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Keywords:

  • lightning;
  • aerosol;
  • spatial model

Abstract

Lightning amplification has been detected in areas with enhanced aerosol concentrations. Here the authors use cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning strike data across North Georgia to statistically model the lightning frequency as a function of distance from nearest coal plant and distance from nearest highway. Results show a threefold increase in lightning occurrence near coal plants and highways. Lightning enhancement near coal plants extends to distances exceeding 100 km; whereas, the lightning enhancement near highways is limited to a localized spike. The models explain not more than 11% of the spatial variability in flash frequency.