investigation of tropical cirrus cloud properties using ground based lidar measurements (United States)

    Dhaman, Reji K.; Satyanarayana, Malladi; Krishnakumar, V.; Mahadevan Pillai, V. P.; Jayeshlal, G. S.; Raghunath, K.; Venkat Ratnam, M.


    Cirrus clouds play a significant role in the Earths radiation budget. Therefore, knowledge of geometrical and optical properties of cirrus cloud is essential for the climate modeling. In this paper, the cirrus clouds microphysical and optical properties are made by using a ground based lidar measurements over an inland tropical station Gadanki (13.5°N, 79.2°E), Andhra Pradesh, India. The variation of cirrus microphysical and optical properties with mid cloud temperature is also studied. The cirrus clouds mean height is generally observed in the range of 9-17km with a peak occurrence at 13- 14km. The cirrus mid cloud temperature ranges from -81°C to -46°C. The cirrus geometrical thickness ranges from 0.9- 4.5km. During the cirrus occurrence days sub-visual, thin and dense cirrus were at 37.5%, 50% and 12.5% respectively. The monthly cirrus optical depth ranges from 0.01-0.47, but most (<80%) of the cirrus have values less than 0.1. Optical depth shows a strong dependence with cirrus geometrical thickness and mid-cloud height. The monthly mean cirrus extinction ranges from 2.8E-06 to 8E-05 and depolarization ratio and lidar ratio varies from 0.13 to 0.77 and 2 to 52 sr respectively. A positive correlation exists for both optical depth and extinction with the mid-cloud temperature. The lidar ratio shows a scattered behavior with mid-cloud temperature.

  5. Methodology for the assessment of possible damages in low voltage equipment due to lightning surges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuo, Nelson M.; Kagan, Nelson [University of Sao Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil)], Emails:,; Domingues, Ivo T. [AES Eletropaulo, SP (Brazil); Jesus, Nelson C. de [AES Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Silva, Marcelo H.I. da [Grupo Rede, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Takauti, Edson H. [Bandeirante, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)


    This paper deals with the development of a methodology to assess the possibility of equipment damages in low voltage customers due to lightning surges. The main objective is to incorporate this methodology in a computation system that supports distribution companies to determine the possible causes of equipment damages claimed by customers and to decide whether the claims are to be reimbursed or not. The proposed methodology determines whether a specific customer could be affected by a lightning strike according to his/her location and to the lightning main parameters, by using data from a lightning detection system and from the specific equipment surge withstand capability. A specific study using ATP (Alternative Transients Program) was carried out to assess the propagation of lightning surges in electric power distribution systems and their impact over low voltage customers. On the other hand, the withstand capability of the main household appliances was determined by a series of tests carried out in the University's power quality laboratory. The paper details the modeling used for simulation, such as network configuration, grounding points, and modelling of insulator flashover, distribution transformer, low voltage loads. It also presents some results regarding the evaluation of over voltages in low voltage customers installations. A practical method is proposed for assessing the possibility of equipment damage and describes how the existing uncertainties were handled. Also, some issues regarding the withstand capability of electric household appliances to lightning surges are discussed and some results of the laboratory tests are presented. (author)

  6. Ground-based SMART-COMMIT Measurements for Studying Aerosol and Cloud Properties (United States)

    Tsay, Si-Chee


    From radiometric principles, it is expected that the retrieved properties of extensive aerosols and clouds from reflected/emitted measurements by satellite (and/or aircraft) should be consistent with those retrieved from transmitted/emitted radiance observed at the surface. Although space-borne remote sensing observations cover large spatial domain, they are often plagued by contamination of surface signatures. Thus, ground-based in-situ and remote-sensing measurements, where signals come directly from atmospheric constituents, the sun, and/or the Earth-atmosphere interactions, provide additional information content for comparisons that confirm quantitatively the usefulness of the integrated surface, aircraft, and satellite data sets. The development and deployment of SMARTCOMMIT (Surface-sensing Measurements for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer - Chemical, Optical & Microphysical Measurements of In-situ Troposphere) mobile facilities are aimed for the optimal utilization of collocated ground-based observations as constraints to yield higher fidelity satellite retrievals and to determine any sampling bias due to target conditions. To quantify the energetics of the surface-atmosphere system and the atmospheric processes, SMART-COMMIT instruments fall into three categories: flux radiometer, radiance sensor and in-situ probe. In this paper, we will demonstrate the capability of SMART-COMMIT in recent field campaigns (e.g., CRYSTAL-FACE, UAE 2, BASEASIA, NAMMA) that were designed and executed to study the compelling variability in temporal scale of both anthropogenic and natural aerosols (e.g., biomass-burning smoke, airborne dust) and cirrus clouds. We envision robust approaches in which well-collocated ground-based measurements and space-borne observations will greatly advance our knowledge of extensive aerosols and clouds.

  7. Study of the relations between cloud properties and atmospheric conditions using ground-based digital images (United States)

    Bakalova, Kalinka

    The aerosol constituents of the earth atmosphere are of great significance for the radiation budget and global climate of the planet. They are the precursors of clouds that in turn play an essential role in these processes and in the hydrological cycle of the Earth. Understanding the complex aerosol-cloud interactions requires a detailed knowledge of the dynamical processes moving the water vapor through the atmosphere, and of the physical mechanisms involved in the formation and growth of cloud particles. Ground-based observations on regional and short time scale provide valuable detailed information about atmospheric dynamics and cloud properties, and are used as a complementary tool to the global satellite observations. The objective of the present paper is to study the physical properties of clouds as displayed in ground-based visible images, and juxtapose them to the specific surface and atmospheric meteorological conditions. The observations are being carried out over the urban area of the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. The data obtained from visible images of clouds enable a quantitative description of texture and morphological features of clouds such as shape, thickness, motion, etc. These characteristics are related to cloud microphysical properties. The changes of relative humidity and the horizontal visibility are considered to be representative of the variations of the type (natural/manmade) and amount of the atmospheric aerosols near the earth surface, and potentially, the cloud drop number concentration. The atmospheric dynamics is accounted for by means of the values of the atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind velocity, etc., observed at the earth's surface. The advantage of ground-based observations of clouds compared to satellite ones is in the high spatial and temporal resolution of the obtained data about the lowermost cloud layer, which in turn is sensitive to the meteorological regimes that determine cloud formation and evolution. It turns out

  8. Experimental observations of strengthening the neutron flux during negative lightning discharges of thunderclouds with tripolar configuration (United States)

    Toropov, A. A.; Kozlov, V. I.; Mullayarov, V. A.; Starodubtsev, S. A.


    We consider neutron bursts (Yakutsk cosmic ray spectrograph,105 m above sea level) and the electric field during lightning discharges. It was found that the neutron bursts are observed in the negative lightning discharg only. We discuss the possibility of generation of neutrons in the lower part (the point of impact into the ground) lightning discharge.

  9. Electrostatic protection of the solar power satellite and rectenna. Part 2: Lightning protection of the rectenna (United States)


    Computer simulations and laboratory tests were used to evaluate the hazard posed by lightning flashes to ground on the Solar Power Satellite rectenna and to make recommendations on a lightning protection system for the rectenna. The distribution of lightning over the lower 48 of the continental United States was determined, as were the interactions of lightning with the rectenna and the modes in which those interactions could damage the rectenna. Lightning protection was both required and feasible. Several systems of lightning protection were considered and evaluated. These included two systems that employed lightning rods of different lengths and placed on top of the rectenna's billboards and a third, distribution companies; it consists of short lightning rods all along the length of each billboard that are connected by a horizontal wire above the billboard. The distributed lightning protection system afforded greater protection than the other systems considered and was easier to integrate into the rectenna's structural design.

  10. Expanding the Operational Use of Total Lightning Ahead of GOES-R (United States)

    Stano, Geoffrey T.; Wood, Lance; Garner, Tim; Nunez, Roland; Kann, Deirdre; Reynolds, James; Rydell, Nezette; Cox, Rob; Bobb, William R.


    NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) has been transitioning real-time total lightning observations from ground-based lightning mapping arrays since 2003. This initial effort was with the local Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) that could use the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA). These early collaborations established a strong interest in the use of total lightning for WFO operations. In particular the focus started with warning decision support, but has since expanded to include impact-based decision support and lightning safety. SPoRT has used its experience to establish connections with new lightning mapping arrays as they become available. The GOES-R / JPSS Visiting Scientist Program has enabled SPoRT to conduct visits to new partners and expand the number of operational users with access to total lightning observations. In early 2014, SPoRT conducted the most recent visiting scientist trips to meet with forecast offices that will used the Colorado, Houston, and Langmuir Lab (New Mexico) lightning mapping arrays. In addition, SPoRT met with the corresponding Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs) to expand collaborations with the aviation community. These visits were an opportunity to learn about the forecast needs of each office visited as well as to provide on-site training for the use of total lightning, setting the stage for a real-time assessment during May-July 2014. With five lightning mapping arrays covering multiple geographic locations, the 2014 assessment has demonstrated numerous uses of total lightning in varying situations. Several highlights include a much broader use of total lightning for impact-based decision support ranging from airport weather warnings, supporting fire crews, and protecting large outdoor events. The inclusion of the CWSUs has broadened the operational scope of total lightning, demonstrating how these data can support air traffic management, particularly in the Terminal Radar Approach

  11. Microsecond-scale electric field pulses in cloud lightning discharges (United States)

    Villanueva, Y.; Rakov, V. A.; Uman, M. A.; Brook, M.


    From wideband electric field records acquired using a 12-bit digitizing system with a 500-ns sampling interval, microsecond-scale pulses in different stages of cloud flashes in Florida and New Mexico are analyzed. Pulse occurrence statistics and waveshape characteristics are presented. The larger pulses tend to occur early in the flash, confirming the results of Bils et al. (1988) and in contrast with the three-stage representation of cloud-discharge electric fields suggested by Kitagawa and Brook (1960). Possible explanations for the discrepancy are discussed. The tendency for the larger pulses to occur early in the cloud flash suggests that they are related to the initial in-cloud channel formation processes and contradicts the common view found in the atmospheric radio-noise literature that the main sources of VLF/LF electromagnetic radiation in cloud flashes are the K processes which occur in the final, or J type, part of the cloud discharge.

  12. The start of lightning: Evidence of bidirectional lightning initiation


    van der Velde, Oscar; Williams, Earle R.; Montanya, Joan


    Lightning flashes are known to initiate in regions of strong electric fields inside thunderstorms, between layers of positively and negatively charged precipitation particles. For that reason, lightning inception is typically hidden from sight of camera systems used in research. Other technology such as lightning mapping systems based on radio waves can typically detect only some aspects of the lightning initiation process and subsequent development of positive and negative leader...

  13. Scale analysis of convective clouds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micha Gryschka


    Full Text Available The size distribution of cumulus clouds due to shallow and deep convection is analyzed using satellite pictures, LES model results and data from the German rain radar network. The size distributions found can be described by simple power laws as has also been proposed for other cloud data in the literature. As the observed precipitation at ground stations is finally determined by cloud numbers in an area and individual sizes and rain rates of single clouds, the cloud size distributions might be used for developing empirical precipitation forecasts or for validating results from cloud resolving models being introduced to routine weather forecasts.

  14. Grounding of SNS Accelerator Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Holik, Paul S


    Description of site general grounding network. RF grounding network enhancement underneath the klystron gallery building. Grounding network of the Ring Systems with ground breaks in the Ring Tunnel. Grounding and Bonding of R&D accelerator equipment. SNS Building lightning protection.

  15. Information Recovery Algorithm for Ground Objects in Thin Cloud Images by Fusing Guide Filter and Transfer Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HU Gensheng


    Full Text Available Ground object information of remote sensing images covered with thin clouds is obscure. An information recovery algorithm for ground objects in thin cloud images is proposed by fusing guide filter and transfer learning. Firstly, multi-resolution decomposition of thin cloud target images and cloud-free guidance images is performed by using multi-directional nonsubsampled dual-tree complex wavelet transform. Then the decomposed low frequency subbands are processed by using support vector guided filter and transfer learning respectively. The decomposed high frequency subbands are enhanced by using modified Laine enhancement function. The low frequency subbands output by guided filter and those predicted by transfer learning model are fused by the method of selection and weighting based on regional energy. Finally, the enhanced high frequency subbands and the fused low frequency subbands are reconstructed by using inverse multi-directional nonsubsampled dual-tree complex wavelet transform to obtain the ground object information recovery images. Experimental results of Landsat-8 OLI multispectral images show that, support vector guided filter can effectively preserve the detail information of the target images, domain adaptive transfer learning can effectively extend the range of available multi-source and multi-temporal remote sensing images, and good effects for ground object information recover are obtained by fusing guide filter and transfer learning to remove thin cloud on the remote sensing images.

  16. Assessment of Lightning Shielding Performance of a 400 kV Double-Circuit Fully Composite Transmission Line Pylon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jahangiri, Tohid; Bak, Claus Leth; Silva, Filipe Miguel Faria da


    -quality insulation sections. Thus, the configuration of phase conductors on the cross-arm is in the form of diagonal and differs from other widely used configurations in overhead transmission lines i.e. horizontal, delta and vertical configurations. Unlike traditional steel lattice towers, the composite pylon does...... not provide access to ground potential due to its non-conductive materials. Therefore, the lightning shielding of pylon and conductors requires a ground potential access to shield wires by utilizing a ground cable inside the hollow cross-arm and pylon body. Efficient design of a lightning shielding system...

  17. Situational Lightning Climatologies for Central Florida: Phase IV: Central Florida Flow Regime Based Climatologies of Lightning Probabilities (United States)

    Bauman, William H., III


    The threat of lightning is a daily concern during the warm season in Florida. Research has revealed distinct spatial and temporal distributions of lightning occurrence that are strongly influenced by large-scale atmospheric flow regimes. Previously, the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) calculated the gridded lightning climatologies based on seven flow regimes over Florida for 1-, 3- and 6-hr intervals in 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-NM diameter range rings around the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) and eight other airfields in the National Weather Service in Melbourne (NWS MLB) county warning area (CWA). In this update to the work, the AMU recalculated the lightning climatologies for using individual lightning strike data to improve the accuracy of the climatologies. The AMU included all data regardless of flow regime as one of the stratifications, added monthly stratifications, added three years of data to the period of record and used modified flow regimes based work from the AMU's Objective Lightning Probability Forecast Tool, Phase II. The AMU made changes so the 5- and 10-NM radius range rings are consistent with the aviation forecast requirements at NWS MLB, while the 20- and 30-NM radius range rings at the SLF assist the Spaceflight Meteorology Group in making forecasts for weather Flight Rule violations during Shuttle landings. The AMU also updated the graphical user interface with the new data.

