Lightning Data Have More Use Than Previously Thought


Lightning is a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Lightening Data Have More Use Than Previously Thought

Lightning is a spectacular natural phenomenon. The fascination with thunderstorms and lightning is a long-standing one. Today, lightning is known to be closely associated with the electrification and discharge of thunderstorms. Different types of thunderstorms correspond to different lightning characteristics and charge structures. But what are the characteristics of lightning in different types of thunderstorms?

To address this question, scientists attempted to depict the lightning activity and charge structure of a supercell over North China using a lightning network, S-band doppler radar, X-band dual-polarization radar, and ground observations in a recently published study in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. A team from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that the supercell was accompanied by severe hailfall, while the lightning frequency showed obviously different characteristics before and after the hailfall. The results showed that +CG (positive cloud-to-ground) lightning accounted for a high percentage of CG lightning, especially during the hailfall stage. The charge structure of the thunderstorm converted from an inversion type to a normal tripolar pattern.

Read more at Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Image: The lightning strokes light up the night sky with various shapes.  CREDIT: WANG Zhichao