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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-12
    Description: The recently reprocessed (1997-2006) OTD/LIS database is used to investigate the global lightning climatology in response to the ENSO cycle. A linear correlation map between lightning anomalies and ENSO (NINO3.4) identifies areas that generally follow patterns similar to precipitation anomalies. We also observed areas where significant lightning/ENSO correlations are found and are not accompanied of significant precipitation/ENSO correlations. An extreme case of the strong decoupling between lightning and precipitation is observed over the Indonesian peninsula (Sumatra) where positive lightning/NINO3.4 correlations are collocated with negative precipitation/NINO3.4 correlations. Evidence of linear relationships between the spatial extent of thunderstorm distribution and the respective NINO3.4 magnitude are presented for different regions on the Earth. Strong coupling is found over areas remote to the main ENSO axis of influence and both during warm and cold ENSO phases. Most of the resulted relationships agree with the tendencies of precipitation related to ENSO empirical maps or documented teleconnection patterns. Over the Australian continent, opposite behavior in terms of thunderstorm activity is noted for warm ENSO phases with NINO3.4 magnitudes with NINO3.4〉+l.08 and 0〈NqNO3.4〈I.08. Finally, we investigate the spatial distribution of areas that consistently portrayed enhanced lightning activity during the main warm/cold (El Nino/La Nina) ENSO episodes of the past decade. The observed patterns show no spatial overlapping and identify areas that in their majority are in agreement with empirical precipitation/ENSO maps. The areas that appear during the warm ENSO phase are found over regions that have been identified as anomalous Hadley circulation ENSO-related patterns. The areas that appear during the cold ENSO phase are found predominantly around the west hemisphere equatorial belt and are in their majority identified by anomalous Walker circulation.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-12
    Description: During the 1998 and 2001 hurricane seasons of the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, the Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR), the ER-2 Doppler (EDOP) radar, and the Lightning Instrument Package (LIP) were flown aboard the NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft as part of the Third Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-3) and the Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4). Several hurricanes, tropical storms, and other precipitation systems were sampled during these experiments. An oceanic rainfall screening technique has been developed using AMPR passive microwave observations of these systems collected at frequencies of 10.7, 19.35, 37.1, and 85.5 GHz. This technique combines the information content of the four AMPR frequencies regarding the gross vertical structure of hydrometeors into an intuitive and easily executable precipitation mapping format. The results have been verified using vertical profiles of EDOP reflectivity and lower-altitude horizontal reflectivity scans collected by the NOAA WP3D Orion radar. Matching the rainfall classification results with coincident electric field information collected by the LIP readily identifies convective rain regions within the precipitation fields. This technique shows promise as a real-time research and analysis tool for monitoring vertical updraft strength and convective intensity from airborne platforms such as remotely operated or uninhabited aerial vehicles. The technique is analyzed and discussed for a wide variety of precipitation types using the 26 August 1998 observations of Hurricane Bonnie near landfall.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences; Volume 63; 218-233
    Format: text
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-03-09
    Description: A method is described for determining the return stroke polarity of distant lightning for distances beyond 600 km by detecting the electric field associated with a return stroke of distant lightning, and processing the electric field signal to determine the polarity of the slow tail of the VLF waveform signal associated with the detected electric field. The polarity of the return stroke of distant lightning is determined based upon the polarity of the slow tail portion of the waveform.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: NAS 1.71:MFS-26102-1-CU
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-03-10
    Description: A method is described for determining the return stroke polarity of distant lightning for distances beyond 600 km by detecting the electric field associated with a return stroke of distant lightning, and processing the electric field signal to determine the polarity of the slow tail of the VLF waveform signal associated with the detected electric field. The polarity of the return stroke of distant lightning is determined based upon the polarity of the slow tail portion of the waveform.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: The Optical Transient Detector (OTD) is a space-based instrument specifically designed to detect and locate lightning discharges (intracloud and cloud-to-ground) as it orbits the Earth. A statistical examination of OTD lightning data reveals that nearly 1.2 billion flashes occurred over the entire earth during the one year period from September 1995 through August 1996. This translates to an average of 37 lightning flashes occurring around the globe every second, which is well below the traditional estimate of 100 flashes per second. An average of 75% of the global lightning activity during the year occurs between 30' S and 30' N. An analysis of the annual lightning distribution reveals that an average of 82% of the lightning flashes occur over the continents and 18% over the oceans, which translates to an average land-ocean flash density ratio of nearly 11.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 726-729; NASA/CP-1999-209261