  18. The influence of the speed of the down-ward leader channel in computation of additional charge for protection against direct lightning strike by charge transfer system in 'ultra-corona' mode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talevski, V.


    In this paper computation of additional charge is done for protection against direct lightning strike, by charge transfer system, by point electrode, in 'ultra-corona' mode. The influence of the voltage increase in a very small time interval is computed and the influence is taken into consideration in the computation of the additional space charge on the object used for protection. The model of the electrical thundercloud is taken into consideration with all the electrical charge in it with its corresponding heights above ground. Plotted values are presented of the speed of the down-ward leader from the cloud versus the additional space charge, needed to be placed on the top of the object protected by direct lightning. Plotted values are also presented of different position of the horizontal distance of the protected object and its height versus the additional space charge. (Authors)

  19. Objective Lightning Probability Forecasts for East-Central Florida Airports (United States)

    Crawford, Winfred C.


    The forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL, (NWS MLB) identified a need to make more accurate lightning forecasts to help alleviate delays due to thunderstorms in the vicinity of several commercial airports in central Florida at which they are responsible for issuing terminal aerodrome forecasts. Such forecasts would also provide safer ground operations around terminals, and would be of value to Center Weather Service Units serving air traffic controllers in Florida. To improve the forecast, the AMU was tasked to develop an objective lightning probability forecast tool for the airports using data from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN). The resulting forecast tool is similar to that developed by the AMU to support space launch operations at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) for use by the 45th Weather Squadron (45 WS) in previous tasks (Lambert and Wheeler 2005, Lambert 2007). The lightning probability forecasts are valid for the time periods and areas needed by the NWS MLB forecasters in the warm season months, defined in this task as May-September.

  20. Modeling of Lightning Strokes Using Two-Peaked Channel-Base Currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Javor


    Full Text Available Lightning electromagnetic field is obtained by using “engineering” models of lightning return strokes and new channel-base current functions and the results are presented in this paper. Experimentally measured channel-base currents are approximated not only with functions having two-peaked waveshapes but also with the one-peaked function so as usually used in the literature. These functions are simple to be applied in any “engineering” or electromagnetic model as well. For the three “engineering” models: transmission line model (without the peak current decay, transmission line model with linear decay, and transmission line model with exponential decay with height, the comparison of electric and magnetic field components at different distances from the lightning channel-base is presented in the case of a perfectly conducting ground. Different heights of lightning channels are also considered. These results enable analysis of advantages/shortages of the used return stroke models according to the electromagnetic field features to be achieved, as obtained by measurements.

  1. 2017 T Division Lightning Talks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramsey, Marilyn Leann [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Abeywardhana, Jayalath AMM [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Adams, Colin Mackenzie [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Adams, Luke Clyde [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Carter, Austin Lewis [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Ducru, Pablo Philippe [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Duignan, Thomas John [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Gifford, Brendan Joel [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Hills, Benjamin Hale [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Hoffman, Kentaro Jack [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Khair, Adnan Ibne [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Kochanski, Kelly Anne Pribble [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Ledwith, Patrick John [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Leveillee, Joshua Anthony [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Lewis, Sina Genevieve [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Ma, Xiaoyu [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Merians, Hugh Drake [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Moore, Bryan Alexander [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Nijjar, Parmeet Kaur [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Oles, Vladyslav [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Olszewski, Maciej W. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Philipbar, Brad Montgomery [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Reisner, Andrew Ray [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Roberts, David Benjamin [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rufa, Dominic Antonio [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Sifain, Andrew E. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Smith, Justin Steven [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Smith, Lauren Taylor Wisbey [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Svolos, Lampros [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Thibault, Joshua Ryan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Ushijima-Mwesigwa, Hayato Montezuma [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Weaver, Claire Marie [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Witzen, Wyatt Andrew [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Zentgraf, Sabine Silvia [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Alred, John Michael [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)


    All members of the T Division Community, students, staff members, group leaders, division management, and other interested individuals are invited to come and support the following student(s) as they present their Lightning Talks.

  2. Observations of temporal change of nighttime cloud cover from Himawari 8 and ground-based sky camera over Chiba, Japan (United States)

    Lagrosas, N.; Gacal, G. F. B.; Kuze, H.


    Detection of nighttime cloud from Himawari 8 is implemented using the difference of digital numbers from bands 13 (10.4µm) and 7 (3.9µm). The digital number difference of -1.39x104 can be used as a threshold to separate clouds from clear sky conditions. To look at observations from the ground over Chiba, a digital camera (Canon Powershot A2300) is used to take images of the sky every 5 minutes at an exposure time of 5s at the Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University. From these images, cloud cover values are obtained using threshold algorithm (Gacal, et al, 2016). Ten minute nighttime cloud cover values from these two datasets are compared and analyzed from 29 May to 05 June 2017 (20:00-03:00 JST). When compared with lidar data, the camera can detect thick high level clouds up to 10km. The results show that during clear sky conditions (02-03 June), both camera and satellite cloud cover values show 0% cloud cover. During cloudy conditions (05-06 June), the camera shows almost 100% cloud cover while satellite cloud cover values range from 60 to 100%. These low values can be attributed to the presence of low-level thin clouds ( 2km above the ground) as observed from National Institute for Environmental Studies lidar located inside Chiba University. This difference of cloud cover values shows that the camera can produce accurate cloud cover values of low level clouds that are sometimes not detected by satellites. The opposite occurs when high level clouds are present (01-02 June). Derived satellite cloud cover shows almost 100% during the whole night while ground-based camera shows cloud cover values that range from 10 to 100% during the same time interval. The fluctuating values can be attributed to the presence of thin clouds located at around 6km from the ground and the presence of low level clouds ( 1km). Since the camera relies on the reflected city lights, it is possible that the high level thin clouds are not observed by the camera but is

  3. The Deep Space Gateway Lightning Mapper (DLM) - Monitoring Global Change and Thunderstorm Processes Through Observations of Earth's High-Latitude Lightning from Cis-Lunar Orbit (United States)

    Lang, Timothy; Blakeslee, R. J.; Cecil, D. J.; Christian, H. J.; Gatlin, P. N.; Goodman, S. J.; Koshak, W. J.; Petersen, W. A.; Quick, M.; Schultz, C. J.; hide


    Function: Monitor global change and thunderstorm processes through observations of Earth's high-latitude lightning. This instrument will combine long-lived sampling of individual thunderstorms with long-term observations of lightning at high latitudes: How is global change affecting thunderstorm patterns; How do high-latitude thunderstorms differ from low-latitude? Why is the Gateway the optimal facility for this instrument / research: Expected DSG (Deep Space Gateway) orbits will provide nearly continuous viewing of the Earth's high latitudes (50 degrees latitude and poleward); These regions are not well covered by existing lightning mappers (e.g., Lightning Imaging Sensor / LIS, or Geostationary Lightning Mapper / GLM); Polar, Molniya, Tundra, etc. Earth orbits have significant drawbacks related to continuous coverage and/or stable FOVs (Fields of View).

  4. Development and calibration of a ground-based active collector for cloud- and fogwater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kins, L.; Junkermann, W.; Meixner, F.X.; Muller, K.P.; Ehhalt, D.H.


    In spring 1985, field experiments were started to study the scavenging processes of atmospheric trace substances. Besides the chemical analysis of precipitation sample, these studies required simultaneous collection of cloud water for chemical analysis. In particular, a ground-based cloud water collector was needed, suitable for use on the top of a TV-tower. Existing designs of ground-based cloud or fogwater samplers be divided into two general classes: a) passive collectors, which utilize the ambient wind to impact the droplets on the collection surface; b) active collectors, which accelerate the droplets to a certain velocity as they approach the collection surface. Teflon-strings are extended between two disks which are 1m apart. The disadvantage of this collector, for these experiments, was that the collector strings are always exposed to the ambient air, so that contamination by aerosol impact during dry periods can not be excluded. Furthermore, because of the length of the strings, impacted droplets need a certain time to drain off, during which they remain exposed to the ambient air stream and continue to scavenge trace gases.

  5. Remote sensing observing systems of the Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC): application to thunderstorm surveillance (United States)

    Argemí, O.; Bech, J.; Pineda, N.; Rigo, T.


    Remote sensing observing systems of the Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC) have been upgraded during the last years with newer technologies and enhancements. Recent changes on the weather radar network have been motivated to improve precipitation estimates by radar as well as meteorological surveillance in the area of Catalonia. This region has approximately 32,000 square kilometres and is located in the NE of Spain, limited by the Pyrenees to the North (with mountains exceeding 3000 m) and by the Mediterranean Sea to the East and South. In the case of the total lightning (intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning) detection system, the current upgrades will assure a better lightning detection efficiency and location accuracy. Both upgraded systems help to enhance the tracking and the study of thunderstorm events. Initially, the weather radar network was designed to cover the complex topography of Catalonia and surrounding areas to support the regional administration, which includes civil protection and water authorities. The weather radar network was upgraded in 2008 with the addition of a new C-band Doppler radar system, which is located in the top of La Miranda Mountain (Tivissa) in the southern part of Catalonia enhancing the coverage, particularly to the South and South-West. Technically the new radar is very similar to the last one installed in 2003 (Creu del Vent radar), using a 4 m antenna (i.e., 1 degree beam width), a Vaisala-Sigmet RVP-8 digital receiver and processor and a low power transmitter using a Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) amplifier. This design allows using pulse-compression techniques to enhance radial resolution and sensitivity. Currently, the SMC is upgrading its total lightning detection system, operational since 2003. While a fourth sensor (Amposta) was added last year to enlarge the system coverage, all sensors and central processor will be upgraded this year to the new Vaisala’s total lightning location technology. The new LS8000

  6. All-sky photogrammetry techniques to georeference a cloud field (United States)

    Crispel, Pierre; Roberts, Gregory


    In this study, we present a novel method of identifying and geolocalizing cloud field elements from a portable all-sky camera stereo network based on the ground and oriented towards zenith. The methodology is mainly based on stereophotogrammetry which is a 3-D reconstruction technique based on triangulation from corresponding stereo pixels in rectified images. In cases where clouds are horizontally separated, identifying individual positions is performed with segmentation techniques based on hue filtering and contour detection algorithms. Macroscopic cloud field characteristics such as cloud layer base heights and velocity fields are also deduced. In addition, the methodology is fitted to the context of measurement campaigns which impose simplicity of implementation, auto-calibration, and portability. Camera internal geometry models are achieved a priori in the laboratory and validated to ensure a certain accuracy in the peripheral parts of the all-sky image. Then, stereophotogrammetry with dense 3-D reconstruction is applied with cameras spaced 150 m apart for two validation cases. The first validation case is carried out with cumulus clouds having a cloud base height at 1500 m a.g.l. The second validation case is carried out with two cloud layers: a cumulus fractus layer with a base height at 1000 m a.g.l. and an altocumulus stratiformis layer with a base height of 2300 m a.g.l. Velocity fields at cloud base are computed by tracking image rectangular patterns through successive shots. The height uncertainty is estimated by comparison with a Vaisala CL31 ceilometer located on the site. The uncertainty on the horizontal coordinates and on the velocity field are theoretically quantified by using the experimental uncertainties of the cloud base height and camera orientation. In the first cumulus case, segmentation of the image is performed to identify individuals clouds in the cloud field and determine the horizontal positions of the cloud centers.

  7. Terrestrial gamma-ray flash production by lightning (United States)

    Carlson, Brant E.

    Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are brief flashes of gamma-rays originating in the Earth's atmosphere and observed by satellites. First observed in 1994 by the Burst And Transient Source Experiment on board the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, TGFs consist of one or more ˜1 ms pulses of gamma-rays with a total fluence of ˜1/cm2, typically observed when the satellite is near active thunderstorms. TGFs have subsequently been observed by other satellites to have a very hard spectrum (harder than dN/d E ∝ 1/ E ) that extends from below 25 keV to above 20 MeV. When good lightning data exists, TGFs are closely associated with measurable lightning discharge. Such discharges are typically observed to occur within 300 km of the sub-satellite point and within several milliseconds of the TGF observation. The production of these intense energetic bursts of photons is the puzzle addressed herein. The presence of high-energy photons implies a source of bremsstrahlung, while bremsstrahlung implies a source of energetic electrons. As TGFs are associated with lightning, fields produced by lightning are naturally suggested to accelerate these electrons. Initial ideas about TGF production involved electric fields high above thunderstorms as suggested by upper atmospheric lightning research and the extreme energies required for lower-altitude sources. These fields, produced either quasi-statically by charges in the cloud and ionosphere or dynamically by radiation from lightning strokes, can indeed drive TGF production, but the requirements on the source lightning are too extreme and therefore not common enough to account for all existing observations. In this work, studies of satellite data, the physics of energetic electron and photon production, and consideration of lightning physics motivate a new mechanism for TGF production by lightning current pulses. This mechanism is then developed and used to make testable predictions. TGF data from satellite observations are compared

  8. Estimates of Lightning NOx Production Based on OMI NO2 Observations Over the Gulf of Mexico (United States)

    Pickering, Kenneth E.; Bucsela, Eric; Allen, Dale; Ring, Allison; Holzworth, Robert; Krotkov, Nickolay


    We evaluate nitrogen oxide (NO(sub x) NO + NO2) production from lightning over the Gulf of Mexico region using data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard NASAs Aura satellite along with detection efficiency-adjusted lightning data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN). A special algorithm was developed to retrieve the lightning NOx [(LNO(sub x)] signal from OMI. The algorithm in its general form takes the total slant column NO2 from OMI and removes the stratospheric contribution and tropospheric background and includes an air mass factor appropriate for the profile of lightning NO(sub x) to convert the slant column LNO2 to a vertical column of LNO(sub x). WWLLN flashes are totaled over a period of 3 h prior to OMI overpass, which is the time an air parcel is expected to remain in a 1 deg. x 1 deg. grid box. The analysis is conducted for grid cells containing flash counts greater than a threshold value of 3000 flashes that yields an expected LNO(sub x) signal greater than the background. Pixels with cloud radiance fraction greater than a criterion value (0.9) indicative of highly reflective clouds are used. Results for the summer seasons during 2007-2011 yield mean LNO(sub x) production of approximately 80 +/- 45 mol per flash over the region for the two analysis methods after accounting for biases and uncertainties in the estimation method. These results are consistent with literature estimates and more robust than many prior estimates due to the large number of storms considered but are sensitive to several substantial sources of uncertainty.

