Analysis of lightning strokes associated with sprites observed by ISUAL in the vicinity of North America

Gaopeng Lu, Steven A. Cummer, Alfred B. Chen, Fanchao Lyu, Dongshuai Li, Fei Liu, Rue Ron Hsu, Han Tzong Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the broadband (<1 Hz to 30 kHz) lightning sferics associated with 395 sprites observed near North America by the Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) onboard the FORMOSAT-2 satellite in a 12-year period from 2004 to 2015. Our analysis indicates that the ISUAL dataset contains a significant fraction (69, or ~18%) of negative sprites, which were predominantly (>80%) observed over oceanic and coastal thunderstorms mostly in tropical areas. The mean and median of impulse charge moment change (iCMC) associated with positive (negative) sprites are +346 C km (-709 C km) and +280 C km (-649 C km), respectively. The morphology and parent lightning properties (e.g., typically with high peak currents >-80 kA and large iCMCs >-300 C km) of negative sprites observed by the ISUAL are generally consistent with that documented in ground-based observations, but the ISUAL dataset does imply that sprites are sometimes produced by negative strokes with sub-critical iCMCs (less than -300 C km). Consequently, the future survey of global occurrence of sprites is desired to be based on complementary ground and space-borne observations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTerrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug

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sprite
lightning
thunderstorm
North America
analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Analysis of lightning strokes associated with sprites observed by ISUAL in the vicinity of North America",
abstract = "We examined the broadband (<1 Hz to 30 kHz) lightning sferics associated with 395 sprites observed near North America by the Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) onboard the FORMOSAT-2 satellite in a 12-year period from 2004 to 2015. Our analysis indicates that the ISUAL dataset contains a significant fraction (69, or ~18{\%}) of negative sprites, which were predominantly (>80{\%}) observed over oceanic and coastal thunderstorms mostly in tropical areas. The mean and median of impulse charge moment change (iCMC) associated with positive (negative) sprites are +346 C km (-709 C km) and +280 C km (-649 C km), respectively. The morphology and parent lightning properties (e.g., typically with high peak currents >-80 kA and large iCMCs >-300 C km) of negative sprites observed by the ISUAL are generally consistent with that documented in ground-based observations, but the ISUAL dataset does imply that sprites are sometimes produced by negative strokes with sub-critical iCMCs (less than -300 C km). Consequently, the future survey of global occurrence of sprites is desired to be based on complementary ground and space-borne observations.",
author = "Gaopeng Lu and Cummer, {Steven A.} and Chen, {Alfred B.} and Fanchao Lyu and Dongshuai Li and Fei Liu and Hsu, {Rue Ron} and Su, {Han Tzong}",
year = "2017",
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Analysis of lightning strokes associated with sprites observed by ISUAL in the vicinity of North America. / Lu, Gaopeng; Cummer, Steven A.; Chen, Alfred B.; Lyu, Fanchao; Li, Dongshuai; Liu, Fei; Hsu, Rue Ron; Su, Han Tzong.

In: Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Vol. 28, No. 4, 08.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Cummer, Steven A.

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AU - Lyu, Fanchao

AU - Li, Dongshuai

AU - Liu, Fei

AU - Hsu, Rue Ron

AU - Su, Han Tzong

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AB - We examined the broadband (<1 Hz to 30 kHz) lightning sferics associated with 395 sprites observed near North America by the Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning (ISUAL) onboard the FORMOSAT-2 satellite in a 12-year period from 2004 to 2015. Our analysis indicates that the ISUAL dataset contains a significant fraction (69, or ~18%) of negative sprites, which were predominantly (>80%) observed over oceanic and coastal thunderstorms mostly in tropical areas. The mean and median of impulse charge moment change (iCMC) associated with positive (negative) sprites are +346 C km (-709 C km) and +280 C km (-649 C km), respectively. The morphology and parent lightning properties (e.g., typically with high peak currents >-80 kA and large iCMCs >-300 C km) of negative sprites observed by the ISUAL are generally consistent with that documented in ground-based observations, but the ISUAL dataset does imply that sprites are sometimes produced by negative strokes with sub-critical iCMCs (less than -300 C km). Consequently, the future survey of global occurrence of sprites is desired to be based on complementary ground and space-borne observations.

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