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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 20, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 20, 107–113, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-107-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 20, 107–113, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-107-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Jan 2002

31 Jan 2002

A study of the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning and precipitation in the convective weather system in China

Y. Zhou1, X. Qie1, and S. Soula2 Y. Zhou et al.
  • 1Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou, China
  • 2Laboratoire d’Aerologie, UMR 5560 UPS/CNRS, OMP, 14 av. E. Belin 31400 Toulouse, France
  • Correspondence to: X. Qie (qiex@ns.lzb.ac.cn)

Abstract. In this paper, the correlation between cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning and precipitation has been studied by making use of the data from weather radar, meteorological soundings, and a lightning location system that includes three direction finders about 40 km apart from each other in the Pingliang area of east Gansu province in P. R. China. We have studied the convective systems that developed during two cold front processes passing over the observation area, and found that the CG lightning can be an important factor in the precipitation estimation. The regression equation between the average precipitation intensity (R) and the number of CG lightning flashes (L) in the main precipitation period is R = 1.69 ln (L) - 0.27, and the correlation coefficient r is 0.86. The CG lightning flash rate can be used as an indicator of the formation and development of the convective weather system. Another more exhaustive precipitation estimation method has been developed by analyzing the temporal and spatial distributions of the precipitation relative to the location of the CG lightning flashes. Precipitation calculated from the CG lightning flashes is very useful, especially in regions with inadequate radar cover.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity; lightning; precipitation)

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