ICAE Fall 2002 News Letter
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ATMOSPHERIC ELECTRICITY GROUP (ELAT) BRAZILIAN INSTITUTE
OF SPACE RESEARCH (Sao José dos Campos Brazil)
The Atmospheric Electricity Group (ELAT) of the Brazilian
Institute of Space Research begun in November 2002 two international campaigns:
the first is to measure sprites and related parameters in the stratosphere
using stratospheric balloons, an airplane and cameras on ground. The campaign
is in collaboration with the University of Washington and the Utah State
University. The second is a continuation of the triggering lightning
experiments in collaboration with several institutions in Brazil and France.
The ELAT also organized the third Brazilian Workshop on atmospheric electricity
that happened in Rio in the first week of November. The workshop occurred
simultaneously with the Ground2002 International Conference on Grounding
and Earthing. The next workshop is planned to 2004 and, probably, it should be
held again in Rio.
DEPARTMENT OF ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE COLORADO STATE
UNIVERSITY (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)
Timothy Lang and Steven Rutledge are utilizing dual-Doppler and
multiparameter radar data, along with electric field change meter and
cloud-to-ground lightning detection network data, to examine a broad spectrum
of thunderstorm types and intensities. The goal is to better understand how
storm kinematic and microphysical structure affect lightning production. Ten
case studies have been identified: five mid-latitude thunderstorms observed in
northeast Colorado in 1998, and five tropical thunderstorms observed during the
TRMM/LBA project, which occurred in early 1999 in the western Amazon of Brazil.
These storms vary from weak airmass and monsoonal thunderstorms to intense
squall lines and supercells. By examining how variations in lightning patterns
and production correlate to variations in the kinematic and microphysical
structures within this diverse array of storms, we hope to gain new insights
into how storm kinematics and microphysics affect lightning production.
The Frequency and Distribution of Severe Storms That Produce
Predominately Positive Cloud-to-ground Lightning in the Contiguous United
Although the polarity of most cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning is
negative, the ground flashes beneath severe storms are sometimes predominately
positive (i.e., > 50%). Occasionally, the +CG lightning flash density is
very high (i.e., >= 0.01 km-2 h-1). The existence of
predominately positive cloud-to-ground (PPCG) lightning in severe storms evokes
fundamental questions regarding thunderstorm electrification mechanisms and
raises the possibility of nowcasting severe storms with CG lightning data.
Despite their intriguing nature, the regional frequency and % of severe storms
dominated by +CG lightning in the contiguous U.S. are not well understood. In
addition, little is known about the magnitude of positive peak currents in
To address this issue, Lawrence D. Carey and Steven A. Rutledge
determined the %, flash density, and mean peak current of +CG lightning within
the vicinity of every large hail and tornado report during a ten year period
(1989 - 1998) during the warm season (April - September). These analyses reveal
that PPCG lightning rarely occurs beneath severe storms in the contiguous U.S.
Only 15% (5%) of severe storm reports were associated with (high flash density)
PPCG lightning. However, there was significant regional variability. The
overwhelming majority of +CG lightning dominated severe storms occurred in the
central U.S. The Eastern U.S. was nearly devoid of these unique storms; only 3%
(0.5%) of severe storms produced (high flash density) PPCG lightning there. In
the Central and Northern Plains, about 41% (15%) of severe storm reports were
accompanied by (high flash density) PPCG lightning.
Broad frequency and % maxima of severe storms that generate PPCG
lightning stretched from eastern CO and the OK Panhandle northeastward through
KS and NE to the eastern Dakotas and southern MN. In this
southwest-to-northeast tilted region, typically > 30% of severe storms were
+CG dominated. Interestingly, this feature is remarkably similar in location
and shape to the region of high percentage (e.g., > 10%) of +CG lightning
found in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest when analyzing annual NLDN data
from 1989 - 1998. This region is also characterized by a relative maxima in the
median positive peak current (> 30 kA; Orville and Huffines, Proceedings of
the 11th ICAE, 412-415, 1999). Inspection of our results shows that
severe storms dominated by PPCG lightning generate a markedly different
population of positive peak currents than other severe storms. The mean
positive peak current for severe PPCG lightning events typically ranges from 35
kA to 65 kA while it ranges primarily from 10 kA to 30 kA for all other severe
storms. Based on these results, we suggest that severe storms that produce PPCG
lightning may be largely responsible for the annual maxima in both the percent
of positive CG lightning flashes and the positive peak current that is found in
the Great Plains and Upper Midwest when analyzing annual NLDN data from
1989-1998. Additional information can be found at the following web site:
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS AND SPACE SCIENCES FLORIDA INSTITUTE
OF TECHNOLOGY (Florida, USA)
New Measurements of Energetic Radiation from Rocket-Triggered
Lightning have been performed. Using scintillation detectors designed to
operate in an electrically noisy environment, J. R. Dwyer, H. K. Rassoul, M.
Al-Dayeh, E. L. Caraway, V. Corbin, and B. Wright of the Department of Physics
and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology, in collaboration
with M. A. Uman, V. A. Rakov, J. Jerauld, D. M. Jordan, and K. J. Rambo of the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida,
Gainesville have conducted x-ray observations of rocket-triggered lightning at
the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) at Camp
Blanding, Florida. During the summer of 2002, a total of 7 triggered lighting
flashes, consisting of 37 return strokes, were observed from a distance of less
than 50 m, and intense bursts of energetic radiation were measured just prior
to the majority of the return strokes. The timing of the energetic radiation
suggests that the mechanism that produces this radiation may be associated with
the dart leader phase of the lightning. These results have been recently
submitted for publication in Science Magazine and will be presented at the fall
2002 AGU meeting. Preparations are currently underway for continued energetic
radiation observations at ICLRT during the summer of 2003.
GEOELECTROMAGNETIC MONITORING LABORATORY (GemM) BOROK
GEOPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY OF RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (Borok, Russia)
The GemM Laboratory Measurement Complex has been used for the
routine continuous observations of atmosphere electric field and atmosphere
electric current during 2001-2002. The data of electric field observation are
presented on the web-site of Borok Geophysical Observatory Database
Current studies are directed to the study of atmosphere electric
sources and geophysical shells coupling, to the experimental and theoretical
investigations of near-surface atmosphere electricity as a part of the global
electric circuit, to the development of the global electric circuit conception.
