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Cloud-to-ground lightning frequency over south Florida

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... It is also possible that lightning and other effects of cloud electricity enhance or otherwise affect precipitation [Moore et al., 1962[Moore et al., , 1964Brazier-Smith et al., 1973;Moore and Vonnegut, 1973;Gay et al., 1974;Latham, 1977;Szymanski et al., 1980]. Unfortunately, there are relatively few detailed studies of the relationship between lightning and rainfall in the literature [Battan, 1965;Kinzer, 1974;Grosh, 1978;Maier et al., 1978]. ...
... Since on average only about 38% of the discharges at KSC are cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes [Livingston and Krider, 1978], we estimate that the average density of CG flashes is about 4.6 +_ 3.1 per km 2 per month. This value is reasonably close to the 2.9 CG flashes per km 2 per month obtained by Maier et al. [1978] in South Florida, using a cloud-to-ground lightning locating system. ...
... These results and the previous lightning-rain correlations imply that when the meteorological conditions favor the production of lightning, there is almost a direct proportionality between the total rain volume and the total number of flashes. Maier et al. [1978], in their study of cloud-to-ground lightning and rainfall, found that lightning counts were proportional to the total storm rainfall, and that the proportionality increased with the rain volume until the latter got to be about 1.2 to 2.7 x 104 m 3 per flash, about the values obtained in this study. Beyond these volumes, storms which produced more rainfall tended to produce proportionately less lightning. ...
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Lightning and surface rainfall data are presented which were obtained during summer air mass thunderstorms at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Attention is given to a computer algorithm which employed abrupt changes in the thundercloud electric fields to detect and count flashes. Statistics are given for the occurrence of lightning in 79 storms during the summer seasons of 1976-1980, as well as 28 lightning storms from the summers of 1977 and 1978. The relationship between lightning and rainfall is examined in the case of two thunderstorms whose locations allow a direct comparison of measurements. It is found that when meteorological conditions favor the production of lightning, there is an almost direct proportionality between the total rain volume and the total number of flashes.
... It is also possible that lightning and other effects of cloud electricity enhance or otherwise affect precipitation [Moore et al., 1962[Moore et al., , 1964Brazier-Smith et al., 1973;Moore and Vonnegut, 1973;Gay et al., 1974;Latham, 1977;Szymanski et al., 1980]. Unfortunately, there are relatively few detailed studies of the relationship between lightning and rainfall in the literature [Battan, 1965;Kinzer, 1974;Grosh, 1978;Maier et al., 1978]. ...
... Since on average only about 38% of the discharges at KSC are cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes [Livingston and Krider, 1978], we estimate that the average density of CG flashes is about 4.6 +_ 3.1 per km 2 per month. This value is reasonably close to the 2.9 CG flashes per km 2 per month obtained by Maier et al. [1978] in South Florida, using a cloud-to-ground lightning locating system. ...
... These results and the previous lightning-rain correlations imply that when the meteorological conditions favor the production of lightning, there is almost a direct proportionality between the total rain volume and the total number of flashes. Maier et al. [1978], in their study of cloud-to-ground lightning and rainfall, found that lightning counts were proportional to the total storm rainfall, and that the proportionality increased with the rain volume until the latter got to be about 1.2 to 2.7 x 104 m 3 per flash, about the values obtained in this study. Beyond these volumes, storms which produced more rainfall tended to produce proportionately less lightning. ...
... This index is defined as the ratio of monthly rainthll to number of thunderstorms days (abbreviated as RTR). Earlier studies in which rainfall has been compared to lightning activity were by Battan [1965], Maier et al. [1978], and Piepgrass and Krider [1982]. These authors have calculated rain yields over cloud scales or mesoscales based on single or multiple thunderstorm case studies. ...
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This paper describes the results of monthly latitudinal (8°-30°N) and latitude belts (8°-10°, 10°-15°, 15°-20°, 20°-25°, and 25°-30°N) averaged seasonal thunderstorm activity over India by using monthly data from a large number of Indian stations from 1970 to 1980. The latitudinal variation in the premonsoon (March-April-May) and monsoon season (June-September) months is described and the results are discussed. An examination of the seasonal thunderstorm day activity in the first four belts indicated systematic changes in their signals of semiannual oscillation. These changes are noted to be a function of latitude and season and appear to be consistent with the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and solar heating of the Indian landmass. We compare the thunderstorm day activity with the monthly mean maximum values of the surface wet-bulb (Tw) temperatures in the five latitude belts over the Indian region. By using rainfall data for the same period of study, the relationship between seasonal rainfall and number of thunderstorm days over the 11 year period is examined. The results of variation of the ratio of monthly rainfall to thunderstorm days (RTR) during different phases of the southwest monsoon are also presented. Results of the monthly mean electrical conditions of mesoscale and isolated deep convective storms at Pune are summarized. It is noted that the electrification of the premonsoon season thunderstorms dominated by a factor of 3-4 over the monsoon ones. We have examined at length the possible influence of the El Nino on the occurrence and electrification of thunderstorms over the Indian region.