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) is a NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) instrument on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) platform designed to acquire and investigate the distribution and variability of total lightning (i.e., cloud-to-ground and intracloud) between q35' in latitude. Since lightning is one of the responses of the atmosphere to thermodynamic and dynamic forcing, the LIS data is being used to detect deep convection without land-ocean bias, estimate the precipitation mass in the mixed phased region of thunderclouds, and differentiate storms with strong updrafts from those with weak vertical motion.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 746-749; NASA/CP-1999-209261
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: Since April 1995, lightning activity around the globe has been monitored with the Optical Transient Detector (OTD). The OTD observations acquired during the one year period from September 1995 through August 1996 have been used to statistically determine the number of flashes that occur over the Earth during each hour of the diurnal cycle, expressed both as a function of local time and universal time. The globally averaged local [il,htnina activity displays a peak in late afternoon (1500-1800 local time) and a minimum in the morning hours (0600- 1000 local time) consistent with convection associated with diurnal heating. No diurnal variation is found for oceanic storms. The diurnal lightning distribution (universal time) for the globe displays a variation of about 35% about its mean as compared to the Carnegie curve which has a variation of only 15% above and below the mean.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 742-745; NASA/CP-1999-209261
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: A one-speed Boltzmann transport theory, with diffusion approximations, is applied to study the radiative transfer properties of lightning in optically thick thunderclouds. Near-infrared (lambda = 0.7774 micrometers) photons associated with a prominent oxygen emission triplet in the lightning spectrum are considered. Transient and spatially complex lightning radiation sources are placed inside a rectangular parallelepiped thundercloud geometry and the effects of multiple scattering are studied. The cloud is assumed to be composed of a homogeneous collection of identical spherical water droplets, each droplet a nearly conservative, anisotropic scatterer. Conceptually, we treat the thundercloud like a nuclear reactor, with photons replaced by neutrons, and utilize standard one-speed neutron diffusion techniques common in nuclear reactor analyses. Valid analytic results for the intensity distribution (expanded in spherical harmonics) are obtained for regions sufficiently far from sources. Model estimates of the arrival-time delay and pulse width broadening of lightning signals radiated from within the cloud are determined and the results are in good agreement with both experimental data and previous Monte Carlo estimates. Additional model studies of this kind will be used to study the general information content of cloud top lightning radiation signatures.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 99; D7; p. 14,361-14,371
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2004-12-03
    Description: In recent years, atmospheric conductivity and electric field measurements over thunderstorms have been made at 20 km with a high altitude aircraft. After compensating for the effects of aircraft charging induced by external electric fields no significant variations in ambient conductivity above thunderstorms have been found. These Gerdien results contrast strongly with the large (and frequent) conductivity variations reported in studies using relaxation probe techniques.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity; 646-649; NASA/CP-1999-209261
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: Not only are scientific objectives and instrument characteristics given of a calibrated optical LIS for the EOS but also for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) which was designed to acquire and study the distribution and variability of total lightning on a global basis. The LIS can be traced to a lightning mapper sensor planned for flight on the GOES meteorological satellites. The LIS consists of a staring imager optimized to detect and locate lightning. The LIS will detect and locate lightning with storm scale resolution (i.e., 5 to 10 km) over a large region of the Earth's surface along the orbital track of the satellite, mark the time of occurrence of the lightning, and measure the radiant energy. The LIS will have a nearly uniform 90 pct. detection efficiency within the area viewed by the sensor, and will detect intracloud and cloud-to-ground discharges during day and night conditions. Also, the LIS will monitor individual storms and storm systems long enough to obtain a measure of the lightning flashing rate when they are within the field of view of the LIS. The LIS attributes include low cost, low weight and power, low data rate, and important science. The LIS will study the hydrological cycle, general circulation and sea surface temperature variations, along with examinations of the electrical coupling of thunderstorms with the ionosphere and magnetosphere, and observations and modeling of the global electric circuit.
    Keywords: EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
    Type: M-680 , NASA-TM-4350 , NAS 1.15:4350
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