The members of the research team of GemM Laboratory are Dr. S. V. Anisimov
(Head of GemM Laboratory), Dr. E. M. Dmitriev, Dr. N. M. Shikhova and Dr. S. S.
Bakastov. The researches are performed in collaboration with the Plasma Physics
and Electronics Department of the Institute of Applied Physics, RAS (Dr. E. A.
Mareev, A. E. Sorokin and others). The universal power-law spectra of
aeroelectric field pulsations and aeroelectric structures have been
substantiated experimentally and theoretically during 2001-2002. The researches
on electrodynamics properties of the fog were carried out in June-September,
2001 and June-October, 2002. The experimental base of investigations is the
data, obtained from the long-term measurements of atmosphere electric field and
atmosphere temperature at several remote points.
The results of recent researches were reported at the Conference
on fog and fog collection, St. John's, Canada, July 2001, XXVII General
Assembly of URSI, Maastricht, the Netherlands, 17-24 August 2002, and
Conference of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research - "Geophysics from XX
to XXI century", Moscow, Russia, 8-10 October, 2002.
Anisimov S.V., E.A.Mareev, N.M.Shikhova and E.M.Dmitriev,
Mechanisms for the Formation of Electric-Field Pulsation Spectra in the
Near-Surface Atmosphere, Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics, 44, 7,
Anisimov S.V. and E.A.Mareev, Spectra of Electric Field Pulsations
in the Near-Surface Atmosphere, Doklady Academii Nauk, Geophysical
Sciences, 381, 8, 975-980, 2001.
Anisimov S.V., E.M.Dmitriev, E.B.Anisimova and A.N.Sychev, The
database of Geophysical observatory "Borok", "Herald of the DGGGMS RAS" #4(19),
2001 (in Russian).
Anisimov S.V., Mareev E.A., Sorokin A.E., Shikhova N.M. and
Dmitriev E.M., Electrodynamic properties of the fog, Izvestiya, Atmospheric
and Oceanic Physics, 39, 1, 1-15, 2002.
Anisimov S.V., Mareev E.A., Shikhova N.M. and Dmitriev E.M.,
Universal spectra of electric field pulsation in the atmosphere, Geophys. Res.
Letters, accepted, 2002.
HIGH VOLTAGE RESEARCH INSTITUTE AT TOMSK POLYTECHNIC (Tomsk,
For over 30 years the High Voltage Research Institute at Tomsk
Polytechnic is carrying out the regional mapping of thunderstorm activity based
on the data from the meteorological stations, from the networks of lighting
flash counters, and as derived from the lighting related power line outage
statistics (for both distribution and transmission power lines). Research is
concentrating on the analysis of time and space inhomogeneous of thunderstorms.
An attempt to correlate an average number of thunderstorm days per
annum with an average number of lightning discharges to the ground for
different landscape types have been made by Gorbatenko V.P., Dulzon A.A.,
Reshetko M.V. cooperatively by Thern S. (Siemens AG, Karlsruhe, Germany). This
study is based on comparing average multiannual values of thunderstorm activity
and the data of a density of lightning discharges to the ground, obtained with
a multistation system locating thunderbolts to the ground on the territory of
Germany. An attempt to construct the dependencies for different uniform
landscapes has perspective for estimation of thunderstorm hazard of territories
not covered with instrumental observations. A comparative study of lightning
discharges to the ground and physico-geographical factors of territory is
performed by Ershova T.V., Gorbatenko V.P., Dulzon A.A, Reshetko M.V. Analysis
of correlation allows to do the conclusions: above the big rivers or other
water basins the density of lightning discharges to the ground is 1.5-2 times
bigger then above the neighbouring territories.
The structure of dates of thunderstorm days and forms of
atmosphere circulation are studied. It is shown the periodical structure of
temporal ranges (the years 1891-1996) of number of days with thunderstorm on
the territories different in its geographical position. These analyses
are being performed Gorbatenko V., Dulzon A., Reshetko M co-operative by
Ippolitov I. , Kabanov M., Loginov S.V. of the Institute for Optical Monitoring
SB RAS. Therefore, analysing longterm variations of thunderstorm days or the
duration of thunderstorms, we can assess the expected range of temporal changes
of lightning discharges to the ground. The results of calculations show, that
the extreme meanings of lightning discharges to the ground calculated on
maximal number of thunderstorm days, are 1,5-2 times higher than the average
meanings, defined for these territories earlier.
Gorbatenko V.P. About dependency of density lightning discharges
to the ground on thunderstorm activity // Electricity (Russ). 2001. - 7.-
Gorbatenko V., Dulzon A., Reshetko M, Ippolitov I., Kabanov M.
Loginov S. Analyses of the structure of dates of forms of atmosphere
circulation and number of thunderstorm days. Optic of atmosphere and ocean
(Russ). - 2002 - 15. - 8. - 693-698.
Gorbatenko V.P., Dulzon A.A., Reshetko M.V., Thern S. Dependence
of density of lightning discharges to the ground on number of thunderstorm days
for different landscape types.// Proceedings of the International Conference on
Lightning Protection (ICLP 2002). -Cracow, Poland, 2-6 2002. - Vol. I. -
Ershova T.V., Gorbatenko V.P., Dulzon A.A, Reshetko M.V.
Dependence of density of lightning discharges to the ground on
physico-geographical factors of locality // Proceedings of the 6 th
Russian-Korean Int. Symposium on Science and Technology (KORUS-2002), 1-5 July.
Novosibirsk, 2002. P. 414-417.
Gorbatenko V.P., Dulzon A.A., Reshetko M.V. Research on longterm
data of thunderstorm days // Proceedings of the VI International Symposium on
Lightning Protection. 19-23 November, 2001. - Santos, Brazil, 2001.- P.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ROORKEE (Roorkee, India)
Atmospheric Physics group of Department of Physics, I. I. T.
