Measurements of vertical electric field in a thunderstorm in a Chinese inland plateau

Zhang, Tinglong; Yu, Hai; Zhou, Fangcong; Chen, Jie; Zhang, Maohua

A balloon-borne instrument was designed to measure the electric field in thunderstorms. One case of thunderstorm was observed in the Pingliang region (35.57inline-formula N, 106.59inline-formula E; and 1620 m above sea level, a.s.l.) of a Chinese inland plateau, through penetration by the balloon-borne sounding in the early period of the mature stage. Results showed that the sounding passed through seven predominant charge regions. A negative charge region with a depth of 800 m located near the surface, and a positive charge region appeared in the warm cloud region; their mean charge densities were inline-formula−0.44 inline-formula± 0.136 and 0.43 inline-formula± 0.103 nC minline-formula−3, respectively. Five charge regions existed in the region colder than 0 inline-formulaC, and charge polarity alternated in a vertical direction with a positive charge at the lowest region. The mean charge densities for these five regions were inline-formula0.40±0.037 nC minline-formula−3 (inline-formula−9.5 to inline-formula−4 inline-formulaC), inline-formula M13inlinescrollmathml - normal 0.63 ± normal 0.0107 76pt10ptsvg-formulamathimg86fbde7d923b028d9fa7e9ea66266b04 angeo-36-979-2018-ie00001.svg76pt10ptangeo-36-979-2018-ie00001.png  nC minline-formula−3 (inline-formula−18 to inline-formula−14 inline-formulaC), inline-formula0.35±0.063 nC minline-formula−3 (inline-formula−27 to inline-formula−18 inline-formulaC), inline-formula M23inlinescrollmathml - normal 0.36 ± normal 0.057 70pt10ptsvg-formulamathimg99b5dec38624858c680516c664b5ca34 angeo-36-979-2018-ie00002.svg70pt10ptangeo-36-979-2018-ie00002.png  nC minline-formula−3 (inline-formula−34 to inline-formula−27 inline-formulaC), and inline-formula0.24±0.06 nC minline-formula−3 (inline-formula−38 to inline-formula−34 inline-formulaC). We speculated that the two independent positive charge regions in the lower portion are the same charge region with a weak charge density layer in the middle. The analysis showed that the real charge structure of the thunderstorm is more complex than the tripole model, and the lower dipole is the most intensive charge region in the thunderstorm.

keywordsKeywords. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric electricity)

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Zhang, Tinglong / Yu, Hai / Zhou, Fangcong / et al: Measurements of vertical electric field in a thunderstorm in a Chinese inland plateau. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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