  9. Lightning-induced overvoltages in low-voltage systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeidalen, Hans Kristian


    Lightning-induced overvoltages (LIOs) are a main source of failures in low-voltage overhead line systems. This thesis deals mainly with calculations of LIOs aiming to enable the design of a proper voltage protection. Models for calculation of LIOs are adapted from the literature or developed based on measurements. The models used are believed to be fairly accurate for the first few microseconds, which is usually sufficient for predicting the maximum induced voltage in the system. The lightning channel is modelled by the Modified Transmission Line (MTL) model with the Transmission Line (TL) model as a special case. The coupling between the electrical fields from a lightning channel and an overhead line is modelled by Agrawal`s model. The attenuation of electrical fields over a lossy ground is modelled by Norton`s- or the Surface Impedance methods. The validity of all the applied models is analysed. In addition, measurements have been performed in order to develop models of distribution transformers and low-voltage power installation (LVPI) networks. Simple models of typical transformers and LVPIs are developed for calculations when specific data are unavailable. The practical range of values and its influence on the LIOs in a system is investigated. The main frequency range of interest related to LIOs is 10 kHz - 1 MHz in which all the models are accurate. The adapted or developed models are used to calculate LIOs in low-voltage systems. The influence of various key parameters in the system is investigated. Most important are the return stroke amplitude and rise time, the overhead line height and location, the termination of overhead line segments, neutral grounding, and the ground conductivity. 135 refs., 136 figs., 12 tabs.

  10. Lightning Protection Performance Assessment of Transmission Line Based on ATP model Automatic Generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luo Hanwu


    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel method to solve the initial lightning breakdown current by combing ATP and MATLAB simulation software effectively, with the aims to evaluate the lightning protection performance of transmission line. Firstly, the executable ATP simulation model is generated automatically according to the required information such as power source parameters, tower parameters, overhead line parameters, grounding resistance and lightning current parameters, etc. through an interface program coded by MATLAB. Then, the data are extracted from the generated LIS files which can be obtained by executing the ATP simulation model, the occurrence of transmission lie breakdown can be determined by the relative data in LIS file. The lightning current amplitude should be reduced when the breakdown occurs, and vice the verse. Thus the initial lightning breakdown current of a transmission line with given parameters can be determined accurately by continuously changing the lightning current amplitude, which is realized by a loop computing algorithm that is coded by MATLAB software. The method proposed in this paper can generate the ATP simulation program automatically, and facilitates the lightning protection performance assessment of transmission line.

  11. Sao Paulo Lightning Mapping Array (SP-LMA): Deployment, Operation and Initial Data Analysis (United States)

    Blakeslee, R.; Bailey, J. C.; Carey, L. D.; Rudlosky, S.; Goodman, S. J.; Albrecht, R.; Morales, C. A.; Anseimo, E. M.; Pinto, O.


    An 8-10 station Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network is being deployed in the vicinity of Sao Paulo to create the SP-LMA for total lightning measurements in association with the international CHUVA [Cloud processes of the main precipitation systems in Brazil: A contribution to cloud resolving modeling and to the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement)] field campaign. Besides supporting CHUVA science/mission objectives and the Sao Luiz do Paraitinga intensive operation period (IOP) in November-December 2011, the SP-LMA will support the generation of unique proxy data for the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), both sensors on the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R), presently under development and scheduled for a 2015 launch. The proxy data will be used to develop and validate operational algorithms so that they will be ready for use on "day1" following the launch of GOES-R. A preliminary survey of potential sites in the vicinity of Sao Paulo was conducted in December 2009 and January 2010, followed up by a detailed survey in July 2010, with initial network deployment scheduled for October 2010. However, due to a delay in the Sao Luiz do Paraitinga IOP, the SP-LMA will now be installed in July 2011 and operated for one year. Spacing between stations is on the order of 15-30 km, with the network "diameter" being on the order of 30-40 km, which provides good 3-D lightning mapping 150 km from the network center. Optionally, 1-3 additional stations may be deployed in the vicinity of Sao Jos dos Campos.

  12. Artificial Neural Network applied to lightning flashes (United States)

    Gin, R. B.; Guedes, D.; Bianchi, R.


    The development of video cameras enabled cientists to study lightning discharges comportment with more precision. The main goal of this project is to create a system able to detect images of lightning discharges stored in videos and classify them using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN)using C Language and OpenCV libraries. The developed system, can be split in two different modules: detection module and classification module. The detection module uses OpenCV`s computer vision libraries and image processing techniques to detect if there are significant differences between frames in a sequence, indicating that something, still not classified, occurred. Whenever there is a significant difference between two consecutive frames, two main algorithms are used to analyze the frame image: brightness and shape algorithms. These algorithms detect both shape and brightness of the event, removing irrelevant events like birds, as well as detecting the relevant events exact position, allowing the system to track it over time. The classification module uses a neural network to classify the relevant events as horizontal or vertical lightning, save the event`s images and calculates his number of discharges. The Neural Network was implemented using the backpropagation algorithm, and was trained with 42 training images , containing 57 lightning events (one image can have more than one lightning). TheANN was tested with one to five hidden layers, with up to 50 neurons each. The best configuration achieved a success rate of 95%, with one layer containing 20 neurons (33 test images with 42 events were used in this phase). This configuration was implemented in the developed system to analyze 20 video files, containing 63 lightning discharges previously manually detected. Results showed that all the lightning discharges were detected, many irrelevant events were unconsidered, and the event's number of discharges was correctly computed. The neural network used in this project achieved a

  13. Lightning-produced NOx in an explicit electrical scheme: a STERAO case study (United States)

    Barthe, C.; Pinty, J.; Mari, C.


    An explicit lightning-produced nitrogen oxide scheme has been implemented in the French mesoscale model Meso-NH. The electrical scheme simulates explicitly the whole electric charge life cycle: charge separation, transfer, transport and neutralization by lightning flashes. The frequency and the 3D morphology of the lightning flashes are reproduced realistically. Therefore, fresh nitrogen oxide molecules can be added along the complex flash path as a function of the pressure, as suggested by results from laboratory experiments. No integral constraint on the total LNOx production at the cloud scale is added. The scheme is tested on the 10 July 1996, STERAO (Stratosphere-Troposphere Experiment-Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone) storm. The model reproduces many features of the observed increase of electrical activity and LNOx flux through the anvil between the multicell and supercell stages. A large amount of LNOx is selectively produced in the upper part of the cells close to the updraft cores. Instantaneous peak concentrations exceed a few ppbv, as observed. The computed flux of NOx across the anvil compares favorably with the observations. The NOx production is estimated to 36 moles per lightning flash.

  14. Mechanisms and effects of lightning current coupling to structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foboda, Marek


    To evaluate the effects of a lightning discharge on a structure, it is necessary to know the modes of interaction of lightning electromagnetic field pulses to structures. The effects to these interactions are considered by means to the concept to equivalent collection areas. The equations to calculate the distance and equivalent collection areas due to lightning discharges are given in this article. Additionally, the possible modes of a direct lightning strike to the incoming line and the equations to calculate the resultant over voltages are also given. This article ends with the calculation of voltage drops due to direct and nearby lightning strike and induced voltages due to magnetic coupling. Several examples of calculations of the different mentioned cases are given

  15. Ball lightning as a route to fusion energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roth, J.R.


    The reality of ball lightning is attested to by observations reported in surveys of large populations, which are the subject of several books. These observations indicate that its characteristics may be relevant to fusion energy applications. Ball lightning can have a diameter up to several meters, a lifetime of over 100 seconds, an energy content in excess of 10 megajoules, and an energy density and a kinetic pressure greater than that of a reacting DT plasma. This paper reviews some of the properties of ball lightning which commend it to the attention of the fusion community, and it discusses some potential advantages and applications of ball lightning fusion reactors. 11 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  16. 16 year climatology of cirrus clouds over a tropical station in southern India using ground and space-based lidar observations (United States)

    Pandit, A. K.; Gadhavi, H. S.; Venkat Ratnam, M.; Raghunath, K.; Rao, S. V. B.; Jayaraman, A.


    16 year (1998-2013) climatology of cirrus clouds and their macrophysical (base height, top height and geometrical thickness) and optical properties (cloud optical thickness) observed using a ground-based lidar over Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E), India, is presented. The climatology obtained from the ground-based lidar is compared with the climatology obtained from seven and half years (June 2006-December 2013) of Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) observations. A very good agreement is found between the two climatologies in spite of their opposite viewing geometries and difference in sampling frequencies. Nearly 50-55% of cirrus clouds were found to possess geometrical thickness less than 2 km. Ground-based lidar is found to detect more number of sub-visible clouds than CALIOP which has implications for global warming studies as sub-visible cirrus clouds have significant positive radiative forcing. Cirrus clouds with mid-cloud temperatures between -50 to -70 °C have a mean geometrical thickness greater than 2 km in contrast to the earlier reported value of 1.7 km. Trend analyses reveal a statistically significant increase in the altitude of sub-visible cirrus clouds which is consistent with the recent climate model simulations. Also, the fraction of sub-visible cirrus cloud is found to be increasing during the last sixteen years (1998 to 2013) which has implications to the temperature and water vapour budget in the tropical tropopause layer.

  17. CARIBIC DOAS observations of nitrous acid and formaldehyde in a large convective cloud (United States)

    Heue, K.-P.; Riede, H.; Walter, D.; Brenninkmeijer, C. A. M.; Wagner, T.; Frieß, U.; Platt, U.; Zahn, A.; Stratmann, G.; Ziereis, H.


    The chemistry in large thunderstorm clouds is influenced by local lightning-NOx production and uplift of boundary layer air. Under these circumstances trace gases like nitrous acid (HONO) or formaldehyde (HCHO) are expected to be formed or to reach the tropopause region. However, up to now only few observations of HONO at this altitude have been reported. Here we report on a case study where enhancements in HONO, HCHO and nitrogen oxides (NOx) were observed by the CARIBIC flying laboratory (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container). The event took place in a convective system over the Caribbean Sea in August 2011. Inside the cloud the light path reaches up to 100 km. Therefore the DOAS instrument on CARIBIC was very sensitive to the tracers inside the cloud. Based on the enhanced slant column densities of HONO, HCHO and NO2, average mixing ratios of 37, 468 and 210 ppt, respectively, were calculated. These data represent averages for constant mixing ratios inside the cloud. However, a large dependency on the assumed profile is found; for HONO a mixing ratio of 160 ppt is retrieved if the total amount is assumed to be situated in the uppermost 2 km of the cloud. The NO in situ instrument measured peaks up to 5 ppb NO inside the cloud; the background in the cloud was about 1.3 ppb, and hence clearly above the average outside the cloud (≈ 150 ppt). The high variability and the fact that the enhancements were observed over a pristine marine area led to the conclusion that, in all likelihood, the high NO concentrations were caused by lighting. This assumption is supported by the number of flashes that the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) counted in this area before and during the overpass. The chemical box model CAABA is used to estimate the NO and HCHO source strengths which are necessary to explain our measurements. For NO a source strength of 10 × 109 molec cm-2 s-1 km-1 is found, which

  18. The global lightning-induced nitrogen oxides source

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Schumann


    Full Text Available The knowledge of the lightning-induced nitrogen oxides (LNOx source is important for understanding and predicting the nitrogen oxides and ozone distributions in the troposphere and their trends, the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere, and the lifetime of trace gases destroyed by reactions with OH. This knowledge is further required for the assessment of other important NOx sources, in particular from aviation emissions, the stratosphere, and from surface sources, and for understanding the possible feedback between climate changes and lightning. This paper reviews more than 3 decades of research. The review includes laboratory studies as well as surface, airborne and satellite-based observations of lightning and of NOx and related species in the atmosphere. Relevant data available from measurements in regions with strong LNOx influence are identified, including recent observations at midlatitudes and over tropical continents where most lightning occurs. Various methods to model LNOx at cloud scales or globally are described. Previous estimates are re-evaluated using the global annual mean flash frequency of 44±5 s−1 reported from OTD satellite data. From the review, mainly of airborne measurements near thunderstorms and cloud-resolving models, we conclude that a "typical" thunderstorm flash produces 15 (2–40×1025 NO molecules per flash, equivalent to 250 mol NOx or 3.5 kg of N mass per flash with uncertainty factor from 0.13 to 2.7. Mainly as a result of global model studies for various LNOx parameterisations tested with related observations, the best estimate of the annual global LNOx nitrogen mass source and its uncertainty range is (5±3 Tg a−1 in this study. In spite of a smaller global flash rate, the best estimate is essentially the same as in some earlier reviews, implying larger flash-specific NO

  19. Transient electromagnetic simulations of substation earth grid for improving lightning withstand performance of a large power transformer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Claus Leth; Einarsdottir, Kristin E.; Andresson, Einar

    connections are analyzed with respect to lightning overvoltage at the transformer bushings and it is shown clearly that the layout of the grounding system in the vicinity of the surge arrester down conductors plays an important role for the magnitude of the transformer bushing overvoltage during lightnings...

  20. Lightning Impacts on Airports - Challenges of Balancing Safety & Efficiency (United States)

    Steiner, Matthias; Deierling, Wiebke; Nelson, Eric; Stone, Ken


    Thunderstorms and lightning pose a safety risk to personnel working outdoors, such as people maintaining airport grounds (e.g., mowing grass or repairing runway lighting) or servicing aircraft on ramps (handling baggage, food service, refueling, tugging and guiding aircraft from/to gates, etc.). Since lightning strikes can cause serious injuries or death, it is important to provide timely alerts to airport personnel so that they can get to safety when lightning is imminent. This presentation discusses the challenges and uncertainties involved in using lightning information and stakeholder procedures to ensure safety of outdoor personnel while keeping ramp operations as efficient as possible considering thunderstorm impacts. The findings presented are based on extensive observations of airline operators under thunderstorm impacts. These observations reveal a complex picture with substantial uncertainties related to the (1) source of lightning information (e.g., sensor type, network, data processing) used to base ramp closure decisions on, (2) uncertainties involved in the safety procedures employed by various stakeholders across the aviation industry (yielding notably different rules being applied by multiple airlines even at a single airport), and (3) human factors issues related to the use of decision support tools and the implementation of safety procedures. This research is supported by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the FAA.

