Relationship between geographical latitude and longitude and cloud-to-ground lightning flash characteristics in the Iberian Peninsula

L. RIVAS SORIANO, F. DE PABLO, E. GARCÍA DIEZ

Abstract

The relationship between geographical latitude and longitude and cloud-to-ground lightning activity in the Iberian Peninsula is analyzed using data from 1992 until 1994. Three flash characteristics are considered: flash density, polarity and intensity. There is a strong dependence between flash density and both latitude and longitude, which may be explained as effect of altitude distribution and the Mediterranean sea respectively. The polarity also shows a strong dependence with latitude, which may be explained as effect of mesoscale convective systems (MCS) and temperature. The dependence between geographical longitude and polarity is weak and may be due to the higher intensity of the positive flashes together with the effect of MCSs. Peak-current amplitudes for both polarities show a clear relationship with latitude, which may be explained by orographic effects and the longer lightning channels at lower latitudes. A definite dependence between peak-current amplitudes and geographical longitude is not observed.

Keywords

Atmospheric electricity; convective processes; lightning characteristics; Iberian Peninsula

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