ICAE International Commission on Atmospheric Electricity


ICAE 2003 Versailles

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Accommodation /
Accompanying Person

Benjamin Franklin
Exhibition

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Notice to Chairpersons

Program

Index to Authors

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Monday 9th June

 


14:00

Session B3 Electrical Activity and Meteorology III (poster)


   
 

S. J. Goodman, R. Blakeslee, H. Christian, D. Boccippio, W. Koshak, J. Bailey, J. Hall, M. Bateman, E. McCaul, D. Buechler, W. Petersen, C. Darden, and T. Bradshaw
The North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array: Recent Results and Future Prospects

   
 

E. W. McCaul Jr., S. J. Goodman, D. Buechler, R. Blakeslee, H. Christian, D. Boccippio, W. Koshak, J. Bailey, J. Hall, M. Bateman, W. Petersen, C. Darden, and T. Bradshaw
A Total Lightning Climatology for the Tennessee Valley Region

   
N. W. S. Demetriades and M. J. Murphy
Normal polarity severe thunderstorms dominated by negative CG lightning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
   
  T. Suda, T. Shindo, and A. Wada
Lightning activity observed with lightning location systems of electric utilities in Japan 1992-2001
   
 

S. Heckman
What Does The Lightning Flash Rate Measure?

   
  M. O. Domingues, O. Mendes Jr., C. Sin Chan, and C. A. A. Beneti
A discussion on atmospheric parameters related to lightning activities: events from the Interdisciplinary Pantanal Experiment (2nd Data campaign), Brazil
   
  Z. Kawasaki, S. Yoshida, and T. Morimoto
National wide SAFIR network in Japan
   
  V. Mushtak, E. Williams, and D. Boccippio
Latitudinal Variation of Cloud Base Height and Lightning Parameters in the Tropics
   
  K. P. Naccarato, O. Pinto Jr., and I. R. C. A. Pinto
Lightning activity over large urban areas of the southeastern Brazil

 


The North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array: Recent Results and Future Prospects
 

S. J. Goodman, R. Blakeslee, H. Christian, D. Boccippio, W. Koshak,
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 320 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville, AL 35805

J. Bailey, J. Hall, M. Bateman, E. McCaul, D. Buechler, W. Petersen,
The Global Hydrology and Climate Center

C. Darden, T. Bradshaw,
National Weather Service Forecast Office, Huntsville, AL

 

The North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array became operational in November 2001 as a principal component of a severe weather test bed to infuse new science and technologies into the short-term forecasting of severe and hazardous weather and the warning decision-making process. STORMnet is a collaboration among NASA scientists, National Weather Service (NWS) weather forecast offices (WFOs), emergency managers, and other partners. The time rate-of-change of storm characteristics and life-cycle trending are accomplished in real-time through the second generation Lightning Imaging Sensor Data Applications Display (LISDAD II) system, initially developed in 1997 through a collaboration among NASA/MSFC, MIT/Lincoln Lab and the Melbourne, FL WFO. LISDAD II is now a distributed decision support system with a JAVA-based display application that allows anyone, anywhere to track individual storm histories within the Tennessee Valley region of the southeastern U.S.

Since the inauguration of the LMA there has been an abundance of severe weather. During 23-24 November 2001, a major tornado outbreak was monitored by LMA in its first data acquisition effort (36 tornadoes in Alabama). Since that time the LMA has collected a vast amount of data on hailstorms and damaging wind events, non-tornadic supercells, and ordinary non-severe thunderstorms. In this paper we provide an overview of LMA observations and discuss future prospects for improving the short-term forecasting of convective weather.

 

TopFull program for B3 Session
 

A Total Lightning Climatology for the Tennessee Valley Region
 

E. W. McCaul Jr., S. J. Goodman, D. Buechler, R. Blakeslee, H. Christian, D. Boccippio, W. Koshak, J. Bailey, J. Hall, M. Bateman, W. Petersen,
Global Hydrology and Climate Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center 320 Sparkman Drive Huntsville, AL 35805

C. Darden, and T. Bradshaw
National Weather Service Forecast Office, Huntsville, AL

 

Climatological statistics derived from the first full year of operation of the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array have been compiled. The LMA senses radiation from segments of lightning channels, and locates the position and time of each source, thus providing information about the total lightning activity generated by storm systems. The 10-sensor network reliably locates lightning events out to ranges of approximately 200 km. The North Alabama LMA began operations in November 2001, and has collected data on a wide variety of storm system types during its first year of operation, including outbreaks of tornadic and nontornadic supercells, squall lines, air-mass pulse storms, landfalling tropical cyclones, and elevated frontal convective systems.

