Diurnal Variation of TRMM/LIS Lightning Flash Radiances

Diurnal Variation of TRMM/LIS Lightning Flash Radiances AbstractThis study provides, for the first time, an analysis of the climatological diurnal variations in the lightning flash radiance data product ε from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Lightning Imaging Sensor (TRMM/LIS). The ε values over 13 years (2002–14), and over a global scale (∼38°S–38°N), reveal novel and remarkably consistent regional and seasonal patterns as a function of the local solar time (LST). In particular, the diurnal variation of ε (over both continental and oceanic regions) is characterized by a monotonic increase from late afternoon (∼2000 LST), attaining a maximum around 0900 LST, followed by a decreasing trend. The continental (oceanic) ε values reach a broader minimum spanning from ∼1500 to 1900 LST (∼1800 to 2000). The relative diurnal amplitude variation in continental ε is about 45%, compared to about 15% for oceanic ε. This study confirms that the results are not affected by diurnal biases associated with instrument detection or other statistical artifacts. Notable agreement is shown between the diurnal variations of ε and the global-scale (∼38°S–38°N) mesoscale convective system areal extent. Comparisons with recently published diurnal variations of cloud-to-ground lightning peak current over the United States also exhibit a marked similarity. Given the novelty of these findings, a few tentative hypotheses about the underlying physical mechanism(s) are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Diurnal Variation of TRMM/LIS Lightning Flash Radiances

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
eISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0041.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis study provides, for the first time, an analysis of the climatological diurnal variations in the lightning flash radiance data product ε from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Lightning Imaging Sensor (TRMM/LIS). The ε values over 13 years (2002–14), and over a global scale (∼38°S–38°N), reveal novel and remarkably consistent regional and seasonal patterns as a function of the local solar time (LST). In particular, the diurnal variation of ε (over both continental and oceanic regions) is characterized by a monotonic increase from late afternoon (∼2000 LST), attaining a maximum around 0900 LST, followed by a decreasing trend. The continental (oceanic) ε values reach a broader minimum spanning from ∼1500 to 1900 LST (∼1800 to 2000). The relative diurnal amplitude variation in continental ε is about 45%, compared to about 15% for oceanic ε. This study confirms that the results are not affected by diurnal biases associated with instrument detection or other statistical artifacts. Notable agreement is shown between the diurnal variations of ε and the global-scale (∼38°S–38°N) mesoscale convective system areal extent. Comparisons with recently published diurnal variations of cloud-to-ground lightning peak current over the United States also exhibit a marked similarity. Given the novelty of these findings, a few tentative hypotheses about the underlying physical mechanism(s) are discussed.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Jul 13, 2017

References

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