Climate and Dynamics
A fifth-power relationship for lightning activity from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite observations
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 114, Issue D9, 16 May 2009
How to Cite
2009), A fifth-power relationship for lightning activity from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite observations, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D09104, doi:10.1029/2008JD010370., , , and (
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 16 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Received: 5 MAY 2008
- convective cloud;
 The relationship between lightning activity and some aspects of a convective cloud has been carefully studied in the fields of science and engineering. Coincident data from the precipitation radar (PR) and the lightning imaging sensor (LIS) aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite are used to examine the correlation between the number of lightning flashes per second per convective cloud (NFSC) and the cold-cloud depth. The cold-cloud depth is defined as the height from the melting level, which is the altitude at 0 degree, to the storm height. It is found that the NFSC is approximately proportional to the fifth power of the cold-cloud depth. In addition, it should be noticed that the relationship does not have regional dependencies. Two simple dimensional analyses indicate that the fifth power of the cold-cloud depth is proportional to the stored static electric energy and to the charging rate in the convective cloud.