  1. Acoustic signature of thunder from seismic records (United States)

    Kappus, Mary E.; Vernon, Frank L.


    Thunder, the sound wave through the air associated with lightning, transfers sufficient energy to the ground to trigger seismometers set to record regional earthquakes. The acoustic signature recorded on seismometers, in the form of ground velocity as a function of time, contains the same type features as pressure variations recorded with microphones in air. At a seismic station in Kislovodsk, USSR, a nearly direct lightning strike caused electronic failure of borehole instruments while leaving a brief impulsive acoustic signature on the surface instruments. The peak frequency of 25-55 Hz is consistent with previously published values for cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, but spectra from this station are contaminated by very strong wind noise in this band. A thunderstorm near a similar station in Karasu triggered more than a dozen records of individual lightning strikes during a 2-hour period. The spectra for these events are fairly broadband, with peaks at low frequencies, varying from 6 to 13 Hz. The spectra were all computed by multitaper analysis, which deals appropriately with the nonstationary thunder signal. These independent measurements of low-frequency peaks corroborate the occasional occurrences in traditional microphone records, but a theory concerning the physical mechanism to account for them is still in question. Examined separately, the individual claps in each record have similar frequency distributions, discounting a need for multiple mechanisms to explain different phases of the thunder sequence. Particle motion, determined from polarization analysis of the three-component records, is predominantly vertical downward, with smaller horizontal components indicative of the direction to the lightning bolt. In three of the records the azimuth to the lightning bolt changes with time, confirming a significant horizontal component to the lightning channel itself.

  2. Measurements of Ozone, Lightning, and Electric Fields within Thunderstorms over Langmuir Laboratory, New Mexico (United States)

    Eack, K. B.; Winn, W. P.; Rust, W. D.; Minschwaner, K.; Fredrickson, S.; Kennedy, D.; Edens, H. E.; Kalnajs, L. E.; Rabin, R. M.; Lu, G. P.; Bonin, D.


    A field project was conducted at the Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research during the summer of 2008 in an effort to better understand the direct production of ozone within electrically active storms. Five balloon flights were successfully launched into thunderstorms during this project. In situ measurements from the balloon instrument package included ozone mixing ratio, electric field strength, meteorological variables, and GPS location and timing. Lightning discharges were identified within each storm using a ground based lightning mapping array. The data show that the instruments ascended through regions of high electric fields within the sampled storms, and in some cases the balloon was in very close proximity to lightning. Relationships between electric field, lightning, and ozone observed during these flights will be discussed.

  3. On the use of model-based microphysics-lightning relationships for constraining passive-microwave precipitation retrieval from space using lightning data: Application to case studies of the EU FLASH project (United States)

    Formenton, Marco; Casella, Daniele; Dietrich, Stefano; di Paola, Francesco; Mugnai, Alberto; Sanò, Paolo


    Within the FLASH project, we use the 1.5-dimensional Explicit Microphysics Thunderstorm Model (EMTM) to generate quantitative relationships between the microphysical and electrification properties of thunderstorms, that are then utilized as classification criteria within our Bayesian precipitation retrieval algorithm so as to help cloud profile selection by means of lightning data. In this paper, we describe the rationale of this approach and discuss the results of its application to some storms that occurred over central Italy during autumn 2008 and that have been considered within the FLASH project.

  4. Lightning effects on the NASA F-8 digital-fly-by-wire airplane (United States)

    Plumer, J. A.; Fisher, F. A.; Walko, L. C.


    The effects of lightning on a Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW)aircraft control system were investigated. The aircraft was a NASA operated F-8 fitted with a modified Apollo guidance computer. Current pulses similar in waveshape to natural lightning, but lower in amplitude, were injected into the aircraft. Measurements were made of the voltages induced on the DFBW circuits, the total current induced on the bundles of wires, the magnetic field intensity inside the aircraft, and the current density on the skin of the aircraft. Voltage measurements were made in both the line-to-ground and line-to-line modes. Voltages measured at the non-destructive test level were then scaled upward to determine how much would be produced by actual lightning. A 200,000 ampere severe lightning flash would produce between 40 and 2000 volts in DFBW circuits. Some system components are expected to be vulnerable to these voltages.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Putu Dedy Pratama


    Full Text Available Tahun 2016 dicanangkan sebagai Tahun Data BMKG. Pengamatan kelistrikan udara dengan Lightning Detector di Stasiun Geofisika Sanglah Denpasar sejak bulan Agustus 2008 telah memiliki data yang banyak. Untuk jangka panjang, data tersebut dapat digunakan untuk mengetahui pola sambaran petir wilayah Bali baik secara spasial maupun temporal. Jumlah data yang cukup banyak perlu dilakukan analisis lebih lanjut untuk mengetahui pola sambaran petir yang terekam oleh sensor dan membuat perbandingan dengan citra satelit. Data yang digunakan adalah hasil rekaman petir Cloud to Groud (CG. Data petir CG digunakan karena sambaran petir CG merupakan sambaran petir yang berdampak langsung pada kehidupan manusia. Pemetaan spasial baik dalam penentuan lokasi sambaran CG pada klaim asuransi dan kejadian Mesoscale Convective System (MCS pada daerah stratiform dari data citra satelit Multifunctional Transport Satellites (MTSAT dan National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrastion (NOAA. Dari hasil pemetaan spasial menunjukan bahwa sebagian besar sambaran petir terkonsentrasi pada radius sekitar 50 km dari sensor. Untuk grafik temporal menunjukan bahwa pada musim penghujan grafik petir menunjukan pola semidiurnal dengan dua puncak pada sore hari dan dinihari. Ketika musim peralihan grafik puncak sambaran petir pada dinihari melemah sehingga tampak pola satu puncak diurnal. Sedangkan pada musim kemarau grafik sambaran petir menunjukan pola acak. Fenomena cuaca skala menengah seperti siklon tropis dan perubahan Indeks Nino 3.4 sangat berpengaruh terhadap aktivitas sambaran petir di wilayah Bali. The year 2016 was declared as the Year of Data BMKG. Since August 2008, observations the air electricity using Lightning Detector Sanglah Denpasar Geophysics Station have had a lot of data. For the long term, these data can be used to determine the pattern of lightning strikes on Bali region both spatially and temporally. The amount of data is pretty much needs to be done further

  6. Optical observations geomagnetically conjugate to sprite-producing lightning discharges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Marshall


    Full Text Available Theoretical studies have predicted that large positive cloud-to-ground discharges can trigger a runaway avalanche process of relativistic electrons, forming a geomagnetically trapped electron beam. The beam may undergo pitch angle and energy scattering during its traverse of the Earth's magnetosphere, with a small percentage of electrons remaining in the loss cone and precipitating in the magnetically conjugate atmosphere. In particular, N2 1P and N2+1N optical emissions are expected to be observable. In July and August 2003, an attempt was made to detect these optical emissions, called "conjugate sprites", in correlation with sprite observations in Europe near . Sprite observations were made from the Observatoire du Pic du Midi (OMP in the French Pyrenées, and VLF receivers were installed in Europe to detect causative sferics and ionospheric disturbances associated with sprites. In the Southern Hemisphere conjugate region, the Wide-angle Array for Sprite Photometry (WASP was deployed at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO, near Sutherland, South Africa, to observe optical emissions with a field-of-view magnetically conjugate to the Northern Hemisphere observing region. Observations at OMP revealed over 130 documented sprites, with WASP observations covering the conjugate region successfully for 30 of these events. However, no incidences of optical emissions in the conjugate hemisphere were found. Analysis of the conjugate optical data from SAAO, along with ELF energy measurements from Palmer Station, Antarctica, and charge-moment analysis, show that the lightning events during the course of this experiment likely had insufficient intensity to create a relativistic beam. Keywords. Ionosphere (Ionsophere-magnetosphere interactions; Ionospheric disturbances; Instruments and techniques

  7. The lightning flash

    CERN Document Server

    Cooray, Vernon


    With contributions from today's leading lightning engineers and researchers, this updated 2nd edition of Vernon Cooray's classic text, The Lightning Flash provides the reader with an essential introduction to lightning and its impact on electrical and electronic equipment. Providing the reader with a thorough background into almost every aspect of lightning and its impact on electrical and electronic equipment, this new edition is updated throughout and features eight new chapters that bring the science up to date.

  8. The role of cloud-scale resolution on radiative properties of oceanic cumulus clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kassianov, Evgueni; Ackerman, Thomas; Kollias, Pavlos


    Both individual and combined effects of the horizontal and vertical variability of cumulus clouds on solar radiative transfer are investigated using a two-dimensional (x- and z-directions) cloud radar dataset. This high-resolution dataset of typical fair-weather marine cumulus is derived from ground-based 94GHz cloud radar observations. The domain-averaged (along x-direction) radiative properties are computed by a Monte Carlo method. It is shown that (i) different cloud-scale resolutions can be used for accurate calculations of the mean absorption, upward and downward fluxes; (ii) the resolution effects can depend strongly on the solar zenith angle; and (iii) a few cloud statistics can be successfully applied for calculating the averaged radiative properties

  9. Nowcasting the lightning activity in Peninsular Malaysia using the GPS PWV during the 2009 inter-monsoons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayan Suparta


    Full Text Available The spatial and temporal radio wave delay of the Global Positioning System (GPS signal can be manipulated to estimate the precipitable water vapor (PWV which favorable for meteorological applications. A rapid change of the water vapor amount was a precondition for the unbalanced atmospheric charges, which noticeably associated with the development of convective cloud as a lightning chamber. According to this fact, GPS derived PWV will be utilized to nowcasting the lightning event for the next couple of hours. The variances of PWV of four-selected station of the Peninsular Malaysia during the past two inter-monsoons events in May and November 2009 were analyzed. To clarify the response, the changes of PWV in hourly Δ (max-min before the lightning event was investigated with minimum value 2 mm and is maintained at least three consecutive hours. There are 177 samples were extracted from this method and 69% of the sample showed the lightning occurrence with an average duration was after the six consecutive hours. The lightning day with 2 mm Δ was also higher than the fair weather of 6.3%. These findings suggest that the GPS data can be proposed further as a guide to nowcast the occurrence of lightning activity.

  10. Lightning Physics and Effects (United States)

    Orville, Richard E.


    Lightning Physics and Effects is not a lightning book; it is a lightning encyclopedia. Rarely in the history of science has one contribution covered a subject with such depth and thoroughness as to set the enduring standard for years, perhaps even decades, to come. This contribution covers all aspects of lightning, including lightning physics, lightning protection, and the interaction of lightning with a variety of objects and systems as well as the environment. The style of writing is well within the ability of the technical non-expert and anyone interested in lightning and its effects. Potential readers will include physicists; engineers working in the power industry, communications, computer, and aviation industries; atmospheric scientists; geophysicists; meteorologists; atmospheric chemists; foresters; ecologists; physicians working in the area of electrical trauma; and, lastly, architects. This comprehensive reference volume contains over 300 illustrations, 70 tables with quantitative information, and over 6000 reference and bibliography entries.

  11. Quantification of Lightning-induced Nitrogen Oxides in CMAQ and the Assessment of its impact on Ground-level Air Quality (United States)

    Lightning-induced nitrogen oxides (LNOX), in the presence of sunlight, volatile organic compounds and water, can be a relatively large but uncertain source for ozone (O3) and hydroxyl radical (OH) in the atmosphere. Using lightning flash data from the National Lightning Detection...

  12. Surge currents and voltages at the low voltage power mains during lightning strike to a GSM tower

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markowska, Renata [Bialystok Technical University (Poland)], E-mail:


    The paper presents the results of numerical calculations of lightning surge currents and voltages in the low voltage power mains system connected to a free standing GSM base station. Direct lightning strike to GSM tower was studied. The analysis concerned the current that flows to the transformer station through AC power mains, the potential difference between the grounding systems of the GSM and the transformer stations and the voltage differences between phase and PE conductors of the power mains underground cable at both the GSM and the transformer sides. The calculations were performed using a numerical program based on the electromagnetic field theory and the method of moments. (author)

  13. Strategy of thunderstorm measurement with super dense ground-based observation network (United States)

    Takahashi, Y.; Sato, M.


    It's not easy to understand the inside structure and developing process of thunderstorm only with existing meteorological instruments since its horizontal extent of the storm cell is sometimes smaller than an order of 10 km while one of the densest ground network in Japan, AMEDAS, consists of sites located every 17 km in average and the resolution of meteorological radar is 1-2 km in general. Even the X-band radar realizes the resolution of 250 m or larger. Here we suggest a new super dense observation network with simple and low cost sensors that can be used for measurement both of raindrop and vertical electric field change caused by cloud-to-ground lightning discharge. This sensor consists of two aluminum plates with a diameter of 10-20 cm. We carried out an observation campaign in summer of 2013 in the foothills of Mt. Yastugatake, Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures in Japan, installing 6 plate-type sensors at a distance of about 4 km. Horizontal location, height and charge amount of each lightning discharge are estimated successfully based on the information of electric field changes at several observing sites. Moreover, it was found that the thunderstorm has a very narrow structure well smaller than 300 m that cannot be measured by any other ways, counting the positive and negative pulses caused by attachment of raindrop to the sensor plate, respectively. We plan to construct a new super dense observation network in the north Kanto region, Japan, where the lightning activity is most prominent in summer Japan, distributing more than several tens of sensors at every 4 km or shorter, such as an order of 100 m at minimum. This kind of new type network will reveal the unknown fine structures of thunderstorms and open the door for constructing real time alert system of torrential rainfall and lightning stroke especially in the city area.