... 3 thunderstorm in Oklahoma, Maier et al. 1978 reported 100 = 10 from 22 thunder-Ž . ...
Article
The lightning activity of convective systems is a sometimes fruitful indicator of their precipitation production. The present study compares rain volume with different types of lightning activity in several convective systems. The study uses data obtained in the Paris area where two lightning detection systems coexist. The Météorage network provides the location and the polarity of cloud-to-ground flashes, while the SAFIR system detects the total flash activity: cloud-to-ground, intra-cloud flashes and VHF individual sources within a given time window. The overall spatial correlation between rain and lightning appears to be very consistent for all lightning types. A pixel-to-pixel study shows that positive CG flashes are associated with higher rainwater volume than negative flashes. Introducing a weight coefficient for positive CG flashes considerably improves the correlation between rain amount and lightning production. Taking into account the specific contribution of each type of lightning flash, the amount of rain can be estimated from the total electrical activity of each system. Comparison with the amount derived from radar measurement shows reasonable agreement. Finally, the parallel time evolutions of rain and lightning rates display quite similar characteristics.
Article
Lightning flashes and surface rainfall are two manifestations of thunderstorms, both consequences of physical processes in the cloud involving hydrometeors of different sizes and types. For several decades, observations using various techniques have shown the general trend for both activities to be tightly related and to quantify the relationship. In several regions of the world, rainfall produced by convective systems has been estimated from surface detection, from ground radar scans or from space observations, and the rate of lightning flashes generated by the same systems was determined in parallel using various detection systems. Among the parameters used to quantify the relationship between rainfall and lightning, the Rain-yield Per Flash (RPF) which is the rainfall volume or mass divided by the lightning frequency, has been estimated in different regions and in several convection regimes. The values obtained from many studies can range from less than 1 × 10 7 kg fl-1 in continental and arid regimes to about 3000 × 107 kg fl-1 in oceanic regime. The variation of the RPF has been attributed to various causes in the literature, according to the techniques of rainfall estimation, the region of the storm activity, the type and the phase of the storms involved, and the type of flash considered. Surface-detected rainfall can provide larger RPF values than rainfall detected at altitude because of evaporation. The RPF values are obviously lower when considering total lightning activity and higher when the storm systems cover an extended stratiform zone. A large difference is observed between oceanic and continental storms. The RPF is much larger in oceanic convective clouds, especially in warm pool. The main reason for this contrast is the weakness of the updrafts over the ocean compared to over the land. In ocean storms, the width and the height of the mixed-phase cloud region, where the non-inductive charging processes occur, are too small for the development of electrification.
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[1] Relationships between cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning and surface rainfall have been examined in nine isolated, warm-season thunderstorms on the east coast of central Florida. CG flashes and the associated rain volumes were measured as a function of time in storm-centered reference frames that followed each storm over a network of rain gauges. Values of the storm-average rain volume per CG flash ranged from 0.70 × 104 to 6.4 × 104 m3/CG flash, with a mean (and standard deviation) of 2.6 × 104 ± 2.1 × 104 m3/CG flash. Values of the rain volume concurrent with CG flashes ranged from 0.11 × 104 to 4.9 × 104 m3/CG flash with a mean of 2.1 × 104 ± 2.0 × 104 m3/CG flash. The lag-time between the peak CG flash rate and the peak rainfall rate (using 5 min bins), and the results of a lag correlation analysis, show that surface rainfall tends to follow the lightning (positive lag) by up to 20 min in six storms. In one storm the rainfall preceded the lightning by 5 min, and two storms had nonsignificant lags. Values of the lagged rain volume concurrent with CG flashes ranged from 0.43 × 104 to 4.9 × 104 m3/CG flash, and the mean was 1.9 × 104 ± 1.7 × 104 m3/CG flash. For the five storms that produced 12 or more flashes and had significant lags, a plot of the optimum lag time versus the total number of CG flashes shows a linear trend (R2 = 0.56). The number of storms is limited, but the lag results do indicate that large storms tend to have longer lags. A linear fit to the lagged rain volume vs. the number of concurrent CG flashes has a slope of 1.9 × 104 m3/CG flash (R2 = 0.83). We conclude that warm-season Florida thunderstorms produce a roughly constant rain volume per CG flash and that CG lightning can be used to estimate the location and intensity of convective rainfall in that weather regime.
