Modeling lightning density using cloud top parameters


The Price-Rind 92 parameterization (Price and Rind, 1992) that utilizes cloud top height as predictor for the estimation of lightning density is widely used by modelers in an attempt to forecast electrical activity in thunderstorms. In the present paper new parameterizations for the estimation of lightning density of convective clouds are formulated. LINET lightning data, NWC SAF (Satellite Application Facility on support to Nowcasting and Very Short-Range Forecasting) products and ERA-Interim (ECMWF-Re Analysis) data, covering the summer of 2016 over continental Europe, are used. The proposed models estimate the lightning density of convective clouds, using cloud top height, cloud top pressure and cold cloud depth as predictors. Model efficiency statistics calculated over an independent dataset, suggest that the proposed models can be considered successful over the specific area (continental Europe) and period (summer). The new cloud top height model differs from the PR92 and other parameterizations, which is not an unexpected result, since every model has its own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. The new parameterizations could be utilized in numerical model simulations to produce quantitative estimations of the amount of strokes over convective areas.

Atmospheric Research 222:163-171