Roorkee (Formerly University of Roorkee) is actively engaged in the research in
Atmospheric Electricity. The group leader Prof. Jagdish Rai attended the 17th
International Lightning Detection Conference held at Tucson, Arizona, U. S. A.
from October 16-18, 2002 and presented the work on the mapping of intracloud
lightning discharges. Dinesh K. Sharma attended the 39th Annual Convention and
Meeting on "Sustainability Science and Environmental Geophysics" held at NEERI,
Nagpur from October 4-6, 2002 and presented a paper on the sunrise effect on
ionospheric temperature as measured by SROSS-C2 satellite. The Indian Space
Research Organization (ISRO) has granted a research project for the study of
ionospheric response to the tropospheric disturbances. The SROSS-C2 satellite
data on electron and ion temperatures and ion density were supplied by ISRO and
the data on thunderstorms activity by India Meteorological Department (IMD). It
has been found that during thunderstorms the electron and ion temperatures in
the ionosphere in the height range 425 to 625 km are enhanced. The enhancement
in electron temperature is 1.4 to 2.3 times while for ions it is 1.2 to 1.7
times over the normal days. The ion density has been found to be unaffected by
Miss Smita Darmora is doing theoretical studies on the effect of
thunderstorms on the ionosphere. Dinesh C. Singh joined the group recently as
Junior Research Fellow.
Mohammad Israil from the Department of Earth Sciences and V. K.
Katiyar from Mathematics Department take active part in group activity.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TROPICAL METEOROLOGY PHYSICAL
METEOROLOGY AND AEROLOGY DIVISION (Pune, India)
The Atmospheric Science has been recognised as an important area
of research due to its impact on various human activities, specially
agriculture and earths environment. Hence, the objectives of the
Institute are set forth to undertake and encourage research aimed at advancing
the present knowledge in Atmospheric Sciences. Atmospheric Electricity is the
branch of atmospheric physics, which comes under the domain of atmospheric
sciences. It is a topic in which the electrical properties of the earth's
atmospheric regions are studied through the measurements of electric field,
conductivity, currents and related parameters at different times and during
different weather conditions.
The topic atmospheric electricity is divided into two categories
of weather conditions : fair and disturbed weather. Disturbed weather
atmospheric electricity mainly originates from the electrification of the
thunderstorms. This includes the understanding of their distribution, seasonal,
latitudinal variation. Beside these, the study of the thunderstorm related
electrical parameters such as measurements of point discharge current and
lightning events is also equally important as it plays an important role in the
global electric circuit.
With this view, the authors have taken an opportunity to collect
the data of lightning flash from the Global Hydrology and Climate Center
Lightning Research Team at NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center for the
Indian region and the results were discussed.
S.S. Kandalgaonkar, M.I.R. Tinmaker, and Asha Nath study the
characteristics of lightning flashes over the Indian region. Satellite (LIS)
based lightning flash grid (0.5° x 0.5°) data for 78 Indian observatory
stations covering 8° -30° N for a period of 4 years (1998-2001) form
the data set for the study. These data have been analyzed to examine their
annual, interannual, seasonal and geographical distribution. An attempt has
been made to obtain the IC:CG ratio. The result of this study demonstrates that
there exists latitudinal variation of lightning flash density, which is also
confirmed through seasonal and ratio analysis. There exists a weak negative
relationship between Nt and latitude, with a fall rate of 0.032 for
every 1° increase in latitude. The magnitude of lightning flash density is
observed to be 2.5 times higher in the premonsoon season than in the
postmonsoon suggesting that premonsoon season thunderstorm are their
contribution to the global electrical circuit is highly significant. The annual
variation of lightning flash density exhibits a typical bimodal variation
giving the first maximum in the month of May and second in the month of
September. The observed bimodal variation of Ntm over the Indian
region is found to be an important characteristic feature of the lightning
activity. Time series of this parameter showed a consistent increase in the
peak values. The IC:CG ratio values are found to be more or less equal to the
values reported by other investigators for the tropics. The above study is our
first attempt to obtain significant information from LIS satellite over the
INSTITUT FÜR METEOROLOGIE UND GEOPHYSIK
JOHANN-WOLFGANG GOETHE UNIVERSITÄT (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
The Institut hosts an Applied Geophysics division with an
Atmospheric Electromagnetics group. The primary research interest is the remote
sensing of the global atmospheric electromagnetic environment. The final goal
is to quantify links between the global atmospheric electromagnetic
environment, weather, and climate in particular. The main research tools are
networks of high precision magnetometers to passively record the natural
electromagnetic fields of atmospheric sources in the ULF/ELF frequency range
from 0.1-2000 Hz. Specific research targets are particularly intense lightning
discharges, sprites, global lightning activity, ionospheric conductivity
variability, and Earth-ionosphere cavity resonances.
M. Füllekrug, A.C. Fraser-Smith, and K. Schlegel, '' Global
ionospheric D-layer height monitoring '', Europhysics Letters, Vol. 59, No. 4,
p. 626, 2002.
M. Füllekrug and C. Price, ''Estimation of sprite occurrences
in central Africa'', Meteorologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 11, No. 2, p. 99, 2002.
M. Füllekrug, C. Price, Y. Yair, and E.R. Williams, ''
Intense oceanic lightning '', Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 20, p. 133, 2002.
LABORATORY OF ATMOSPHERIC ELECTRICITY - INSTITUTE OF GEOPHYSICS
GEORGIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (Tbilissi, Georgia)
Avtandil Amiranashvili reports:
Regrettably the instrumental system for complex observation of
parameters of atmospheric electricity in Dusheti (electric field, air electric
conductivity, air ion concentration, thunderstorms discharges) practically had
ruined after disintegration of USSR. Same pertains also toward laboratory
experimental investigation. All of the said works require significant financial
expenses but budget of Georgian Academy of Sciences is very little. So we have
to basically apply with analysis of the past data. For example, we conduct the
investigation within the project "Modern Climate Change in Georgia" (long-term
variation of various meteorological elements and parameters of atmospheric
electricity, etc...). On the other hand we try at least partly to restore
activity of Dushety observatory. But in our conditions this is very difficult.
However in past semester we have begun repair the Benndorf instrument. We hope
by year's end to finish the instrument repair.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (Parsons Laboratory,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA)
Comparisons are underway with Mark Stanley (LANL), Steve Cummer
(Duke University) and Walt Lyons (FMA Research) on measurements of vertical
charge moment on large positive ground flashes in STEPS (Severe Thunderstorm
and Precipitation Study). Values determined on the basis of the traditional
electrostatics approach at close range (D< one ionospheric height) are
showing good agreement with values derived from ELF electromagnetic
measurements at great distance (D> one ionospheric height).