  14. Advancements in the Development of an Operational Lightning Jump Algorithm for GOES-R GLM (United States)

    Shultz, Chris; Petersen, Walter; Carey, Lawrence


    Rapid increases in total lightning have been shown to precede the manifestation of severe weather at the surface. These rapid increases have been termed lightning jumps, and are the current focus of algorithm development for the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM). Recent lightning jump algorithm work has focused on evaluation of algorithms in three additional regions of the country, as well as, markedly increasing the number of thunderstorms in order to evaluate the each algorithm s performance on a larger population of storms. Lightning characteristics of just over 600 thunderstorms have been studied over the past four years. The 2 lightning jump algorithm continues to show the most promise for an operational lightning jump algorithm, with a probability of detection of 82%, a false alarm rate of 35%, a critical success index of 57%, and a Heidke Skill Score of 0.73 on the entire population of thunderstorms. Average lead time for the 2 algorithm on all severe weather is 21.15 minutes, with a standard deviation of +/- 14.68 minutes. Looking at tornadoes alone, the average lead time is 18.71 minutes, with a standard deviation of +/-14.88 minutes. Moreover, removing the 2 lightning jumps that occur after a jump has been detected, and before severe weather is detected at the ground, the 2 lightning jump algorithm s false alarm rate drops from 35% to 21%. Cold season, low topped, and tropical environments cause problems for the 2 lightning jump algorithm, due to their relative dearth in lightning as compared to a supercellular or summertime airmass thunderstorm environment.

  15. Land-ocean contrast on electrical characteristics of lightning discharge derived from satellite optical measurements (United States)

    Adachi, T.; Said, R.; Cummer, S. A.; Li, J.; Takahashi, Y.; Hsu, R.; Su, H.; Chen, A. B.; Mende, S. B.; Frey, H. U.


    Comparative studies on the electrical properties of oceanic and continental lightning are crucial to elucidate air discharge processes occurring under different conditions. Past studies however have primarily focused on continental lightning because of the limited coverage of ground-based instruments. Recent satellite measurements by FORMOSAT-2/ISUAL provided a new way to survey the global characteristics of lightning and transient luminous events regardless of land and ocean. In this study, we analyze ISUAL/spectrophotometer data to clarify the electrical properties of lightning on a global level. Based on the results obtained by Cummer et al. [2006] and Adachi et al. [2009], the OI-777.4nm emission intensity is used to infer lightning electrical parameters. Results show a clear land-ocean contrast on the parameters of lightning discharge: in oceanic lightning, peak luminosity is 60 % higher and the time scale of return stroke is 30 % shorter. These results suggest higher peak current in oceanic lightning, which is consistent with the fact that elves, EMP-driven phenomena, also tend to occur over the ocean [Chen et al., 2008]. Further analysis of lightning events occurring around the Caribbean Sea shows that the transition-line of lightning electrical properties is precisely located along the coastline. We suggest that the differences in these electrical properties may be due to the boundary conditions (conductivity, surface terrain, etc). In this talk, based on the calibration with NLDN and Duke magnetometer data, current moment change and charge moment change will be globally evaluated using a complete set of the ISUAL-observed lightning events.

  16. Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the International Space Station (ISS): Launch, Installation, Activation, and First Results (United States)

    Blakeslee, R. J.; Christian, H. J., Jr.; Mach, D. M.; Buechler, D. E.; Koshak, W. J.; Walker, T. D.; Bateman, M. G.; Stewart, M. F.; O'Brien, S.; Wilson, T. O.; Pavelitz, S. D.; Coker, C.


    Over the past 20 years, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and their partners developed and demonstrated the effectiveness and value of space-based lightning observations as a remote sensing tool for Earth science research and applications, and, in the process, established a robust global lightning climatology. The observations included measurements from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and its Optical Transient Detector (OTD) predecessor that acquired global observations of total lightning (i.e., intracloud and cloud-to-ground discharges) spanning a period from May 1995 through April 2015. As an exciting follow-on to these prior missions, a space-qualified LIS built as a flight-spare for TRMM will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 2 year or longer mission, flown as a hosted payload on the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program-Houston 5 (STP-H5) mission. The STP-H5 payload containing LIS is scheduled launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center to the ISS in November 2016, aboard the SpaceX Cargo Resupply Services-10 (SpaceX-10) mission, installed in the unpressurized "trunk" of the Dragon spacecraft. After the Dragon is berth to ISS Node 2, the payload will be removed from the trunk and robotically installed in a nadir-viewing location on the external truss of the ISS. Following installation on the ISS, the LIS Operations Team will work with the STP-H5 and ISS Operations Teams to power-on LIS and begin instrument checkout and commissioning. Following successful activation, LIS orbital operations will commence, managed from the newly established LIS Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) located at the National Space Science Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, AL. The well-established and robust processing, archival, and distribution infrastructure used for TRMM was easily adapted to the ISS mission, assuring that lightning

  17. Tornadoes and Lightning and Floods, Oh My! Weather-Related Web Sites for K-12 Science Lessons. (United States)

    Matkins, Juanita Jo; Murphy, Denise


    Reviews 30 weather-related Web sites, including readability level, under the subjects of air pressure, bad meteorology, clouds, droughts, floods, hurricanes, lightning, seasons, temperature, thunderstorms, tornadoes, water cycle, weather instruments, weather on other planets, and wind. (LRW)

  18. Risk Analysis Method Based on FMEA for Transmission Line in Lightning Hazards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    You-Yuan WANG


    Full Text Available Failure rate of transmission line and reliability of power system are significantly affected by Lightning meteorological factor. In view of the complexity and variability of Lightning meteorological factors, this paper presents lightning trip-out rate model of transmission line in considering distribution of ground flash density and lightning day hours. Meanwhile, presents a failure rate model of transmission line in different condition, and a risk analysis method for transmission line considering multiple risk factors based on risk quantification. This method takes Lightning meteorological factor as the main evaluation standard, and establishes risk degree evaluation system for transmission line including another five evaluation standard. Put forward the risk indicators by quantify the risk factors based on experience date of transmission line in service. Based on the risk indexes comprehensive evaluation is conducted, and the evaluation result closer to practice is achieved, providing basis for transmission line risk warning and maintenance strategy. Through the risk analysis for 220 kV transmission line in a certain power supply bureau, the effectiveness of the proposed method is validated.

  19. Update Direct-Strike Lightning Environment for Stockpile-to-Target Sequence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uman, M.A.; Rakov, V.A.; Elisme, J.O.; Jordan, D.M.; Biagi, C.J.; Hill, J.D.


    The University of Florida has surveyed all relevant publications reporting lightning characteristics and presents here an up-to-date version of the direct-strike lightning environment specifications for nuclear weapons published in 1989 by R. J. Fisher and M. A. Uman. Further, we present functional expressions for current vs. time, current derivative vs. time, second current derivative vs. time, charge transfer vs. time, and action integral (specific energy) vs. time for first return strokes, for subsequent return strokes, and for continuing currents; and we give sets of constants for these expressions so that they yield approximately the median and extreme negative lightning parameters presented in this report. Expressions for the median negative lightning waveforms are plotted. Finally, we provide information on direct-strike lightning damage to metals such as stainless steel, which could be used as components of storage containers for nuclear waste materials; and we describe UF's new experimental research program to add to the sparse data base on the properties of positive lightning. Our literature survey, referred to above, is included in four Appendices. The following four sections (II, III, IV, and V) of this final report deal with related aspects of the research: Section II. Recommended Direct-Strike Median and Extreme Parameters; Section III. Time-Domain Waveforms for First Strokes, Subsequent Strokes, and Continuing Currents; Section IV. Damage to Metal Surfaces by Lightning Currents; and Section V. Measurement of the Characteristics of Positive Lightning. Results of the literature search used to derive the material in Section II and Section IV are found in the Appendices: Appendix 1. Return Stroke Current, Appendix 2. Continuing Current, Appendix 3. Positive Lightning, and Appendix 4. Lightning Damage to Metal Surfaces

  20. Analytical methods for study of transmission line lightning protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pettersson, Per.


    Transmission line lightning performance is studied by analytical methods. The elements of shielding failure flashovers and back-flashovers are analysed as functions of incidence, response and insulation. Closed-form approximate expressions are sought to enhance understanding of the phenomena. Probabilistic and wave propagation aspects are particularly studied. The electrogeometric model of lightning attraction to structures is used in combination with the log-normal probability distribution of lightning to ground currents. The log-normality is found to be retained for the currents collected by mast-type as well as line-type structures, but with a change of scale. For both types, exceedingly simple formulas for the number of hits are derived. Simple closed-form expressions for the line outage rates from back- flashovers and shielding failure flashovers are derived in a uniform way as functions of the critical currents. The expressions involve the standardized normal distribution function. System response is analysed by use of Laplace transforms in combination with text-book transmission-line theory. Inversion into time domain is accomplished by an approximate asymptotic method producing closed-form results. The back-flashover problem is analysed in particular. Approximate, image type expressions are derived for shunt admittance of wires above, on and under ground for analyses of fast transients. The derivation parallels that for series impedance, now well-known. 3 refs, 5 figs

  1. Advanced approach for determination of earthing characteristics of high voltage substations in terms of their optimal protection from lightning strike

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talevski, Vladimir


    ); the distance from the projection of the place where the downward leader starts in the thundercloud, to the place where the ionizator is placed; different values of the height of the ionizator will be considered and the speed of propagation of the downward leader. Plotted values are presented concerning: different position of the heights of the charge in the cloud versus the additional space charge needed to 'name' the object protected by direct lightning; different position of the horizontal distance of the horizontal distance of the protected object; different height versus the additional space charge; different speed of propagation of the downward leader versus the additional space charge. According to Carpenter [2], a ground collector system is presented, which is used for establishing a low-impedance path for the positive charge, from the ground to the ionizator. At the and, conclusions are made, weather the 'charge transfer system' is suitable for primary protection of substation and after that the conclusion is extended to other objects like power plants, objects in petrochemical industry etc. (Author)

  2. An overview of the Stratospheric-Tropospheric Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone (STERAO)-Deep Convection experiment with results for the July 10, 1996 storm (United States)

    Dye, J. E.; Ridley, B. A.; Skamarock, W.; Barth, M.; Venticinque, M.; Defer, E.; Blanchet, P.; Thery, C.; Laroche, P.; Baumann, K.; Hubler, G.; Parrish, D. D.; Ryerson, T.; Trainer, M.; Frost, G.; Holloway, J. S.; Matejka, T.; Bartels, D.; Fehsenfeld, F. C.; Tuck, A.; Rutledge, S. A.; Lang, T.; Stith, J.; Zerr, R.


    The Stratospheric-Tropospheric Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols and Ozone (STERAO)-Deep Convection Field Project with closely coordinated chemical, dynamical, electrical, and microphysical observations was conducted in northeastern Colorado during June and July of 1996 to investigate the production of NOx by lightning, the transport and redistribution of chemical species in the troposphere by thunderstorms, and the temporal evolution of intracloud and cloud-to-ground lightning for evolving storms on the Colorado high plains. Major observations were airborne chemical measurements in the boundary layer, middle and upper troposphere, and thunderstorm anvils; airborne and ground-based Doppler radar measurements; measurement of both intracloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash rates and locations; and multiparameter radar and in situ observations of microphysical structure. Cloud and mesoscale models are being used to synthesize and extend the observations. Herein we present an overview of the project and selected results for an isolated, severe storm that occurred on July 10. Time histories of reflectivity structure, IC and CG lightning flash rates, and chemical measurements in the boundary layer and in the anvil are presented showing large spatial and temporal variations. The observations for one period of time suggest that limited mixing of environmental air into the updraft core occurred during transport from cloud base to the anvil adjacent to the storm core. We deduce that the most likely contribution of lightning to the total NOx observed in the anvil is 60-90% with a minimum of 45%. For the July 10 storm the NOx produced by lightning was almost exclusively from IC flashes with a ratio of IC to total flashes >0.95 throughout most of the storm's lifetime. It is argued that in this storm and probably others, IC flashes can be major contributors to NOx production. Superposition of VHF lightning source locations on Doppler retrieved air motion fields for

  3. The physics of lightning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dwyer, Joseph R., E-mail: [Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901 (United States); Uman, Martin A. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)


    Despite being one of the most familiar and widely recognized natural phenomena, lightning remains relatively poorly understood. Even the most basic questions of how lightning is initiated inside thunderclouds and how it then propagates for many tens of kilometers have only begun to be addressed. In the past, progress was hampered by the unpredictable and transient nature of lightning and the difficulties in making direct measurements inside thunderstorms, but advances in instrumentation, remote sensing methods, and rocket-triggered lightning experiments are now providing new insights into the physics of lightning. Furthermore, the recent discoveries of intense bursts of X-rays and gamma-rays associated with thunderstorms and lightning illustrate that new and interesting physics is still being discovered in our atmosphere. The study of lightning and related phenomena involves the synthesis of many branches of physics, from atmospheric physics to plasma physics to quantum electrodynamics, and provides a plethora of challenging unsolved problems. In this review, we provide an introduction to the physics of lightning with the goal of providing interested researchers a useful resource for starting work in this fascinating field.

  4. A comparison of ground and satellite observations of cloud cover to saturation pressure differences during a cold air outbreak

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alliss, R.J.; Raman, S. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)


    The role of clouds in the atmospheric general circulation and the global climate is twofold. First, clouds owe their origin to large-scale dynamical forcing, radiative cooling in the atmosphere, and turbulent transfer at the surface. In addition, they provide one of the most important mechanisms for the vertical redistribution of momentum and sensible and latent heat for the large scale, and they influence the coupling between the atmosphere and the surface as well as the radiative and dynamical-hydrological balance. In existing diagnostic cloudiness parameterization schemes, relative humidity is the most frequently used variable for estimating total cloud amount or stratiform cloud amount. However, the prediction of relative humidity in general circulation models (GCMs) is usually poor. Even for the most comprehensive GCMs, the predicted relative humidity may deviate greatly from that observed, as far as the frequency distribution of relative humidity is concerned. Recently, there has been an increased effort to improve the representation of clouds and cloud-radiation feedback in GCMs, but the verification of cloudiness parameterization schemes remains a severe problem because of the lack of observational data sets. In this study, saturation pressure differences (as opposed to relative humidity) and satellite-derived cloud heights and amounts are compared with ground determinations of cloud cover over the Gulf Stream Locale (GSL) during a cold air outbreak.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Syakur


    Full Text Available The aim of grounding system to protect of electrical equipment and instrumentation system and peopletogether. The lightning stroke near the strucutre of building can damage of equipment and instrumentationsystem. Therefore, it is very important to protect theese electrical and electronic equipment from lightningstrike uses lightning protection system and grounding system.This paper presents kind of grounding system at type of soil and place. The measurement of groundingresistance in soil and septictank have done. Types of soil for grounding resistance measuring aremarshland, clay and rockland.The measurement results of grounding resistance show that value of grounding resistance depend ondeepness of electrode and kind of soil and septictank. Grounding resistance value in septictank is morelower than soil.

