Saharan dust, lightning and tropical cyclones in the eastern tropical Atlantic during NAMMA-06
Article first published online: 19 JUN 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 12, 28 June 2008
How to Cite
2008), Saharan dust, lightning and tropical cyclones in the eastern tropical Atlantic during NAMMA-06, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L12804, doi:10.1029/2008GL033979., and (
- Issue published online: 19 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 19 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 29 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 13 MAR 2008
- Saharan dust;
- tropical cyclones
 During the summer of 2006, the downstream component of African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses Campaign (NASA-AMMA (NAMMA)) examined African Easterly Waves (AEWs) emerging from the coast of Africa. Six of these disturbances went on to become named systems in the Tropical Atlantic. Two of the six systems (Tropical storm Debby and Hurricane Helene) developed in the extreme eastern Atlantic and were associated with dust outbreaks, elevated ice contents and frequent lightning. Here we show that in the early tropical cyclo-genesis stages of these systems there were thousands of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes as measured by a ground-lightning network. TRMM overpasses show high precipitation ice content above the freezing level and high latent heat release. Super-cooled water can be inferred in the lower parts of cloud systems in concert with observed high ice concentrations at high altitudes creating charge separation based on the large numbers of CG flashes.