David Lowenfels has completed an M. Eng. Thesis on the DSP
analysis of wideband (3 Hz-25 kHz) signals recorded with the new 7-meter-tall
electric antenna in Rhode Island. 60 Hz and its numerous harmonics have been
successfully removed from the waveforms. Comparisons of the measurements with
simulations using the normal mode equations show clearly that slow
tails are the result of waveguide dispersion and the deficit of energy in
the waveguide cutoff region (~1.5 kHz), rather than due to the continuing
Vadim Mushtak and Earle Williams are making comparisons between
the flash rates of thunderstorms observed with the Lightning Imaging Sensor on
the NASA TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite and surface
thermodynamic measurements of the boundary layer air ingested by these same
storms. The mean flash rate has been found to increase exponentially with the
dry bulb temperature of boundary layer air. These results were presented at the
International TRMM Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii in July.
The paper entitled: "The Physical Origins of the Land-Ocean
Contrast in Lightning Activity" by E. Williams and S. Stanfill, is now in print
in Comptes Rendus Physique (2, 1-17, 2002), thanks to the generous efforts of
editors Anne Bondiou and Marcia Baker. The essential idea in this paper is the
important role of cloud base height in influencing the updraft velocity in deep
Earle Williams recently participated in the SMOCC field campaign
in Rondonia, Brazil (September-November, 2002) focused on the effect of smoke
on cloud microphysics during the transition from dry to wet season there.
Theodolite measurements of cloud top ascent speeds were carried out toward
assessing the effect of variable cloud base height on updraft speed and
lightning activity. The analysis of results is in progress.
The paper entitled: ELF Propagation Parameters for Uniform Models
of the Earth-Ionsphere Waveguide" by V. Musktak and E. Williams is now in press
in the Journal of Solar and Terrestrial Physics.
Vadim Mushtak (with co-authors Colin Price and Earle Williams)
presented a comparative analysis of ELF and VLF methods for bearing
determination in locating lightning on a global basis, at the recent COSPAR
meeting in Houston, Texas.
Dick Dowden visited MIT for a week in August, 2002 to install a
VLF receiver in Cambridge, now part of his growing global VLF network for
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (Lincoln Laboratory,
Lexington, Massachusetts, USA)
Mike Donovan and Earle Williams are working with Fred Mosher at
AWC and Rich Benkert and Jeff Hawkins at NRL (Monterey) on the comparative
analysis of deep oceanic convection on June 10, 2002. TRMM (Tropical Rainfall
Measurement Mission) satellite observations (notably, radar and lightning) are
being used to explore the internal structure of storm cells previously
diagnosed as thunderstorms/CBs on the basis of GEO-satellite IR data
NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY INSTITUTE (NLSI) (Louisville, Colorado,
Our Annual Lightning Safety Recognition Awards were presented to
nominated individuals for their accomplishments, for providing leadership and
for serving as role models in the community:
- Michael Cherington MD, St. Anthony Hospital Denver CO
- Mary Ann Cooper, MD, Univ. Illinois at Chicago, Chicago
- Ronald L. Holle, Meteorologist, Tucson AZ
- Aage E. Pedersen, Ph.D. TU (retired), Gentofte, Denmark
- John Tobias, Ph.D, P.E., US Army, Fort Monmouth, NJ
New members of NLSIs Board of Advisors, appointed in
October, 2002 are:
- Vladimir Rakov, Ph.D, Univ. of Florida, Gainsville, FL
- John Tobias, Ph.D.,US Army, Fort Monmouth NJ
- Phil Francis, ATC, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas,
- Chris Andrews MD, Mater Hospital, Brisbane Australia
NLSI presented papers in recent months at the International Conf.
on Lightning Detection, Tucson AZ and the National Weather Association Annual
Meeting, Ft. Worth TX.
Recent lightning safety site assessments were performed for US
Navy, Kings Bay GA, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City OK, and NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD.
NLSI has added three newly available lightning protection codes to
those now listed on the Website: Chinese GB 50057-94; Polish PN 86/89/92; and
US Dept Energy M440.1-1. For a review of the complete list go to:
NCAR FOOTHILLS LAB CONVECTIVE WEATHER RESEARCH GROUP
(Boulder, Co, USA)
Alexandre Fierro, Matthew S. Gilmore, Edward R. Mansell, Jerry M.
Straka, and Louis J. Wicker are investigating idealized numerical simulations
of supercells that move between environments. They are investigating how
changes in the local environment can influence changes in thunderstorm
kinematics, microphysics, electrification and lightning.
The following are papers related to this work, some informal,
published within the last two months.
Gilmore, M. S., and L. J. Wicker, 2002: Influences of the local
environment on supercell cloud-to-ground lightning, radar characteristics, and
severe weather on 2 June 1995. Mon. Wea. Rev., 130,
Gilmore, M. S., L. J. Wicker, E. R. Mansell, J. M. Straka, and E.
N. Rasmussen, 2002: Idealized boundary-crossing supercell simulations of 2 June
1995, 21st Conf. on Severe Local Storms, San Antonio, TX, Amer. Meteor.
NATIONAL SPACE TECHNOLOGY CENTERS (NSSTC)/NASA MARSHALL
SPACE FLIGHT CENTER (MSFC) AND NSST/UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE (UAH)
The NASA Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on the TRMM satellite will
continue to operate continuously through the foreseeable future, perhaps
through 2005. The solar panel orientation was adjusted earlier in the year to
minimize drag on the satellite in order to extend the mission. One consequence
of this change was insufficient power at low beta angles to operate all the
TRMM instruments. LIS was powered off twice during the past two months, but the
mission operations team has now produced a configuration that will allow LIS to
operate continuously through the on-coming El Nino event. We are especially
interested in contrasting the present ENSO with the 1997-98 event, which
resulted in a 100 percent increase in lightning activity in the Gulf of Mexico
and significant changes in thunderstorm activity worldwide.