  6. Earthing - Lightning protection - Equipotential bonding. Involvement of photovoltaic power plants at buildings; Erdung - Blitzschutz - Potentialausgleich. Einbindung von Photovoltaik-Anlagen auf Gebaeuden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hemmann, Bjoern; Mausser, Bettina


    There are large uncertainties and different views in the consideration of equipotential bonding, grounding and lightning protection for photovoltaic systems. With this in mind, the contribution under consideration reports on why, when and how photovoltaic systems at buildings must be grounded. The authors report on a grounding of photovoltaic systems from the perspective of the protective grounding, from the view of functional grounding, from the view of lightning protection and frame grounding. At best, the metal frame of a photovoltaic system always is connected with the main earth bar using 16 mm{sup 2} copper. At excessive discharge currents, the module frame must be grounded forever.

  7. Broad-band spectral studies of optical lightnings and possible correlation with solar activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhat, C.L.; Sapru, M.L.; Kaul, R.K.; Razdan, H.


    Optical pulses from lightning discharges have been recorded in a ground-based experiment, meant primarily for the detection of cosmic X- and γ-ray bursts through the atmospheric fluorescence technique. It is shown that the spectral ratio Asub(v)/Asub(y), i.e. the ratio of pulse amplitudes in the violet to that in yellow wavelength bands (3400-4300 A and 4400-6000 A respectively) provides a good indication of the lightning channel temperature, the range of derived temperatures extending from 5.000 K to 60.000 K. Based on the distribution of observed Asub(v)/Asub(y) values on a daily basis, it has been possible to separate the observed lightning activity into two classes. One class of event is shown to be correlated with the peaking of the global atmospheric electric field and occurs preferentially on days when the ground-level cosmic ray intensity shows a significant decrease in association with an increase in geomagnetic activity. The results are discussed in terms of the contemporary views regarding solar control of atmospheric electricity and the various sun-weather correlations reported earlier. (author)

  8. Evaluation of lightning performance of transmission lines protected by metal oxide surge arresters using artificial intelligence techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christodoulou, C.A.; Perantzakis, G. [Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Lamia, Department of Electrical Engineering, Lamia (Greece); Spanakis, G.E. [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens (Greece); Karampelas, P. [Hellenic American University, Manchester, NH (United States)


    Lightning and switching overvoltages are the main causes for faults in electrical networks. In the last decades, several different conventional methodologies have been used for the adjustment of the lightning performance of high voltage transmission lines, which are protected against lightning using overhead ground wires and surge arresters. The current paper proposes a new developed Artificial Neural Network (ANN), based on the Q-learning algorithm, in order to estimate the lightning failure rate of lines of the Hellenic system. The results obtained by the ANN model exhibit a satisfactory correlation in comparison with the real recorded data or the simulations results taken from a conventional method. (orig.)

  9. Situational Lightning Climatologies for Central Florida: Phase IV (United States)

    Bauman, William H., III


    The threat of lightning is a daily concern during the warm season in Florida. Research has revealed distinct spatial and temporal distributions of lightning occurrence that are strongly influenced by large-scale atmospheric flow regimes. Previously, the Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) calculated the gridded lightning climatologies based on seven flow regimes over Florida for 1-, 3- and 6-hr intervals in 5-, 10-,20-, and 30-NM diameter range rings around the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) and eight other airfields in the National Weather Service in Melbourne (NWS MLB) county warning area (CWA). In this update to the work, the AMU recalculated the lightning climatologies for using individual lightning strike data to improve the accuracy of the climatologies. The AMU included all data regardless of flow regime as one of the stratifications, added monthly stratifications, added three years of data to the period of record and used modified flow regimes based work from the AMU's Objective Lightning Probability Forecast Tool, Phase II. The AMU made changes so the 5- and 10-NM radius range rings are consistent with the aviation forecast requirements at NWS MLB, while the 20- and 30-NM radius range rings at the SLF assist the Spaceflight Meteorology Group in making forecasts for weather Flight Rule violations during Shuttle landings. The AMU also updated the graphical user interface with the new data.

  10. Method for validating cloud mask obtained from satellite measurements using ground-based sky camera. (United States)

    Letu, Husi; Nagao, Takashi M; Nakajima, Takashi Y; Matsumae, Yoshiaki


    Error propagation in Earth's atmospheric, oceanic, and land surface parameters of the satellite products caused by misclassification of the cloud mask is a critical issue for improving the accuracy of satellite products. Thus, characterizing the accuracy of the cloud mask is important for investigating the influence of the cloud mask on satellite products. In this study, we proposed a method for validating multiwavelength satellite data derived cloud masks using ground-based sky camera (GSC) data. First, a cloud cover algorithm for GSC data has been developed using sky index and bright index. Then, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data derived cloud masks by two cloud-screening algorithms (i.e., MOD35 and CLAUDIA) were validated using the GSC cloud mask. The results indicate that MOD35 is likely to classify ambiguous pixels as "cloudy," whereas CLAUDIA is likely to classify them as "clear." Furthermore, the influence of error propagations caused by misclassification of the MOD35 and CLAUDIA cloud masks on MODIS derived reflectance, brightness temperature, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in clear and cloudy pixels was investigated using sky camera data. It shows that the influence of the error propagation by the MOD35 cloud mask on the MODIS derived monthly mean reflectance, brightness temperature, and NDVI for clear pixels is significantly smaller than for the CLAUDIA cloud mask; the influence of the error propagation by the CLAUDIA cloud mask on MODIS derived monthly mean cloud products for cloudy pixels is significantly smaller than that by the MOD35 cloud mask.

  11. Evaluating statistical cloud schemes: What can we gain from ground-based remote sensing? (United States)

    Grützun, V.; Quaas, J.; Morcrette, C. J.; Ament, F.


    Statistical cloud schemes with prognostic probability distribution functions have become more important in atmospheric modeling, especially since they are in principle scale adaptive and capture cloud physics in more detail. While in theory the schemes have a great potential, their accuracy is still questionable. High-resolution three-dimensional observational data of water vapor and cloud water, which could be used for testing them, are missing. We explore the potential of ground-based remote sensing such as lidar, microwave, and radar to evaluate prognostic distribution moments using the "perfect model approach." This means that we employ a high-resolution weather model as virtual reality and retrieve full three-dimensional atmospheric quantities and virtual ground-based observations. We then use statistics from the virtual observation to validate the modeled 3-D statistics. Since the data are entirely consistent, any discrepancy occurring is due to the method. Focusing on total water mixing ratio, we find that the mean ratio can be evaluated decently but that it strongly depends on the meteorological conditions as to whether the variance and skewness are reliable. Using some simple schematic description of different synoptic conditions, we show how statistics obtained from point or line measurements can be poor at representing the full three-dimensional distribution of water in the atmosphere. We argue that a careful analysis of measurement data and detailed knowledge of the meteorological situation is necessary to judge whether we can use the data for an evaluation of higher moments of the humidity distribution used by a statistical cloud scheme.

  12. Lightning Burns and Electrical Trauma in a Couple Simultaneously Struck by Lightning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Eyerly-Webb


    Full Text Available More people are struck and killed by lightning each year in Florida than any other state in the United States. This report discusses a couple that was simultaneously struck by lightning while walking arm-in-arm. Both patients presented with characteristic lightning burns and were admitted for hemodynamic monitoring, serum labs, and observation and were subsequently discharged home. Despite the superficial appearance of lightning burns, serious internal electrical injuries are common. Therefore, lightning strike victims should be admitted and evaluated for cardiac arrhythmias, renal injury, and neurological sequelae.

  13. Optical observations geomagnetically conjugate to sprite-producing lightning discharges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Marshall


    Full Text Available Theoretical studies have predicted that large positive cloud-to-ground discharges can trigger a runaway avalanche process of relativistic electrons, forming a geomagnetically trapped electron beam. The beam may undergo pitch angle and energy scattering during its traverse of the Earth's magnetosphere, with a small percentage of electrons remaining in the loss cone and precipitating in the magnetically conjugate atmosphere. In particular, N2 1P and N2+1N optical emissions are expected to be observable. In July and August 2003, an attempt was made to detect these optical emissions, called "conjugate sprites", in correlation with sprite observations in Europe near . Sprite observations were made from the Observatoire du Pic du Midi (OMP in the French Pyrenées, and VLF receivers were installed in Europe to detect causative sferics and ionospheric disturbances associated with sprites. In the Southern Hemisphere conjugate region, the Wide-angle Array for Sprite Photometry (WASP was deployed at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO, near Sutherland, South Africa, to observe optical emissions with a field-of-view magnetically conjugate to the Northern Hemisphere observing region. Observations at OMP revealed over 130 documented sprites, with WASP observations covering the conjugate region successfully for 30 of these events. However, no incidences of optical emissions in the conjugate hemisphere were found. Analysis of the conjugate optical data from SAAO, along with ELF energy measurements from Palmer Station, Antarctica, and charge-moment analysis, show that the lightning events during the course of this experiment likely had insufficient intensity to create a relativistic beam.

    Keywords. Ionosphere (Ionsophere-magnetosphere interactions; Ionospheric disturbances; Instruments and techniques

  14. Simultaneous and synergistic profiling of cloud and drizzle properties using ground-based observations (United States)

    Rusli, Stephanie P.; Donovan, David P.; Russchenberg, Herman W. J.


    Despite the importance of radar reflectivity (Z) measurements in the retrieval of liquid water cloud properties, it remains nontrivial to interpret Z due to the possible presence of drizzle droplets within the clouds. So far, there has been no published work that utilizes Z to identify the presence of drizzle above the cloud base in an optimized and a physically consistent manner. In this work, we develop a retrieval technique that exploits the synergy of different remote sensing systems to carry out this task and to subsequently profile the microphysical properties of the cloud and drizzle in a unified framework. This is accomplished by using ground-based measurements of Z, lidar attenuated backscatter below as well as above the cloud base, and microwave brightness temperatures. Fast physical forward models coupled to cloud and drizzle structure parameterization are used in an optimal-estimation-type framework in order to retrieve the best estimate for the cloud and drizzle property profiles. The cloud retrieval is first evaluated using synthetic signals generated from large-eddy simulation (LES) output to verify the forward models used in the retrieval procedure and the vertical parameterization of the liquid water content (LWC). From this exercise it is found that, on average, the cloud properties can be retrieved within 5 % of the mean truth. The full cloud-drizzle retrieval method is then applied to a selected ACCEPT (Analysis of the Composition of Clouds with Extended Polarization Techniques) campaign dataset collected in Cabauw, the Netherlands. An assessment of the retrieval products is performed using three independent methods from the literature; each was specifically developed to retrieve only the cloud properties, the drizzle properties below the cloud base, or the drizzle fraction within the cloud. One-to-one comparisons, taking into account the uncertainties or limitations of each retrieval, show that our results are consistent with what is derived

  15. Earthquake forewarning — A multidisciplinary challenge from the ground up to space (United States)

    Freund, Friedemann


    Most destructive earthquakes nucleate at between 5-7 km and about 35-40 km depth. Before earthquakes, rocks are subjected to increasing stress. Not every stress increase leads to rupture. To understand pre-earthquake phenomena we note that igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks contain defects which, upon stressing, release defect electrons in the oxygen anion sublattice, known as positive holes. These charge carriers are highly mobile, able to flow out of stressed rocks into surrounding unstressed rocks. They form electric currents, which emit electromagnetic radiation, sometimes in pulses, sometimes sustained. The arrival of positive holes at the ground-air interface can lead to air ionization, often exclusively positive. Ionized air rising upward can lead to cloud condensation. The upward flow of positive ions can lead to instabilities in the mesosphere, to mesospheric lightning, to changes in the Total Electron Content (TEC) at the lower edge of the ionosphere, and electric field turbulences. Advances in deciphering the earthquake process can only be achieved in a broadly multidisciplinary spirit.

  16. Lightning generation in Titan due to the electrical self-polarization properties of Methane (United States)

    Quintero, A.; Falcón, N.


    We describe an electrical charge process in Titan's thunderclouds, due to the self-polarization properties or pyroelectricity of methane, which increases the internal electric field in thunderclouds and facilitates the charge generation and separation processes. Microphysics that generates lightning flashes is associated with the physical and chemical properties of the local atmosphere, so methane could be the principal agent of the electrical activity because of its great concentration in Titan's atmosphere. Besides, Titan's electrical activity should not be very influenced by Saturn's magnetosphere because lightning occurs at very low altitude above Titan's surface, compared with the greater distance of Saturn's magnetosphere and Titan's troposphere. Using an electrostatic treatment, we calculate the internal electric field of Titan's thunderclouds due to methane's pyroelectrical properties, 7.05×10^11 Vm^-1; and using the telluric capacitor approximation for thunderclouds, we calculate the total charge obtained for a typical Titan thundercloud, 2.67×10^9 C. However, it is not right to use an electrostatic treatment because charge times are very fast due to the large methane concentration in Titan's clouds and the life time of thunderclouds is very low (around 2 hours). We consider a time dependent mechanism, employing common Earth atmospheric approaches, because of the similitude in chemical composition of both atmospheres (mainly nitrogen), so the typical charge of a thundercloud in Titan should reach between 20 C to 40 C, like on Earth. We obtain that lightning occurs with a frequency between 2 and 6 KHz. In Titan's atmosphere, methane concentration is higher than on Earth, and atmospheric electrical activity is stronger, so this model could be consistent with the observed phenomenology.

  17. Review of the Lightning Strike Incident at Launch Complex 37 on July 27, 1967, and Comparison to a Gemini Lightning Strike (United States)

    Llewellyn, J. A.


    The Launch Complex 37 lightning strike of July 27, 1967, was reviewed and compared to a similar incident on the Gemini Program. Available data indicate little likelihood of damaging currents having been present in SA-204 Launch Vehicle or the ground equipment during the July 27th incident. Based on the results of subsystem and system testing after the strike, anticipated results of future testing, the six months elapsed time between the strike-and launch, and the fact that much of the critical airborne electrical/electronic equipment has been removed since the strike for other reasons, no new actions are considered necessary at this time in the Gemini case, significant failures occurred in both airborne and ground circuits. Due to the resultant semi, condlictor uncertainty, and the relatively' short time prior to planned launch, all critical airborne components containing semiconduetors were replaced, and a sophisticated data comparison task was implemented.