The data are analyzed in terms of diurnal, seasonal, altitudinal and geographical patterns. Corrections are applied for known range and azimuth-dependent variations in network sensitivity caused by the specific layout of the network sensors. Intercomparisons with the local cloud-to-ground lightning climatology and with satellite-derived total lightning climatologies are also presented.

 

 

TopFull program for B3 Session
 

Normal Polarity Severe Thunderstorms dominated by Negative CG Lightning in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area
 

Nicholas W. S. Demetriades and M. J. Murphy
Vaisala-GAI, Inc. Tucson, AZ USA

 

Since the late 1980's atmospheric electricity and meteorology researchers have been studying the potential that cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning could have in helping predict severe weather. The majority of this research has involved tracking the polarity of CG flashes within thunderstorms and their associated flash rates. The primary results of this research have focused on the links between positive CG lightning dominated (PCGD) thunderstorms and severe weather. Knapp (1994) found that 39% of the 556 PCGD thunderstorms (³ 30% positive CG lightning for an hour) analyzed in their study produced severe weather. This is much larger than the generally accepted value of less than 1% of all thunderstorms producing severe weather. Several studies since 1994 have found a relationship between PCGD storms and severe weather. Recently, field programs such as the MCS Electrification and Polarimetric Radar Study (MEaPRS) and the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study (STEPS) have used airborne electric field mills and 3D lightning detection to gather information on the vertical charge structure of these PCGD thunderstorms. Many of the papers from these studies have focused on the links between inverted polarity (main negative above main positive charge layer) thunderstorms, high positive CG flash rates and severe weather.

Although there appears to be an important relationship between PCGD storms and severe weather, most of these storms have been studied in the central and northern plains of the United States. Smith et al. (2000) have found evidence that the dominant polarity of CG lightning within storms may be dependent on equivalent potential temperature gradients. Vaisala's studies in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) show that dominant storm polarity has an important regional dependence. To date, analysis of a set of severe thunderstorms using the DFW Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR II) network and the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) has shown that all of them were of normal polarity and dominated by negative CG lightning despite producing up to baseball-sized hail and strong F2 tornadoes. Total (cloud and CG) lightning parameters such as flash rates and cloud/CG flash ratios, used in conjunction with radar data, may be more effective than dominant CG lightning storm polarity for identifying severe storms. This paper will cover a couple of case studies that support our claim and show the important role that can be played by normal polarity, negative CG lightning dominated thunderstorms in producing extremely damaging severe weather.

 

TopFull program for B3 Session
 

Lightning Activity observed with lightning location systems of electric utilities in Japan 1992-2001
 

Tomotaka Suda, Takatoshi Shindo, Atsushi Wada
Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Komae-shi Tokyo Japan

 

Cloud-to-ground lightning frequency is one of the most important factors to establish the rational insulation design of power transmission systems. Lightning occurrence data have been collected with the lightning location systems operated by electric power companies in Japan and it is possible to make a lightning frequency map using the data obtained by the lightning location systems with higher accuracy than the conventional IKL (Iso-Keraunic Level or thunderstorm day) map. Ten-year lightning occurrence data from 1992 to 2001 have been collected and analyzed corresponding to the faults of transmission lines. As a result, it is found that the annual number of the lightning strokes varies at the level of about 0.5 million on an average, but it is small in 1993 and extremely large in 2000 and 2001. This is considered due to the abnormal meteorological conditions in summer. Seasonal variations and annual variations of lightning occurrence have been clarified from the seasonal and annual lightning stroke frequency maps made by the above data.

Average lightning stroke density all over Japan is 1 - 2/km2/year, but year-to-year variation is rather large. It is shown that the variation is different from that of thunderstorm days and comparison of the data with thunderstorm day data for about a hundred years collected by the Japan Meteorological Agency is made.

As to lightning current distribution, annual, seasonal, regional variations are clarified. Effects of the polarity and relationship between the current and number of strokes are investigated.

 

TopFull program for B3 Session
 

What Does The Lightning Flash Rate Measure ?
 

Stan Heckman

 

Storms that produce lightning are more vigorous than storms that do not; storms that produce much lightning are more vigorous than storms that produce less. Yet lightning data is largely ignored in meteorological models. Perhaps this is because we have not said more quantitatively what "more vigorous" means. There are quantitative theories, involving density or fluxes of precipitation and cloud ice, but as yet these theories have not caused most meteorologists uninterested in atmospheric electricity to use of lightning data to improve diagnoses of meteorological parameters.

