Transport Processes: Regular Papers
An overview of the Stratospheric-Tropospheric Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone (STERAO)-Deep Convection experiment with results for the July 10, 1996 storm
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 105, Issue D8, pages 10023–10045, 27 April 2000
How to Cite
2000), An overview of the Stratospheric-Tropospheric Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols, and Ozone (STERAO)-Deep Convection experiment with results for the July 10, 1996 storm, J. Geophys. Res., 105(D8), 10023–10045, doi:10.1029/1999JD901116., et al. (
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 JUL 1999
- Manuscript Received: 5 FEB 1999
The Stratospheric-Tropospheric Experiment: Radiation, Aerosols and Ozone (STERAO)-Deep Convection Field Project with closely coordinated chemical, dynamical, electrical, and microphysical observations was conducted in northeastern Colorado during June and July of 1996 to investigate the production of NOx by lightning, the transport and redistribution of chemical species in the troposphere by thunderstorms, and the temporal evolution of intracloud and cloud-to-ground lightning for evolving storms on the Colorado high plains. Major observations were airborne chemical measurements in the boundary layer, middle and upper troposphere, and thunderstorm anvils; airborne and ground-based Doppler radar measurements; measurement of both intracloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flash rates and locations; and multiparameter radar and in situ observations of microphysical structure. Cloud and mesoscale models are being used to synthesize and extend the observations. Herein we present an overview of the project and selected results for an isolated, severe storm that occurred on July 10. Time histories of reflectivity structure, IC and CG lightning flash rates, and chemical measurements in the boundary layer and in the anvil are presented showing large spatial and temporal variations. The observations for one period of time suggest that limited mixing of environmental air into the updraft core occurred during transport from cloud base to the anvil adjacent to the storm core. We deduce that the most likely contribution of lightning to the total NOx observed in the anvil is 60–90% with a minimum of 45%. For the July 10 storm the NOx produced by lightning was almost exclusively from IC flashes with a ratio of IC to total flashes >0.95 throughout most of the storm's lifetime. It is argued that in this storm and probably others, IC flashes can be major contributors to NOx production. Superposition of VHF lightning source locations on Doppler retrieved air motion fields for one 5 min time period shows that lightning activity occurred primarily in moderate updrafts and weak downdrafts with little excursion into the main downdraft. This may have important implications for the vertical redistribution of NOx resulting from lightning production, if found to be true at other times and in other storms.