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) records optical measurements of global lightning events in the daytime and nighttime. The data includes individual point...

  19. A method to estimate characteristics of grounding systems considering experimental studies and computational simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souza, Andre Nunes de; Silva, Ivan Nunes da; Ulson, Jose Alfredo C.; Zago, Maria Goretti [UNESP, Bauru, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Eletrica]. E-mail:


    This paper describes a novel approach for mapping characteristics of grounding systems using artificial neural networks. The network acts as identifier of structural features of the grounding processes. So that output parameters can be estimated and generalized from an input parameter set. The results obtained by the network are compared with other approaches also used to model grounding systems concerning lightning. (author)

  20. Lightning Safety Tips and Resources (United States)

    ... Services Careers Contact Us Glossary Safety National Program Lightning Safety Tips and Resources > Safety > Lightning Safety Tips and Resources Lightning Resources Lightning strikes ...

  1. An Analysis of Two Thunderstorms Producing Five Negative Sprites on 12 September 2014 (United States)

    Boggs, L.; Liu, N.; Splitt, M. E.; Lazarus, S. M.; Cummer, S. A.; Rassoul, H.


    We present a detailed analysis of the thunderstorms and the parent lightning discharge morphologies of five confirmed negative sprites taking place in two different thunderstorms. These two thunderstorms took place in east-central and south Florida on 12 September 2014. We utilized several lightning location networks, remote magnetic field measurements, dual polarization radar, and balloon borne soundings in our analysis. Each parent discharge was immediately preceded by intra-cloud (IC) discharges between the mid-level negative and upper positive charge regions. This either allowed a second upward negative leader to escape the upper positive charge region, or encouraged a downward negative leader to be initiated and connect with ground. The discharges found in this study support the findings of Lu et al., 2012 [JGR,117, D04212, 2012] that negative sprite-parent lightning consists primarily of hybrid intra-cloud negative cloud-to-ground (IC-NCG) and bolt-from-the-blue (BFB) lightning. Our work finds these unique discharges form in thunderstorms that have an excess of mid-level negative charge and weakened upper positive charge. Due to this charge structure, these unusual discharges transfer more charge to the ground than typical negative cloud-to-ground discharges. Our study suggests that the key difference separating bolt-from-the-blue and gigantic jet discharges is an asymmetric charge structure. This acts to bring the negative leader exiting the thundercloud closer to the lateral positive screening layer, encouraging the negative leader to turn towards ground. This investigation reveals IC discharges that involve multiple convective cells and come to ground as a negative CG discharge, a breed of hybrid IC-NCG discharges, also transfer more negative charge to ground than typical negative CG discharges and are able to initiate negative sprites. From this work, the charge structures mentioned above resulted from tall, intense convective cells with low CG flash

  2. LDAR, A Three-Dimensional Lightning Warning System: Its Development and Use by the Government, and Transition to Public Availability (United States)

    Starr, Stan; Sharp, David; Merceret, Francis; Madura, John; Murphy, Martin


    NASA, at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), developed and operates a unique high precision lightning location system to provide lightning related weather warnings. These warnings are used to stop lightning-sensitive operations such as space vehicle launches and ground operations where equipment and personnel are at risk. The data is provided to the Range Weather Operations [45th Weather Squadron, U. S. Air Force (USAF)] where it is used with other meteorological data to issue weather advisories and warnings for Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) and KSC operations. This system, called Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR), provides users with a graphical display in three dimensions of 66 MHz radio frequency events generated by lightning processes. The locations of these events provide a sound basis for the prediction of lightning hazards. NASA and Global Atmospherics, Inc. are developing a new system that will replace the unique LDAR components with commercially available and maintainable components having improved capabilities. These components will be phased in to ensure full continuity and access to this important warning technology. These LDAR systems are expected to eventually be available for installation and use by the public at specialized facilities, such as airports, and for general weather warnings via the National Weather Service (NWS) or television broadcast. The NWS in Melbourne has had access to real-time LDAR data since 1993 on an experimental basis. This use of LDAR has shown promise for the improvement of aviation forecasts and severe weather warnings. More so, it has opened the door to investigate the feasibility of issuing lightning-related public advisories. The success of its early use suggests that this technology may improve safety and potentially save lives, therefore constituting a significant benefit to the public. This paper describes the LDR system, the plans and progress of these upgrades, and the potential benefits of its use.

  3. Multivariate Statistical Inference of Lightning Occurrence, and Using Lightning Observations (United States)

    Boccippio, Dennis


    Two classes of multivariate statistical inference using TRMM Lightning Imaging Sensor, Precipitation Radar, and Microwave Imager observation are studied, using nonlinear classification neural networks as inferential tools. The very large and globally representative data sample provided by TRMM allows both training and validation (without overfitting) of neural networks with many degrees of freedom. In the first study, the flashing / or flashing condition of storm complexes is diagnosed using radar, passive microwave and/or environmental observations as neural network inputs. The diagnostic skill of these simple lightning/no-lightning classifiers can be quite high, over land (above 80% Probability of Detection; below 20% False Alarm Rate). In the second, passive microwave and lightning observations are used to diagnose radar reflectivity vertical structure. A priori diagnosis of hydrometeor vertical structure is highly important for improved rainfall retrieval from either orbital radars (e.g., the future Global Precipitation Mission "mothership") or radiometers (e.g., operational SSM/I and future Global Precipitation Mission passive microwave constellation platforms), we explore the incremental benefit to such diagnosis provided by lightning observations.

  4. Lightning safety of animals. (United States)

    Gomes, Chandima


    This paper addresses a concurrent multidisciplinary problem: animal safety against lightning hazards. In regions where lightning is prevalent, either seasonally or throughout the year, a considerable number of wild, captive and tame animals are injured due to lightning generated effects. The paper discusses all possible injury mechanisms, focusing mainly on animals with commercial value. A large number of cases from several countries have been analyzed. Economically and practically viable engineering solutions are proposed to address the issues related to the lightning threats discussed.

  5. Satellite retrieval of cloud condensation nuclei concentrations by using clouds as CCN chambers (United States)

    Rosenfeld, Daniel; Zheng, Youtong; Hashimshoni, Eyal; Pöhlker, Mira L.; Jefferson, Anne; Pöhlker, Christopher; Yu, Xing; Zhu, Yannian; Liu, Guihua; Yue, Zhiguo; Fischman, Baruch; Li, Zhanqing; Giguzin, David; Goren, Tom; Artaxo, Paulo; Pöschl, Ulrich


    Quantifying the aerosol/cloud-mediated radiative effect at a global scale requires simultaneous satellite retrievals of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations and cloud base updraft velocities (Wb). Hitherto, the inability to do so has been a major cause of high uncertainty regarding anthropogenic aerosol/cloud-mediated radiative forcing. This can be addressed by the emerging capability of estimating CCN and Wb of boundary layer convective clouds from an operational polar orbiting weather satellite. Our methodology uses such clouds as an effective analog for CCN chambers. The cloud base supersaturation (S) is determined by Wb and the satellite-retrieved cloud base drop concentrations (Ndb), which is the same as CCN(S). Validation against ground-based CCN instruments at Oklahoma, at Manaus, and onboard a ship in the northeast Pacific showed a retrieval accuracy of ±25% to ±30% for individual satellite overpasses. The methodology is presently limited to boundary layer not raining convective clouds of at least 1 km depth that are not obscured by upper layer clouds, including semitransparent cirrus. The limitation for small solar backscattering angles of <25° restricts the satellite coverage to ∼25% of the world area in a single day. PMID:26944081

  6. [Lightning strikes and lightning injuries in prehospital emergency medicine. Relevance, results, and practical implications]. (United States)

    Hinkelbein, J; Spelten, O; Wetsch, W A


    Up to 32.2% of patients in a burn center suffer from electrical injuries. Of these patients, 2-4% present with lightning injuries. In Germany, approximately 50 people per year are injured by a lightning strike and 3-7 fatally. Typically, people involved in outdoor activities are endangered and affected. A lightning strike usually produces significantly higher energy doses as compared to those in common electrical injuries. Therefore, injury patterns vary significantly. Especially in high voltage injuries and lightning injuries, internal injuries are of special importance. Mortality ranges between 10 and 30% after a lightning strike. Emergency medical treatment is similar to common electrical injuries. Patients with lightning injuries should be transported to a regional or supraregional trauma center. In 15% of all cases multiple people may be injured. Therefore, it is of outstanding importance to create emergency plans and evacuation plans in good time for mass gatherings endangered by possible lightning.

  7. Evolution of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Discharges in Tornadic Thunderstorms

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Seaman, Wendy


    .... Overall flash rates, percentage of positive flashes, positive and negative peak currents and multiplicity for each case were separated into two categories based on tornado intensity and season of occurrence...

  8. Fast electric field waveforms and near-surface electric field images of lightning discharges detected on Mt. Aragats in Armenia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chilingarian, A.; Khanikyants, Y.; Kozliner, L.; Soghomonyan, S.


    We present the observational data on fast electric waveforms that are detected at 3200 m altitudes above sea level on Mt. Aragats in Armenia during thunderstorms. We analyse the relations of these forms with count rates of particle flux (during Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements -TGEs); to the slow disturbance of the near-surface electrostatic field; and to the lightning location data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN). An observed negative lightning that decreases a negative charge overhead often abruptly terminates TGEs. By analysing the recorded fast electric field waveforms and comparing them with similar classified waveforms reported previously, we could identify the type and polarity of the observed lightnings. (author)

  9. Calculation of transient potential rise on the wind turbine struck by lightning. (United States)

    Xiaoqing, Zhang


    A circuit model is proposed in this paper for calculating the transient potential rise on the wind turbine struck by lightning. The model integrates the blade, sliding contact site, and tower and grounding system of the wind turbine into an equivalent circuit. The lightning current path from the attachment point to the ground can be fully described by the equivalent circuit. The transient potential responses are obtained in the different positions on the wind turbine by solving the circuit equations. In order to check the validity of the model, the laboratory measurement is made with a reduced-scale wind turbine. The measured potential waveform is compared with the calculated one and a better agreement is shown between them. The practical applicability of the model is also examined by a numerical example of a 2 MW Chinese-built wind turbine.

  10. PSpice Model of Lightning Strike to a Steel Reinforced Structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koone, Neil; Condren, Brian


    Surges and arcs from lightning can pose hazards to personnel and sensitive equipment, and processes. Steel reinforcement in structures can act as a Faraday cage mitigating lightning effects. Knowing a structure's response to a lightning strike allows hazards associated with lightning to be analyzed. A model of lightning's response in a steel reinforced structure has been developed using PSpice (a commercial circuit simulation). Segments of rebar are modeled as inductors and resistors in series. A program has been written to take architectural information of a steel reinforced structure and 'build' a circuit network that is analogous to the network of reinforcement in a facility. A severe current waveform (simulating a 99th percentile lightning strike), modeled as a current source, is introduced in the circuit network, and potential differences within the structure are determined using PSpice. A visual three-dimensional model of the facility displays the voltage distribution across the structure using color to indicate the potential difference relative to the floor. Clear air arcing distances can be calculated from the voltage distribution using a conservative value for the dielectric breakdown strength of air. Potential validation tests for the model will be presented

  11. Lightning Jump Algorithm Development for the GOES·R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (United States)

    Schultz. E.; Schultz. C.; Chronis, T.; Stough, S.; Carey, L.; Calhoun, K.; Ortega, K.; Stano, G.; Cecil, D.; Bateman, M.; hide


    Current work on the lightning jump algorithm to be used in GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM)'s data stream is multifaceted due to the intricate interplay between the storm tracking, GLM proxy data, and the performance of the lightning jump itself. This work outlines the progress of the last year, where analysis and performance of the lightning jump algorithm with automated storm tracking and GLM proxy data were assessed using over 700 storms from North Alabama. The cases analyzed coincide with previous semi-objective work performed using total lightning mapping array (LMA) measurements in Schultz et al. (2011). Analysis shows that key components of the algorithm (flash rate and sigma thresholds) have the greatest influence on the performance of the algorithm when validating using severe storm reports. Automated objective analysis using the GLM proxy data has shown probability of detection (POD) values around 60% with false alarm rates (FAR) around 73% using similar methodology to Schultz et al. (2011). However, when applying verification methods similar to those employed by the National Weather Service, POD values increase slightly (69%) and FAR values decrease (63%). The relationship between storm tracking and lightning jump has also been tested in a real-time framework at NSSL. This system includes fully automated tracking by radar alone, real-time LMA and radar observations and the lightning jump. Results indicate that the POD is strong at 65%. However, the FAR is significantly higher than in Schultz et al. (2011) (50-80% depending on various tracking/lightning jump parameters) when using storm reports for verification. Given known issues with Storm Data, the performance of the real-time jump algorithm is also being tested with high density radar and surface observations from the NSSL Severe Hazards Analysis & Verification Experiment (SHAVE).

  12. The electromagnetic virtual cloud of the ground-state hydrogen atom - a quantum field theory approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radozycki, T.


    The properties of the virtual cloud around the hydrogen atom in the ground state are studied with the use of quantum field theory methods. The relativistic expression for the electromagnetic energy density around the atom, with the electron spin taken into account, is obtained. The distribution of the angular momentum contained in the cloud and the self-interaction kernel for the electrons bound in atom are also investigated. (author)

  13. Intercomparison of Vertical Structure of Storms Revealed by Ground-Based (NMQ and Spaceborne Radars (CloudSat-CPR and TRMM-PR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica M. Fall


    Full Text Available Spaceborne radars provide great opportunities to investigate the vertical structure of clouds and precipitation. Two typical spaceborne radars for such a study are the W-band Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR and Ku-band Precipitation Radar (PR, which are onboard NASA’s CloudSat and TRMM satellites, respectively. Compared to S-band ground-based radars, they have distinct scattering characteristics for different hydrometeors in clouds and precipitation. The combination of spaceborne and ground-based radar observations can help in the identification of hydrometeors and improve the radar-based quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE. This study analyzes the vertical structure of the 18 January, 2009 storm using data from the CloudSat CPR, TRMM PR, and a NEXRAD-based National Mosaic and Multisensor QPE (NMQ system. Microphysics above, within, and below the melting layer are studied through an intercomparison of multifrequency measurements. Hydrometeors’ type and their radar scattering characteristics are analyzed. Additionally, the study of the vertical profile of reflectivity (VPR reveals the brightband properties in the cold-season precipitation and its effect on the radar-based QPE. In all, the joint analysis of spaceborne and ground-based radar data increases the understanding of the vertical structure of storm systems and provides a good insight into the microphysical modeling for weather forecasts.

