Fields of Lightning Discharges in Typhoons
We report the results of the use of the World Wide Lightning Location Network data to analyze the core structure of super typhoons that occurred in the northwestern Pacific Ocean in 2012–2013. The distributions of lightning discharges are compared to the ocean-surface wind fields according to the data of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) and the infrared images of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the MetTop-A and Aqua satellites, respectively. In the central regions of all of the studied typhoons, the structures that are fragments of circular or spiral mesometeorological-scale forms, which can be related to the presence of the cloud eyewall of typhoons, are observed even a day before the typhoon’s maximum intensity. These circular structures become completely apparent on the day of the typhoon’s maximum intensity and then begin to break down. It is shown that the position of the center of a typhoon and its traveling speed can be estimated from the distribution of lightning; in addition, the geometric characteristics of an eyewall, which are listed in reports on storms and typhoons, can be determined.
Keywords:tropical cyclones typhoons lightning World Wide Lightning Location Network
The authors thank Robert H. Holzworth (Professor of Earth and Space Science and Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Washington, United States) for providing them with the WWLLN data.
The study was supported by the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (the Fundamental Research Program “Far East”) and the joint project of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (grant CRDF-14-007 according to the RUG1-7084-PA-13 agreement).
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