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Keywords:

  • global lightning;
  • land/ocean lightning;
  • elves

[1] We study local time variation in high peak current lightning over land versus over ocean by using lightning locations from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN). Optical lightning data from the photodiode detector on the Fast On-Orbit Recording of Transient Events (FORTE) satellite are used to determine the relative detection efficiency of the WWLLN for lightning events by region, as well as over land versus over ocean. We find that the peak lightning flash density varies for the different continents by up to 5 hours in local time. Because the WWLLN measures lightning strokes with large peak currents, the variation in local time of WWLLN-detected strokes suggests a similar variation in local time of transient luminous events (e.g., elves) and their effects on the lower ionosphere.