Red sprites over thunderstorms in the coast of Shandong Province, China
- 29 Downloads
Red sprites, different from lightning flashes occurring in the troposphere, are large and brief discharges which appear in the altitude range from about 40 to 90 km above large thunderstorms and are usually caused by cloud-to-ground lightning discharges (CGs). A total of 17 sprites over two thunderstorms were first observed during the summer of 2007. One of the sprites occurred on July 28 above a thunderstorm in Guan County and the center of the storm was about 272 km from the observation site. The other sprites were recorded at the late night of August 1 and in the early morning of August 2, and the storm center was about 315 km away. All of the observed sprites occurred in cluster, and their appearances were very different, including ‘columniform sprites’, ‘columniform sprites’ with angel-like wings, ‘carrot sprites’, ‘dancing sprites’, etc. The duration of the sprites varied from a minimum of 40 ms to a maximum of 160 ms with a geometric mean (GM) of 61 ms. The time delay between parental positive cloud-to-ground lightning flashes (+CGs) and the associated sprites varied from 3.4 to 11.8 ms with a GM of 7.1 ms. The ratio of the number of +CGs to the total number of CGs during the time period with sprites was 7 times larger than that when no sprites occurred. Sprites did not appear frequently at the time when the convective activity is strong but when the thunderstorm starts to become weak.
Keywordsred sprites lightning thunderstorms
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 7.Su H t, Hsu R R, Chen A B, et al. Observation of sprites over the Asian continent and over oceans around Taiwan. Geophys Res Lett, 2002, 29(4), doi:10.1029/2001GL013737Google Scholar
- 8.Zhu B Y, Tao S C, Tan Y B. Review of high-altitude air discharges above thunderstorms. Plateau Meteorol, 2006, 25(3):549–555Google Scholar
- 9.Wu M L, Xu J Y. A time-dependent quasi-three-dimensional QEF model of red sprites. Chinese J Geophys, 2005, 48(3):480–486Google Scholar
- 10.Wu M L, Xu J Y, Ma R P. The simulation study of spherics and red sprite phenomena produced by lightning. Acta Phys Sin, 2006, 55(10):5007–5013Google Scholar
- 11.Wu M L, Xu J Y. Time-dependent simulation of electric field configuration and optical emission of sprite halo. Chin J Space Sci, 2005, 25(6):510–515Google Scholar
- 17.Price C, Yair Y, Asfur M. East African lightning as a precursor of Atlantic hurricane activity. Geophys Res Lett, 2007, 34(L09805), doi:10.1029/2006GL028884Google Scholar
- 20.Suzuki T, Hayakawa M, Matsudo Y, et al. How do winter thunderstorm systems generate sprite-inducing lightning in the Hokuriku area of Japan? Geophys Res Lett, 2006, 33, L10806, doi:10.1029/2005GL025433Google Scholar
- 21.Ganot M, Yair Y, Price C, et al. First detection of transient luminous events associated with winter thunderstorms in the eastern Mediterranean. Geophys Res Lett, 2007, 34, L12801, doi:10.1029/2007GL029258Google Scholar
- 22.Pinto O J, Saba M M F, Pinto R C A, et al. Thunderstorm and lightning characteristics associated with sprites in Brazil. Geophys Res Lett, 2004, 31, L13103, doi:10.1029/2004GL020264Google Scholar