Wang Fei, Dong Wansheng, Zhang Yijun, et al. Case study of big particles effect on lightning initiation in clouds using model. J Appl Meteor Sci, 2009, 20(5): 564-570.
Citation: Wang Fei, Dong Wansheng, Zhang Yijun, et al. Case study of big particles effect on lightning initiation in clouds using model. J Appl Meteor Sci, 2009, 20(5): 564-570.

Case Study of Big Particles Effect on Lightning Initiation in Clouds Using Model

  • Received Date: 2008-10-06
  • Rev Recd Date: 2009-06-23
  • Publish Date: 2009-10-31
  • A thunderstorm process in Beijing on 20 September 2008 is simulated using a 3-D charging-dischargingcloud model. The effects of big particles consisting of graupels, ices, hails and raindrops on lightning initiation are investigated.Temporal and spatial analysis on the model results, including the mass concentration and the charging velocity, shows that graupels and ices are the most important particles that affect theinitiation of most lightning.Because lightning always initiate in the region with mass distribution of graupels and ices.The charging velocities of graupels and ices also reach large values there.From the analysisof time series, those large charging velocities of graupels and ices appear when lightning initiate intensively.Hails may also be an important factor effecting the lightning initiation except for the early stage oflightning activity.The region of lightning initiation correlates partially with the mass contribution of hails.The period when the charging velocities of hails reach their large values chimes with the lightning activity.But hails meet their large values below the height of lightning initiation.At the early stage of lightning activity, the mass concentration of hails is very small.Raindrops locates beneath the region of lightning initiation from beginning to end.Their charging velocities become prominent after the end of lightning activity.So it is impossible for raindrops to affect the lightning initiation directly.In many cases, it can be the signal of lightning warning that some kind of strong echo reaches athreshold height.Through the effect of particles on lightning initiation above, it can be concluded that thestrong echo should be caused by graupels or hails.When graupels (hails) are brought to the upper level above the threshold height by updraft, graupels (hails) mixed with ices adequately and the strong chargingprocess occurs among them.The first lightning will initiate soon after that.
  • Fig. 1  The 40 dBz echo top evolvement (a) and the lightning frequency observing by SAFIR3000 (b) in Beijing from 17:00 6 Sep 2008 to 02:00 7 Sep 2008

    Fig. 2  Profile of space charge density distribution at the 12nd minute (unit :C/m3)

    Fig. 3  The maximum specific mass density (unit : g/kg) evolvement of rain drops, ice crystals, graupels and hails at every model levels and the height change of lightning initializations

    Fig. 4  The height distribution of charge density change rate of rain drops, ice crystals, graupels and hails at every grid

    Fig. 5  The evolvement of charge density change rate of rain drops, ice crystals, graupels and hails at every grid

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