In an attempt to show how much we already know, I should like to show variations in lightning flashing rates of "meteorologically equivalent" storms, for various definitions of "meteorologically equivalent". The variation will quantitatively describe how much we already know about what the flashing rates tell us about meteorology. An examination of what is correlated with that variation will hint how we might improve our theories of what causes lightning. In particular, I shall discuss the variation with variation in the meteorological regime (forcing, adjusted state, density of other convection) that produced this storm. The "meteorologically equivalent" storms will be drawn from a database of 100000 storms viewed by the TRMM satellite and related to NCEP analyses of the environment of those storms.

 

 

TopFull program for B3 Session
 

A discussion on atmospheric parameters related to lightning activities:
events from the Interdisciplinary Pantanal Experiment (2nd. data campaign), Brazil.
 

Margarete O. Domingues, Chou Sin Chan,
CPTEC/INPE
Margaret@cptec.inpe.br

"Odim Mendes Jr.
CEA/INPE

César A. A. Beneti
SIMEPAR

 

In several countries the most used tools to monitor lightning activities are the cloud-to-ground lightning positioning and tracking systems (Bass, 1996; Diniz et al., 1996; Cummins et al., 1998). It is supposed that the tracking of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes could be used to help the nowcasting (Holle and Lopez, 1993). However, for this purpose it is still necessary to research the atmospheric scenario deeply and to relate it to the lightning activity, in order to establish the best methodology. Thus this work studied the lightning-atmosphere relationship during the 2nd. data collection campaign of the Interdisciplinary Pantanal Experiment (IPE 2), at the Pantanal Sul Matogrossense, Brazil, in 1999. IPE is part of a broad experimental program to study the characteristics of the weather and the climate of the central region of Brazil. In a site (19o 57' 43.8"S 57 o 1' 51.6"W) at this tropical region, meteorological radiosondes were launched from Sept. 14 to 23, 1999, with a 3 hour-time interval from one to another. Two events of Thunderstorm (Sept. 15 and 19, 1999) were recorded by a brazilian lightning detector network. Those data were analyzed integrated to the geo-stationary satellite data (IR, WV and VIS channels) and numerical analysis model data. The atmosphere parameters (CAPE, wind shear, cloud depth, critical isotherms, and so on) and the lightning features were calculated and discussed in order to obtain the characterization of the thunderstorm evolution.

References:

Bass, R. G. (1996) A lightning summary and decision model to improve thunderstorms prediction at Whiteman Air Force Base. Missouri, 138 pp., M. S. Thesis, Dep. of Meteorology, Texas A&M Univ.
Cummins, K. L.; Murphy, M. J.; Bardo, E. A; Hiscox, W. L.; Pyle, R. B.; Pifer, A. E. (1998) A combined TOA/MDF technology upgrade of the U. S. National Lightning Detection Network. J. Geophys. Res., 103:9,035-9,044.
Diniz, J. H.; Carvalho, A. M.; Cherchiglia, L. C. L.; Soares, J. J. F.; Amorim, G. E. S. (1996) Lightning research carried out by Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais - Brazil. Proceedings. XXIII International Conference on Lightning Protection. Firenze, Italy, ICLP. p. 224-229.
Holle, R. H.; Lopez, R. E. (1993) Overview of real-time lightning detection systems and their meteorological uses. NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL NSLL-102. Norman, Oklahoma, NOAA.

 

 

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Latitudinal Variation of Cloud Base Height and Lightning Parameters in the Tropics
 

Vadim MUSHTAK
Parsons Laboratory, MIT, U.S.A,

Earle WILLIAMS,
Parsons Laboratory, MIT, U.S.A,

Dennis BOCCIPPIO
NASA/MSFC, U.S.A.

 

Two previous tropical observations have not been satisfactorily explained: (1) the increase in the ratio of intracloud to cloud-to-ground lightning flashes toward the equator, and (2) the absolute diminishment of the cloud-to-ground lightning flash density toward the equator. To re-illuminate these issues, comparisons are made between thunderstorm flash rates and the thermodynamic properties of the air ingested by the storms. These comparisons are enabled by the integration of observations from the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on board the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite with surface meteorological observations throughout the tropics. The LIS/meteorological intersections for hundreds of thunderstorms show that both the cloud base height and the mean flash rate per storm are minimal at the equator and increase poleward in both hemispheres. Evidence is presented that the updraft width of cumulonimbi scales with the cloud base height. Narrow updraft widths will consequently be associated with narrow negative charge centers. Narrow negative charge centers at a fixed MSL elevation are less likely to provide charge transfer to ground over the long required path (~7 km), thereby accounting for the suppression of cloud-to-ground lightning in the near equatorial zone. The more frequent occurrence of storms in this zone is responsible for the climatological maximum of total lightning (dominated by intracloud flashes) near the equator.

 

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