Storm Precipitation and Wind Structure during Aircraft Strike Lightning Events.
Environmental research papers,
AIR FORCE GEOPHYSICS LAB HANSCOM AFB MA
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A limited set of in-situ aircraft and ground-based radar data acquired during the 1981 and 1982 Joint Agency Turbulence Experiment are used to study the relationship of aircraft lightning strikes to storm precipitation, turbulence severity, and wind shear. The strikes are found to be strongly correlated with vertical drafts, predominantly downdrafts. The strikes were also well correlated with regions of strong turbulence. However, since most strong turbulence episodes were not associated with lightning, use of lightning location methods to locate hazardous turbulence within storms is considered unreliable. The strikes occurred in storm regions having radar reflectivity factor between 25 to 35 dBZ. These regions were generally on the boundaries of the dominant storm precipitation cores. Storm wind shear was frequently high in regions near aircraft strikes. The strong correlations with strong turbulence, downdraft boundaries, and precipitation core boundaries suggest that the strikes occurred in regions of charge separation.
- Atmospheric Physics