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Weekly Cycle of Lightning: Evidence of Storm Invigoration by PollutionWe have examined summertime 1998 2009 U.S. lightning data from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) to look for weekly cycles in lightning activity. As was found by Bell et al. (2008) for rain over the southeast U.S., there is a significant weekly cycle in afternoon lightning activity that peaks in the middle of the week there. The weekly cycle appears to be reduced over population centers. Lightning activity peaks on weekends over waters near the SE U.S. The statistical significance of weekly cycles over the western half of the country is generally small. We found no evidence of a weekly cycle of synoptic-scale forcing that might explain these patterns. The lightning behavior is entirely consistent with the explanation suggested by Bell et al. (2008) for the cycles in rainfall and other atmospheric data from the SE U.S., that aerosols can cause storms to intensify in humid, convectively unstable environments.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Bell, Thomas L.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Rosenfeld, Daniel
(Hebrew Univ. Jerusalem, Israel)
Kim, Kyu-Myong
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
December 9, 2009
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 36
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Distribution Limits
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