Calibrated and gridded LIS and Optical Transient Detector (OTD)
climatologies have been released to the public. These include a 0.5 and 2.5
degree climatological composites, a 2.5 degree "climatological annual cycle",
and a 2.5 degree "climatological local hour cycle". The data are in HDF
Scientific Data Set (SDS) format and are freely accessible at:
Gridded and smoothed time-series products are under
A merged Level-1 (pixel-level) TRMM LIS, PR, TMI and NCEP
database, building from the University of Utah precipitation feature database
is being compiled and analyzed (D. Boccippio). Preliminary results include the
dependence of convective parameters (including lightning) on environmental
variables, and the development of optimal rule-based, linear multivariate, and
nonlinear multivariate (neural network) algorithms to classify storms as
flashing or non-flashing based upon radar, microwave and/or environmental
observations alone. In addition, W. Koshak continues to compare the 5 year OTD
dataset with corresponding data from the North American Lightning Detection
Network (NALDN). Potential links between OTD flash radiance and NLDN peak
current are being investigated for ground flashes (with Prof. E. P. Krider,
Univ. of Arizona).
Extending previous work completed during the recent EPIC-2001
field campaign, W. Petersen, UAH, is working on correlations between synoptic
scale circulation features and signals in TRMM-LIS lightning data. He is
finding some interesting changes in lightning flash density as a function of
tropical easterly wave phase over W. Africa and the tropical E. Pacific. For
example (and consistent with EPIC results), over W. Africa peaks in lightning
activity occur ahead of the wave trough- where it is expected that conditional
instability will be at a maximum. Lightning falls off in the wave trough where
previous research indicates widespread stratiform and weaker convection should
be located. In a temporal sense, the diurnal cycles of lightning in the African
easterly waves also appear to markedly differ between phases. Utilizing TRMM PR
and TMI data in conjunction with NCEP Reanalysis data, W. Petersen and D.
Boccippio will produce a comprehensive description of the environmental and
convective structure changes associated with each phase of the waves. Following
the results of TRMM-LBA, the effect of intraseasonal variability of the
meridional wind over the Amazon and its effect on lighting flash density and
convective structure is being examined (W. Petersen and Prof. R. Fu, Georgia
Tech). Results thus far indicate a robust increase in lightning flash density
when southerly winds penetrate deep into the Amazon and visa versa for cross
equatorial northerly flow.
The Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES), an unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV)-base science demonstration project, provided detailed optical,
electrical, and magnetic observations of thunderstorms over the Florida
Everglades and surrounding oceans. This study demonstrated the great potential
for utilizing UAV platforms for thunderstorm and meteorological research. The
ACES team included R. Blakeslee, D. Mach, and J. Bailey (NSSTC), Dick Goldberg,
W. Farrel, M. Desch, and J. Houser (GSFC), and J. Mitchell and C. Croskey (Penn
State). Ancillary CG and total lightning data were acquired, respectively, from
the NALDN and the Florida EDOT network (M. Heavner, LANL). Additional
information on ACES is available from:
The NASA 10-station VHF Lightning Mapping Array in Northern
Alabama began continuous real-time operations in November 2001. In
collaboration with regional offices of the National Weather Service, the 3-D
mapping and time rate of change of total lightning are providing new insight
into the development and intensification of severe storms.
Analysis of the NASA Airborne Field Mill (ABFM) data sets
continues (H. Christian, D. Mach, and M. Bateman, NSSTC and J. Dye, NCAR) and
results will be presented to the Lightning Advisory Group during a November
ABFM workshop. This research is directed toward lightning related Launch Commit
Criteria rules used for both manned and unmanned launches at KSC.
Boccippio, D.J., "Lightning scaling relations revisited", J.
Atmos. Sci., 59:1086-1104, 2002.
Boccippio, D.J., W.J. Koshak and R.J. Blakeslee, "Performance
assessment of the OTD and LIS. Part I: Predicted diurnal variability", J.
Atmos. Oc. Tech., 19, 1318-1332, 2002.
Christian, H.J., R.J. Blakeslee, D.J. Boccippio, W.L. Boeck, D.E.
Buechler, K.T. Driscoll, S.J. Goodman, J.M. Hall, W.J. Koshak, D.M. Mach, and
M.F. Stewart, "Global frequency and distribution of lightning as observed from
space by the Optical Transient Detector", J. Geophys. Res., in press, 2002.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY (NCSU, Raleigh, NC, USA)
In collaboration with Martin Murphy and Nick Demetriades of
Vaisala GAI Inc., Tracy McCormick and Larry Carey:
(larry_carey @ ncsu.edu,
of NCSU are analyzing the three-dimensional radar and total lightning
characteristics for two mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) occurring in the
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas region during 12-13 October 2001 and 7-8 April 2002.
This study utilizes WSR-88D Level II radar (KFWS), Vaisala GAI Inc. Lightning
Detection and Ranging II (LDAR II), and National Lightning Detection Network
(NLDN) data to gain a better understanding of the structure and evolution of
MCSs, with special emphasis on total lightning. Results thus far indicate that
cloud-to-ground lightning polarity in both MCSs is predominantly negative
(~85%), and cells within the MCSs that exhibit very strong updrafts have higher
mean lightning flash origin heights than cells with weaker updrafts. Finally, a
significant increase in lightning production (from 10-18 flashes/min) followed
by a significant decrease (from 18-12 flashes/min) is evident approximately
one-half hour and ten minutes, respectively, prior to tornado touchdown from a
severe storm located behind the main convective squall line of the 12-13
October 2001 MCS. Research on the total lightning and radar characteristics of
these two MCSs is ongoing.
