The relationship between lightning activity and surface wet bulb temperature and its variation with latitude in Australia

Jayaratne, Rohan & Kuleshov, Yuriy (2006) The relationship between lightning activity and surface wet bulb temperature and its variation with latitude in Australia. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 91, pp. 17-24.

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Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) is the driving force for thunderstorm development. CAPE is closely controlled by wet bulb temperature. The lightning activity measured by a network of ten lightning flash counters widely distributed across continental Australia was studied as a function of wet bulb temperature. At each of the stations, the monthly total of lightning ground flashes, N, increased sharply with the increase of the monthly mean daily maximum wet bulb temperature, Tw,max. The dependence was strongest in the tropics and became less pronounced at temperate latitudes. In Darwin (latitude 12 S), the lightning ground flash activity increased by over three orders of magnitude over a 7 C range of Tw,max. The corresponding increases for Coffs Harbour (latitude 30 S) and for Melbourne (latitude 38 S) were about one and a half orders of magnitude and about half an order of magnitude, respectively, each over a 10 C range of Tw,max. Power law approximations were derived for each of the ten stations and showed that the logarithm of N was directly proportional to the power, P, of Tw,max. The value of P showed a sharp exponential decrease with increasing latitude away from the equator.

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8 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 5782
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1007/s00703-004-0100-0
ISSN: 1436-5065
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified (040199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 09 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:26

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