  14. First experimental observations on melting and chemical modification of volcanic ash during lightning interaction. (United States)

    Mueller, S P; Helo, C; Keller, F; Taddeucci, J; Castro, J M


    Electrification in volcanic ash plumes often leads to syn-eruptive lightning discharges. High temperatures in and around lightning plasma channels have the potential to chemically alter, re-melt, and possibly volatilize ash fragments in the eruption cloud. In this study, we experimentally simulate temperature conditions of volcanic lightning in the laboratory, and systematically investigate the effects of rapid melting on the morphology and chemical composition of ash. Samples of different size and composition are ejected towards an artificially generated electrical arc. Post-experiment ash morphologies include fully melted spheres, partially melted particles, agglomerates, and vesiculated particles. High-speed imaging reveals various processes occurring during the short lightning-ash interactions, such as particle melting and rounding, foaming, and explosive particle fragmentation. Chemical analyses of the flash-melted particles reveal considerable bulk loss of Cl, S, P and Na through thermal vaporization. Element distribution patterns suggest convection as a key process of element transport from the interior of the melt droplet to rim where volatiles are lost. Modeling the degree of sodium loss delivers maximum melt temperatures between 3290 and 3490 K. Our results imply that natural lighting strikes may be an important agent of syn-eruptive morphological and chemical processing of volcanic ash.

  15. Simulation of Lightning Overvoltage Distribution on Stator Windings of Wind Turbine Generators

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Rong; LIU Xue-zhong; WANG Ying; LI Dan-dan


    This paper analyzes lightning surge on the stator windings of wind turbine generators. The path of lightning in the wind turbines was analyzed. An equivalent circuit model for megawatt direct-driven wind turbine system was developed, in which high-frequency distributed parameters of the blade conducts, tower, power cables and stator windings of generator were calculated based on finite element method, and the models of converter, grounding, loads, surge protection devices and power grid were established. The voltage distribution along stator windings, when struck by lightning with 10/350 ~ts wave form and different amplitude current between 50 kA and 200 kA, was simulated u- sing electro-magnetic transient analysis method. The simulated results show that the highest coil-to-core voltage peak appears on the last coil or near the neutral of stator windings, and the voltage distribution along the windings is non- uniform initially. The voltage drops of each coil fall from first to last coil, and the highest voltage drop appears on the first coil. The insulation damage may occur on the windings under lightning overvoltage. The surge arresters can re- strain the lightning surge in effect and protect the insulation. The coil-to-core voltage in the end of windings is nearly 19.5 kV under the 200 kA lightning current without surge arresters on the terminal of generator, but is only 2.7 kV with arresters.

  16. Overview of the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Experiment (United States)

    Barth, M. C.; Brune, W. H.; Cantrell, C. A.; Rutledge, S. A.; Crawford, J. H.; Flocke, F. M.; Huntrieser, H.


    The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) project conducted a 7-week field campaign during May and June 2012 to study thunderstorm dynamical, physical, and electrical characteristics, as well as their effects on the atmosphere's composition, especially ozone and particles in the climate-sensitive upper troposphere near the thunderstorm tops. The NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V (GV) and the NASA DC-8 aircraft flew 17 coordinated flights to sample low-level inflow and upper troposphere outflow air near thunderstorms and to sample convective outflow air as it chemically aged during the next 24 hours. The DLR Falcon aircraft observed the fresh storm outflow and also obtained measurements of aged outflow. In total, 19 cases of active thunderstorms and over 6 cases of photochemical aging were flown. The DC3 aircraft, based in Salina, Kansas, were equipped with instruments to measure a variety of gases, aerosols, and cloud particle characteristics in situ as well as the NASA DC-8 measuring the ozone and aerosol distribution by lidar. The aircraft targeted storms predicted to occur within range of coverage by ground-based radar pairs, lightning mapping arrays (LMAs), and frequent launches of balloon-borne instruments that could measure the storm's physical, kinematic, and lightning characteristics. This coverage occurred in three regions: 1) northeastern Colorado, 2) central Oklahoma to western Texas, and 3) northern Alabama. DC3 demonstrated that it is possible to sample with two aircraft the inflow and outflow of storms, which were simultaneously sampled by the ground radars, LMAs, and soundings. The DC3 data set is extensive and rich. This presentation will summarize the overall statistics of the DC3 measurements giving a general idea of storm characteristics, transport of trace gases, and photochemical aging of species. Examples will be given of specific thunderstorm cases, including a Colorado case where a biomass-burning plume was ingested by a storm, and of sampling a

  17. Measuring Method for Lightning Channel Temperature (United States)

    Li, X.; Zhang, J.; Chen, L.; Xue, Q.; Zhu, R.


    In this paper, we demonstrate the temperature of lightning channel utilizing the theory of lightning spectra and the model of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). The impulse current generator platform (ICGS) was used to simulate the lightning discharge channel, and the spectral energy of infrared spectroscopy (930 nm) and the visible spectroscopy (648.2 nm) of the simulated lightning has been calculated. Results indicate that the peaks of luminous intensity of both infrared and visible spectra increase with the lightning current intensity in range of 5-50 kA. Based on the results, the temperature of the lightning channel is derived to be 6140.8-10424 K. Moreover, the temperature of the channel is approximately exponential to the lightning current intensity, which shows good agreement with that of the natural lightning cases.

  18. Infrasound from lightning measured in Ivory Coast from 2004 to 2014 (United States)

    Farges, Thomas; Le Pichon, Alexis; Ceranna, Lars; Diawara, Adama


    It is well established that more than 2,000 thunderstorms occur continuously around the world and that about 45 lightning flashes are produced per second over the globe. 80 % of the infrasound stations of the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the CTBTO (Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation) are now certified and routinely measure signals due to natural activity (e.g., airflow over mountains, aurora, microbaroms, surf, volcanoes, severe weather including lightning flashes …). Some of the IMS stations are located where lightning activity is high (e.g. Africa, South America). These infrasound stations are well localised to study lightning flash activity and its disparity, which is a good proxy for global warming. Progress in infrasound array data processing over the past ten years makes such lightning studies possible. Assink et al. (2008) and Farges and Blanc (2010) show clearly that it is possible to measure lightning infrasound from thunderstorms within 300 km. One-to-one correlation is possible when the thunderstorm is within about 75 km from the station. When the lightning flash occurs within 20 km, it is also possible to rebuild the 3D geometry of the discharges when the network size is less than 100 m (Arechiga et al., 2011; Gallin, 2014). An IMS infrasound station has been installed in Ivory Coast since 2002. The lightning rate of this region is 10-20 flashes/km²/year from space-based instrument OTD (Christian et al., 2003). Ivory Coast is therefore a good place to study infrasound data associated with lightning activity and its temporal variation. First statistical results will be presented in this paper based on 10 years of data (2005-2014). Correlation between infrasound having a mean frequency higher than 1 Hz and lightning flashes detected by the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) is systematically looked for. One-to-one correlation is obtained for flashes occurring within about 100 km. An exponential decrease of the

  19. Dancing red sprites and the lightning activity in their parent thunderstorm (United States)

    Bór, József; Zelkó, Zoltán; Hegedüs, Tibor; Jäger, Zoltán; Mlynarczyk, Janusz; Popek, Martin; Betz, Hans-Dieter


    Red sprites are brief optical emissions initiated in the mesosphere by intense tropospheric lightning discharges. A group of red sprites, in which the elements appear in rapid succession with some lateral offset from one another is referred to as a dancing sprite event. The occurrence of such events implies that significant and sequential charge removal extending to large regions of the thunderstorm can take place in the underlying cloud system. In this work, we examine the relation of the locations and observation times of appearing sprite elements to the temporal and spatial distribution of the lightning activity in a specific sprite-active thunderstorm. The selected mesoscale convective system (MCS) composed of several extremely active thundercloud cells crossed Central Europe from South-West to North-East through Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland on the night of 6 August, 2013. This MCS has triggered over one hundred sprites including several dancing sprite events. Video recordings of sprites captured from Sopron, Hungary (16.6°E, 47.7°N) and Nydek, Czech Republic (18.8°E, 49.7°N) were used to identify dancing sprite events and to determine the exact locations of the appearing sprite elements by a triangulation technique used originally to analyze meteor observations. Lightning activity in the MCS can be reviewed using the database of LINET lightning detection network which fully covers the region of interest (ROI). The poster demonstrates how cases of sequential charge removal in the thunderstorm can be followed by combining the available information on the occurrence time, location, polarity, and type (CG/IC) of detected lightning strokes in the ROI on one hand and the occurrence time and location of elements in dancing sprite events on the other hand.

  20. Catching lightning for alternative energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helman, D.S. [California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840 (United States)


    The article reviews the current literature related to lightning and makes a case for using lightning as an alternative source of energy. Objections to using lightning as an alternative source of energy are listed. Current literature is reviewed and articles are suggested as useful for building a tower, or using rockets or lasers to target a strike, or for quantifying a lightning strike. (author)

  1. A Probabilistic, Facility-Centric Approach to Lightning Strike Location (United States)

    Huddleston, Lisa L.; Roeder, William p.; Merceret, Francis J.


    A new probabilistic facility-centric approach to lightning strike location has been developed. This process uses the bivariate Gaussian distribution of probability density provided by the current lightning location error ellipse for the most likely location of a lightning stroke and integrates it to determine the probability that the stroke is inside any specified radius of any location, even if that location is not centered on or even with the location error ellipse. This technique is adapted from a method of calculating the probability of debris collisionith spacecraft. Such a technique is important in spaceport processing activities because it allows engineers to quantify the risk of induced current damage to critical electronics due to nearby lightning strokes. This technique was tested extensively and is now in use by space launch organizations at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Future applications could include forensic meteorology.

  2. ENSO Related Interannual Lightning Variability from the Full TRMM LIS Lightning Climatology (United States)

    Clark, Austin; Cecil, Daniel J.


    It has been shown that the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) contributes to inter-annual variability of lightning production in the tropics and subtropics more than any other atmospheric oscillation. This study further investigated how ENSO phase affects lightning production in the tropics and subtropics. Using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) for ENSO phase, lightning data were averaged into corresponding mean annual warm, cold, and neutral 'years' for analysis of the different phases. An examination of the regional sensitivities and preliminary analysis of three locations was conducted using model reanalysis data to determine the leading convective mechanisms in these areas and how they might respond to the ENSO phases. These processes were then studied for inter-annual variance and subsequent correlation to ENSO during the study period to best describe the observed lightning deviations from year to year at each location.

  3. Subtropical and Polar Cirrus Clouds Characterized by Ground-Based Lidars and CALIPSO/CALIOP Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Córdoba-Jabonero Carmen


    Full Text Available Cirrus clouds are product of weather processes, and then their occurrence and macrophysical/optical properties can vary significantly over different regions of the world. Lidars can provide height-resolved measurements with a relatively good both vertical and temporal resolutions, making them the most suitable instrumentation for high-cloud observations. The aim of this work is to show the potential of lidar observations on Cirrus clouds detection in combination with a recently proposed methodology to retrieve the Cirrus clouds macrophysical and optical features. In this sense, a few case studies of cirrus clouds observed at both subtropical and polar latitudes are examined and compared to CALIPSO/CALIOP observations. Lidar measurements are carried out in two stations: the Metropolitan city of Sao Paulo (MSP, Brazil, 23.3°S 46.4°W, located at subtropical latitudes, and the Belgrano II base (BEL, Argentina, 78ºS 35ºW in the Antarctic continent. Optical (COD-cloud optical depth and LR-Lidar Ratio and macrophysical (top/base heights and thickness properties of both the subtropical and polar cirrus clouds are reported. In general, subtropical Cirrus clouds present lower LR values and are found at higher altitudes than those detected at polar latitudes. In general, Cirrus clouds are detected at similar altitudes by CALIOP. However, a poor agreement is achieved in the LR retrieved between ground-based lidars and space-borne CALIOP measurements, likely due to the use of a fixed (or low-variable LR value in CALIOP inversion procedures.

  4. A cloud-scale chemical-transport simulation during EULINOX. A case study for July 21 1998. (United States)

    Ramaroson, R.


    The main issues addressed by the European project EULINOX covered mainly the quantification of NOx production from lightning, the transport of NOx and surface emissions (e.g. CO) by convective systems, and the lightning distribution around thunderstorms. O3, CO, CO2, NOx, CN concentrations, J(NO2), meteorological variables and lightning have been observed and measured using ground systems and aircraft platforms during the project. Two aircraft have been operated: the DLR Falcon and the Do-228 providing the distribution of species in the PBL and at higher altitudes across the anvil along the jet tracks. July 21st 1998 was a special day during EULINOX : strong convection system, high electrical activities and a NO pic around 23 ppbv on board Falcon in the anvil. Thunderstorms associated with strong convective systems were encountered and well covered by the network of measurement systems as well as for the meteorology than for the chemistry and lightning localization. This work focuses on two objectives: how to describe the meteorology during EULINOX and to quantify the impact of the cloud scales on tropospheric NO and CO concentration. To reach this target, 2 types of simulation have been performed. The fist one uses the MM5 model in a 4 domain-nested version (ratio =3) to simulate the convective cloud system or isolated cell with a 1.5km by 1.5km resolution for the finest grid. The second run uses an off-line chemical transport model (MEDIUM) with a detailed chemistry assimilating in input the MM5 dynamics. On a broader scale, the general synoptic meteorology over Europe is well simulated by MM5. Over the finest domain, the model was able to generate a supercell storm but rather weak (vertical characteristics) and unstable compared to the observations. The cell depth is in a good agreement with observations with a horizontal position lightly shifted spatially. The chemical-transport simulation using MEDIUM including as input the MM5 meteorology output shows a

  5. Cloud manufacturing: from concept to practice (United States)

    Ren, Lei; Zhang, Lin; Tao, Fei; Zhao, Chun; Chai, Xudong; Zhao, Xinpei