A recent collaborative study between NCSU (Brandon Vincent and
Larry Carey) and the Raleigh NWSFO (Doug Schneider, Kermit Keeter and Rodney
Gonski) examined a sample of 50 central North Carolina thunderstorm cases to
explore the utility of accurately nowcasting cloud-to-ground lightning activity
using WSR-88D radar reflectivity data. For the fifty case studies, eight
different sets of WSR-88D reflectivity criteria were analyzed. The criteria
were comprised of three variables: the number of radar volume scans the
criteria must be met (1 or 2), the threshold reflectivity (35 or 40 dBZ) and
the 10 ºC or -15 ºC isotherm height. Based on the CSI and
lead-time, the 1 Volume Scan / 40 dBZ / -10ºC criteria did the best with a
100 % POD, a 37 % FAR, a 63% CSI and a mean lead-time of 14.7 minutes. If
lead-time is a higher priority and a slight reduction in CSI can be tolerated,
the 35 dBZ criteria may be a better choice, providing 2-3 minutes of additional
lead time in the mean. An analysis of vertical profiles of reflectivity between
the 0 and 20 ºC isotherm heights in both detection and false alarm
cases showed that vertical reflectivity lapse rates for false alarms (-2.04
dBZ/kft) were much larger than for detections (-0.69 dBZ/kft). The results show
it is possible to use WSR-88D reflectivity to reasonably predict the onset of
CG lightning in the central North Carolina region using criteria similar to
that used in previous studies of storms in other regions. Future work will
examine the use of WSR-88D volumetric radar data for nowcasting "excessive CG
In collaboration with Steven Rutledge (CSU), Larry Carey (NCSU)
has completed a climatological study of the characteristics of CG lightning in
the vicinity of severe and non-severe storms over the central U.S. Over a
region from the Kansas/Colorado border to Minnesota, previously associated with
positive anomalies in the mean annual positive cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning
percentage and positive peak current, they found significant differences in the
properties of CG lightning flashes between warm-season severe and non-severe
storms. The percentage of CG lightning flashes lowering positive charge to
ground was substantially higher in severe storms (i.e., up to three times
higher). The median positive peak current in severe storms was significantly
larger (i.e., by about 25%). Finally, the median negative peak current in
severe storms was very low (i.e., as low as 12-16 kA) and was noticeably
smaller than in non-severe storms (i.e., by at least 10%). They also found
substantial differences in the properties of CG lightning flashes associated
with severe storms in other regions. The mean warm season properties of CG
lightning associated with severe storms in the region of peak large hail and
tornado activity (e.g., Oklahoma) were fundamentally different (i.e.,
significantly lower positive CG percentage, lower positive peak currents and
higher negative peak currents) compared to severe storms over the anomaly
POLISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (Warsaw, Poland)
The atmospheric electricity research group at the Institute of
Geophysics P.A.Sci. has continued to work in the following thunderstorm and
fair weather electricity directions:
In the last time, caused by close cloud-to-ground lightning
discharges have provided, together with the meteorological radar and Central
European Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) data, a possibility to find some
characteristic properties of multiple stroke flashes and their relations to the
position and shape of precipitation cores of different thunderclouds observed
in temperate region. The obtained results, presented by Piotr Baranski, were
discussed during the 26-th International Conference on Lightning Protection, in
Cracow, on 2-6 September 2002.
The results of the SAFIR network, radar and field mill
observations for selected thunderstorms near Warsaw, reported by P. Baranski
during the SAFIR2002 Workshop (18-20 September in Budapest), have
indicated that any widespread lightning location and detection network system
should constantly cooperate with at least one so-called independent reference
point in order to receive the current validation of own lightning detection
data even for some limited area. In this way it may be possible to improve the
discrimination criteria for different type of lightning discharges and to put
them to the software of the SAFIR system in Pland in order to extend its
Possibilities of explanation of lightning discharge initiation in
clouds have been further examined by Nguyen Manh Duc and S. Michnowski.
The atmospheric electricity recordings of electric field,
conductivity, air-earth current and space charge density have been continued on
the background of meteorological, aerosol, radioactivity and chemical pollution
at Swider Geophysical Observatory (Marek Kubicki). The results are being
published and exchanged (M. Kubicki).
The long term variations of electrical, radioactivity and air
pollution elements are examined by means of wavelet analysis (M. Kubicki, S.
Michnowski, B. Laurikeinen and S. Warzecha). The changes of Be7 concentration
and electrical conductivity at the ground are studied by use of neural network
analysis (B. Laurikainen and M. Kubicki).
Atmospheric response to solar cosmic ray events has been
statistically investigated (Z. Kobylinski and S. Michnowski).
At the polar station at Hornsund, Spitsbergen, the electric field
and vertical air-earth current recording supplemented by the meteorological
observations, and magnetometer, riometer and other geophysical measurements are
continued (M. Kubicki and S. Michnowski). The influences of solar wind on the
electrical element variations at the ground in Hornsund are being examined by
S. Michnowski, N. Nikiforova, N. Kleimonova, S. Israelsson, M. Kubicki with the
use of geophysical data from Hornsund, IMAGE net of magnetometer and riometer
stations, and satellite solar wind data. New sensors for air-earth current
density and space charge recordings are designed (J. Drzewiecki, M.
SPACE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT RUTHERFORD
APPLETON LABORATORY (Oxfordshire, UK)
Karen Aplin, now at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has
continued to work on modern methods of ion measurement using the Programmable
Ion Mobility Spectrometer (PIMS) (described in Aplin K.L. and Harrison R.G.
(2001), Rev. Sci. Inst., 72, 8, 3467-3469). The PIMS is a
versatile instrument for ion mobility and concentration measurements. Within a
research programme of the US Air Force, the new operating system for the
instrument (PIMSOS) has seen its first deployment. PIMSOS permits remote
interrogation of the instrument from a computer running high level instrument
control software, via a serial interface. This further establishes the
operating versatility of the PIMSs already broad range of environmental
monitoring applications, which include radioactivity and aerosol detection.
The PIMS instrument, including the upgraded PIMSOS remains
available to order. Modern Windows PC control software, which permits display
of conductivities in real time is an integral part of the package. Please
contact Dr K.L. Aplin (k.l.aplin @ rl.ac.uk) for further details.
TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOPHYSICS AND PLANETARY
SCIENCES (Tel Aviv, Israël)
During the academic year 2001/2002 Colin Price was on sabbatical
in Canada working at the Meteorological Services of Canada (MSC) in Toronto.
Together with Bill Burrows, Pat King, and Brian Murphy
they used the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) to study summer and
winter thunderstorms in Canada and North America. Two papers have resulted from
this collaboration (Price, C., and B. Murphy, 2002, Lightning Activity during
the 1999 Superior Derecho, Geophys. Res. Lett., in press; and Price, C., W.
Burrows and P. King, 2002, The Likelihood of Winter Sprites over the Gulf
Stream, Geophys. Res. Lett., in press). Earlier in the year a paper related to
improved geo-location of sprite-producing lightning using ELF/VLF data from the
Negev desert also appeared in GRL) Price et al., 2002, An improved ELF/VLF
method for globally geolocating sprite-producing lightning, GRL, 29(3),
1.1-1.4). Work continues on our Schumann Resonance data from our Negev site
with graduate student Mustafa Asfur.