Article
Ratios of area mean rainfall and cloud-to-ground lightning flash count (termed "rain yields") were computed for several different locations around the globe, over temporal and spatial scales of 1 month and 104-105 km 2, respectively. Values of the rain yield clustered near l0 s kg/fl for a large portion of the midcontinental United States. Rain yields were slightly lower over the arid southwestern United States, averaging --6 x 107 kg/fl. In tropical locations the rain yields increased systematically from a tropical 8 10 continental value of 4 x 10 kg/fl to a value of 10 kg/fl for the tropical western Pacific Ocean. The observed stability of the rain yield, coupled with demonstrated positive correlations between cloud-to-ground flash density and rainfall amount, suggests that cloud-to-ground lightning data may be useful for inferring monthly convective rainfall statistics in certain rainfall regimes.
Article
This paper analyses radar observations and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash activity of several thunderstorms occurring over the Pyrénées range during the night of 23-24 August 1993 and the afternoon of 24 August 1993. the available data consisted of the European meteorological bulletin, the plan position indicator radar scans at three elevations performed by the 5.5 cm wavelength Rodin radar of Toulouse, and the characteristics of the CG lightning strikes. The first thunderclouds began to develop at around 2200 UTC 23 August. Up to 0100 UTC 24 August, we observed three isolated convective cells. We also studied a mesoscale convective system (MCS) occurring during the afternoon of 24 August, and chose to investigate three convective cells embedded within it. These different thunderclouds developed over the Spanish side of the Pyrénées and moved north-eastwards over the mountains. the locations of CG flashes in relation to the reflectivity fields revealed two kinds of CG lightning activity: flashes associated with intense rainfall, and those located in stratiform cloud areas far from the intense precipitating zone. the flash density was larger within the first type and the positive flash proportion was larger in the second type. the amount of large precipitating particles was characterized by the area A(τ) covered by reflectivities larger than τ dBZ, with τ taken as 33 dBZ. the study of the time evolution of A (33) at three altitudes showed that, for the lightning activity associated with intense rainfall, strong reflectivities at high altitude (4.5 km, and sometimes 7.5 km) coincided with large lightning flash rates, though it was the time evolution of the vertical profile of the area covered by precipitation that drove the CG lightning flash rate (or vice-versa). the maximum flash rate coincided with the fall of large precipitating particles. Furthermore, a time lag was observed at the ground between the lightning flash rate and the rainfall rate. the time evolutions of the flash rate and A (τ) at the lowest elevation of the radar beam (0.6°) confirmed this delay. the correlation coefficient between these two parameters for the isolated convective cells reached 0.81 in the best case. the correlation between the lightning activity and precipitation of the whole MCS was less good but, nevertheless, the volume of precipitation per CG lightning flash was of the same order of magnitude for all the cells or MCSs observed. It ranged from 3.2 × 103 to 46.8 × 103 m3 flash-1, in accordance with the results of other authors.
Article
The principal characteristics of lightning on earth are reviewed, and the evidence for lightning on Venus and Jupiter is examined. The mechanisms believed to be important to the electrification of terrestrial clouds are reviewed, with attention given to the applicability of some of these mechanisms to the atmospheres of Venus and Jupiter. The consequences of the existence of lightning on Venus and Jupiter for their atmospheres and for theories of cloud electrification on earth are also considered. Since spacecraft observations do not conclusively show that lightning does occur on Venus, it is suggested that alternative explanations for the experimental results be explored. Since Jupiter has no true surface, the Jovian lightning flashes are cloud dischargaes. Observations suggest that Jovian lightning emits, on average, 10 to the 10 J of optical energy per flash, whereas on earth lightning radiates only about 10 to the 6th J per flash. Estimates of the average planetary lightning rate on Jupiter range from 0.003 per sq km per yr to 40 per sq km per yr.
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