TITLE

Relationships between Convective Storm Kinematics, Precipitation, and Lightning

AUTHOR(S)
Lang, Timothy J.; Rutledge, Steven A.
PUB. DATE
October 2002
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Oct2002, Vol. 130 Issue 10, p2492
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Combined multiparameter radar, dual-Doppler, thermodynamic sounding, and lightning observations of 11 thunderstorms (6 from the midlatitudes, 5 from the Tropics) are examined. The thunderstorms span a wide spectrum of intensities, from weak monsoontype to severe tornadic, and include both unicellular and multicellular convection. In general, the kinematically strongest storms featured lower production of negative cloud-to-ground lightning (typically < 1 min[sup -1] flash rates for large portions of the storms' lifetimes) when compared with more moderate convection, in accord with an elevated charge mechanism. The only significant differences between intense storms that produced predominately positive cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning for a significant portion of their lifetimes (PPCG storms) and intense storms that produced little CG lightning of any polarity (low-CG storms) was that PPCG storms featured much larger volumes of significant updrafts (both > 10 and >20 m s[sup -1]) and produced greater amounts of precipitation (both rain and hail). Otherwise, peak updrafts and vertical airmass fluxes were very similar between the two types of storms, and both types were linked by anomalously low production of negative CG lightning. PPCG effects in storms may result from an elevated region of negative charge (reducing negative CG flash rates) combined with enhanced net positive charge regions created by the larger volume of significant updrafts.
ACCESSION #
7269031

 

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