Olga Pechony has completed her MSc degree under the
guidance of Zev Levin and Colin Price on the topic of
lightning-rainfall relationships in Israel. A number of storms were analysed
using TRMM data, METEOSAT data, LPATS data and ground-based raingauges. The
results reveal a great similarity in both spatial and temporal distribution of
lightning and rain. A time delay of a few minutes was found to exist between
lightning and rainfall maxima. Analysis of METEOSAT IR data indicate a
correlation between lightning activity and cloud-top temperature, and thus
height. This is indirect evidence of the lightning-to-rainfall relation since a
strong dependence was found between rainfall and cloud-top-height in a study of
Israeli thunderstorms by Rosenfeld and Gagin (1989).
Orit Altaratz, Zev Levin, Tamir Reisin and
Yoav Yair (Open University) are developing numerical schemes that
formulate the electrification processes in thunderstorms into the meso-scale 3D
RAMS model. The aim is to simulate the development of thunderstorms on a
regional scale and to understand the role of different parameters, such as
topography or sea-land temperature difference in affecting the dynamical and
microphysical characteristics of the thunderclouds. The development of the
model involves the parameterization of the non-inductive graupel-ice charge
separation mechanism and calculations of the electric potential and the
electric field. Orit Altaratz, Zev Levin, Yoav Yair and
Baruch Ziv analyzed the LPATS measurements of lightning ground strikes
during Cyprus Low winter storms in order to study the characteristics of
lightning activity over land and sea on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.
It was found that larger frequencies of ground flashes were detected over the
sea than over land during the study period. The diurnal variation showed that
the maximum in maritime lightning activity was at 0500 LST and over land at
1300 LST. The mean peak current of positive ground flashes was higher over land
and of negative ground flashes, over the sea. A paper presenting the results
was submitted to the Monthly Weather Review.
Yoav Yair, Zev Levin and Colin Price are
anxiously awaiting the January mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia with the
first Israeli astronaut and the MEIDEX experiment that will be attempting to
image sprites from above, while teams on the ground collect ELF/VLF data of the
parent storms. Several groups from Japan, Taiwan and the USA will also take
part in this campaign.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA (Gainesville, Florida, USA)
A total of 19 lightning flashes were initiated from July 9 to
September 13, 2002 at the International Center for Lightning Research and
Testing (ICLRT) at Camp Blanding, Florida. Of these 19, 14 contained
leader/return stroke sequences and 5 were composed of the initial stage only.
All triggered flashes effectively transported negative charge to ground. Eleven
flashes were triggered using the tower launcher (one of them terminated on the
Instrument station, about 60 m from the launcher), and three flashes were
triggered using a mobile launcher mounted on a bucket truck.
Additionally, five natural lightning discharges that terminated on
site were recorded by the multiple-station electric and magnetic field
measuring network. One of these five was a two-stroke positive flash.
Jens Schoene, Martin Uman, Vladimir Rakov, Venkateswara Kodali,
Keith Rambo, and George Schnetzer authored a paper titled "Statistical
Characteristics of the Electric and Magnetic Fields and Their Time Derivatives
15 m and 30 m from Triggered Lightning." The authors present a statistical
analysis of the salient characteristics of the electric and magnetic fields and
their derivatives at distances of 15 m and 30 m from triggered lightning
strokes that lowered negative charge to ground. Return stroke current and
current derivative characteristics are also presented. The measurements were
made during the summers of 1999 and 2000 at Camp Blanding, Florida. Lightning
was triggered to a 1 to 2 m strike object at the center of a 70 m x 70 m
metal-grid ground plane that was buried beneath a few centimeters of soil. The
strike object was mounted on the rocket launching system that was located below
ground level in a pit. The experiment was designed (1) to minimize the
influence of the strike object on the field and field derivative waveforms and
(2) to eliminate potential distortions of the field and field derivative
waveforms both due to ground surface arcing and due to the propagation of the
field being over imperfectly conducting ground. Measurements were made on about
100 return strokes, although not all field quantities were successfully
recorded for each stroke. The authors present histograms and parameters of
statistical distributions for the following 28 waveform characteristics:
current peak, risetime, and width; current derivative peak, risetime, and
width; return-stroke electric field change and field pulse width at 15 m and at
30 m; electric field derivative peak, risetime, and width at 15 m and at 30 m;
magnetic field peak, risetime, and width at 15 m and at 30 m; and magnetic
field derivative peak, risetime, and width at 15 m and at 30 m. The results are
compared with those from previous studies. It has been inferred that for
strikes to the buried metal-grid ground plane the current risetime and width
are, on average, smaller than for strikes to concentrated grounding electrodes
(vertical ground rods). The paper has been submitted to the Journal of
Recognizing the achievements of its members is an important part
of the mission of the IEEE. Each year, following a rigorous evaluation
procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients
for one of the Institute's most prestigious honors, election to IEEE Fellow.
The IEEE Board of Directors, at its meeting on 17 November 2002, elected Dr.
Vladimir A. Rakov an IEEE Fellow, effective 1 January 2003, with the following
For contributions to the understanding of lightning discharge
"Lightning: Physics and Effects", Cambridge University Press, 696
p., 2002, in press (publication is planned for April 2003), ISBN 0521583276,
V.A. Rakov and M.A. Uman.
"Positive Blitzentladungen", Jahrbuch Elektrotechnik 2003, pp.
315-324, VDE VERLAG GMBH, Offenbach, V.A. Rakov
"A Review of the Interaction of Lightning with Airborne Vehicles",
Progress in Aerospace Sciences, accepted, M.A. Uman and V.A. Rakov.
"A Review of Positive and Bipolar Discharges", Bull. Amer.
Meteorol. Soc., accepted, V. A. Rakov.
"Statistical Characteristics of the Electric and Magnetic Fields
and Their Time Derivatives 15 m and 30 m from Triggered Lightning", J. Geophys,
Res, submitted, J. Schoene, M.A. Uman, V.A. Rakov, V. Kodali, K.J. Rambo, G.H.
