Analysis of lightning outliers in the EUCLID network

Poelman, Dieter R.; Schulz, Wolfgang; Kaltenboeck, Rudolf; Delobbe, Laurent

Lightning data as observed by the European Cooperation for Lightning Detection (EUCLID) network are used in combination with radar data to retrieve the temporal and spatial behavior of lightning outliers, i.e., discharges located in a wrong place, over a 5-year period from 2011 to 2016. Cloud-to-ground (CG) stroke and textintracloud (IC) pulse data are superimposed on corresponding 5 min radar precipitation fields in two topographically different areas, Belgium and Austria, in order to extract lightning outliers based on the distance between each lightning event and the nearest precipitation. It is shown that the percentage of outliers is sensitive to changes in the network and to the location algorithm itself. The total percentage of outliers for both regions varies over the years between 0.8 and 1.7 % for a distance to the nearest precipitation of 2 km, with an average of approximately 1.2 % in Belgium and Austria. Outside the European summer thunderstorm season, the percentage of outliers tends to increase somewhat. The majority of all the outliers are low peak current events with absolute values falling between 0 and 10 kA. More specifically, positive cloud-to-ground strokes are more likely to be classified as outliers compared to all other types of discharges. Furthermore, it turns out that the number of sensors participating in locating a lightning discharge is different for outliers versus correctly located events, with outliers having the lowest amount of sensors participating. In addition, it is shown that in most cases the semi-major axis (SMA) assigned to a lightning discharge as a confidence indicator in the location accuracy (LA) is smaller for correctly located events compared to the semi-major axis of outliers.



Poelman, Dieter R. / Schulz, Wolfgang / Kaltenboeck, Rudolf / et al: Analysis of lightning outliers in the EUCLID network. 2017. Copernicus Publications.


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