Articles | Volume 35, issue 6
ANGEO Communicates
03 Nov 2017
ANGEO Communicates |  | 03 Nov 2017

Searching for the 27-day solar rotational cycle in lightning events recorded in old diaries in Kyoto from the 17th to 18th century

Hiroko Miyahara, Yasuyuki Aono, and Ryuho Kataoka

Abstract. A solar rotational period of approximately 27 days has been detected in cloud and lightning activities, although the mechanism of the sun–climate connection remains unclear. In previous studies, lightning activity in Japan showed a significant signal of the solar rotational period, especially around the maxima of the decadal solar cycles. Here we analyze the time series of lightning activity in the AD 1668–1767 period, extracted from old diaries in Kyoto, Japan, and search for the signal of solar rotational cycles. The 27-day cycles were detected in the lightning data and occurred only around the maxima of the decadal sunspot cycles. The signal disappeared during AD 1668–1715, which corresponds to the latter half of the Maunder Minimum when both radiative and magnetic disturbances were thought to have been weak. These findings provide insight into the connection between solar activity and the Earth's climate.

Short summary
Solar activity and climate show correlations over a wide range of timescales. It is important to understand the behavior of the 27-day solar rotational period in lightning activities because it provides an opportunity to understand how the sun influences weather and climate. We analyzed lightning data extracted from diaries written in Kyoto, Japan from the mid-17th to the mid-18th century. Lightning shows the signal of the 27-day period; however, it disappeared during the Maunder Minimum.