"Lightning Return Stroke Modeling: Recent Developments", in Proc.
of the 3rd Brazilian Workshop on Atmospheric Electricity /
3rd International Conference on Grounding and Earthing, Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, November 4-7, 2002, V.A. Rakov.
"Lightning and Tall Structures", in Proc. of the International
Lightning Detection Conference, Tucson, Arizona, 2002, V.A. Rakov.
"Statistical Characteristics of Lightning Discharges", in Proc. of
the Int. Conf. on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems (PMAPS),
Naples, Italy, September 22 26, 2002, pp. 677-682, V.A. Rakov.
"Characteristics of Distant Lightning Electric Fields", in Proc.
of the Int. Conf. on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems (PMAPS),
Naples, Italy, September 22 26, 2002, pp. 703-707, A. Pavlick, D.E. Crawford,
and V.A. Rakov.
"Measurement of the Division of Lightning Return Stroke Current
Among the Multiple Arresters and Grounds of a Power Distribution Line"
(Abstract), IEEE Power Engineering Review, September 2002, pp. 60-61, C.T.
Mata, V.A. Rakov, K.J. Rambo, P.Diaz, R.Rey, and M.A.Uman.
"Characterization of the Initial Stage of Upward-Initiated
Lightning", in Proc. of the 26th Int. Conf. on Lightning Protection,
Cracow, Poland, September 2-6, 2002, pp. 14-19, M. Miki, T. Shindo, V.A. Rakov,
M.A. Uman, K.J. Rambo, G.H. Schnetzer, G. Diendorfer, M. Mair, F. Heidler, W.
Zischank, R. Thottappillil, and D. Wang.
"EMTP Modeling of Direct Lightning Strikes to the Lightning
Protective System of a Residential Building", in Proc. of the 26th Int. Conf.
on Lightning Protection, Cracow, Poland, September 2-6, 2002, pp. 631-636, R.R.
Sutil, V.A. Rakov, and M.A. Uman.
"Division of Lightning Current and Charge Among Multiple Arresters
and Grounds of a Power Distribution Line", in Proc. of the 26th Int. Conf. on
Lightning Protection, Cracow, Poland, September 2-6, 2002, pp. 585-590, C.T.
Mata, V.A. Rakov, and M.A. Uman.
"Lightning Discharge, Moderator's Report", in Proc. of the 26th
Int. Conf. on Lightning Protection, Cracow, Poland, September 2-6, 2002, pp.
35-36, O. Farish and V. Rakov.
THE UNIVERSITY OF READING (Reading, UK)
Giles Harrison (r.g.harrison @ reading.ac.uk) reports:
Work in the Meteorology Department at Reading continues to
investigate microphysical links between atmospheric electricity, clouds and
climate. A recent theme of the research has been investigation of long-term
secular changes in the atmospheric electrical system and evaluating suitable
proxies for the atmospheric electric field in climate work. Many
high-resolution measurements of the Potential Gradient have been recovered from
UK Observatories from the middle of the nineteenth century: many other datasets
also exist on:
The range of data available broadens in the twentieth century to
include determinations of the Air-earth Current and Ionospheric Potential,
which are more representative of the global parameters. Taken together, a
substantial decrease is the broad conclusion drawn about the atmospheric
electrical system in the twentieth century, published recently in GRL (Harrison
R.G., Twentieth century secular decrease in the atmospheric electric circuit
Geophys Res Lett, 29(14) DOI 10.1029/2002GL014878, 2002). This
reduction is quantitatively consistent with the reduction in cosmic rays during
the twentieth century, caused by an increase in solar activity.
VAISALA INC. (Helsinki, Finland)
This is the first "merged" contribution by Vaisalas
Thunderstorm Business Unit. As noted in the Spring Issue, our Business Unit has
combined the two leading manufacturers of lightning detection networks --
Dimensions SA of France (acquired in early 2000), and Global Atmospherics
(acquired in April, 2002). The combined business unit will continue to produce
direction finding and time-of-arrival lightning detection systems operating at
VLF, LF, and VHF frequencies, as well as providing lightning information
services in the U.S., Canada, and several European countries. The following
paragraphs briefly summarize our key research and development activities.
During October 16-18, Vaisala-GAI hosted the 17th
International Lightning Detection Conference in Tucson, AZ. The conference
theme was "A Comprehensive Look at Total Lightning." The range of
presentations varied from research-oriented satellite-based lightning
observations and lightning prediction to application-focused wildfire
management and outdoor lightning safety. The scientific conference spanned two
and a half days of general sessions, specialty-oriented breakout sessions,
topical round table discussions, and a poster session. Attendees included
researchers, scientists, engineers, industrial specialists, professionals and
students from 19 countries who share a common passion for understanding
lightning and how it affects the world we live in. The conference program,
abstracts and most papers are available on the Vaisala Thunderstorm web site at
The U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) is currently
undergoing a complete upgrade involving the installation of 114 IMPACT-ESP
sensors. The upgrade will be completed this winter.The IMPACT-ESP sensor is a
third generation of the IMPACT sensor with improved sensitivity, shorter dead
time (< 1.0 msec), and more processing power. This upgrade is expected to
result in 20-30% higher stroke detection efficiency and a 5-10% higher flash
Vaisala-GAI is also working with Steven Businger (University of
Hawaii), Steve Goodman (Marshall Space Flight Center) and other collaborators
to install a 5-sensor IMPACT network in the mid-Pacific. The sensors for this
network are tailored for long-range operation, allowing them to interact with
sensors in the U.S. and Canada. Cloud-to-ground lightning data produced by this
network will be used for research purposes, and may eventually be available
The LDAR II network in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area (DFW)
continues to collect data for research on severe storms. Nicholas Demetriades
of Vaisala-GAI and Tracy McCormick of North Carolina State University will
(individually) present some results from the network at the upcoming AGU
meeting. During the winter, a SAFIR network will also be placed around DFW. The
SAFIR and LDAR II systems will be used for research related to
nowcasting/forecasting applications. Nick Demetriades, Martin Murphy, Philippe
Richard and Ron Holle are studying the relationship between total lightning and
weather radar information, focusing on using total lightning as a complementary
and, at times, supplementary dataset to weather radar for thunderstorm
identification, growth and decay trends. Results have lead to potential
meteorological and aviation applications of both datasets, and will be reported
at the Winter AMS meeting.