Articles | Volume 31, issue 7
Regular paper
09 Jul 2013
Regular paper |  | 09 Jul 2013

Thunderstorm incidence in southeastern Brazil estimated from different data sources

O. Pinto Jr., K. P. Naccarato, and I. R. C. A. Pinto

Abstract. This paper describes a comparative analysis of the thunderstorm incidence in southeastern Brazil obtained from thunderstorm days observed at two different epochs (from 1910 to 1951 and from 1971 to 1984) and from lightning data provided by the Brazilian lightning location system RINDAT (from 1999 to 2006) and the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite (from 1998 to 2010). The results are interpreted in terms of the main synoptic patterns associated with thunderstorm activity in this region, indicating that the prevailing synoptic pattern associated with thunderstorm activity is the occurrence of frontal systems and their modulation by the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ) and topography. Evidence of urban effects is also found. The results are also discussed in the context of practical applications involving their use in the Brazilian lightning protection standards, suggesting that the present version of the Brazilian standards should be revised incorporating RINDAT and LIS data. Finally, the results are important to improve our knowledge about the limitations of the different techniques used to record the thunderstorm activity and support future climatic studies.