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Keywords:

  • lightning;
  • interstroke current;
  • rocket-and-wire triggered lightning

Abstract

At the end of 120 prereturn stroke intervals in 27 lightning flashes triggered by rocket-and-wire in Florida, residual currents with an arithmetic mean of 5.3 mA (standard derivation 2.8 mA) were recorded. Average time constants of the current decay following return strokes were found to vary between 160 µs and 550 µs, increasing with decreasing current magnitude. These results represent the most sensitive measurements of interstroke lightning current to date, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more sensitive than previously reported measurements, and contradict the common view found in the literature that there is a no current interval. Possible sources of the residual current are discussed.