Title : CAPE Threshold for Lightning over the Tropical Ocean
Abstract : Lightning, a fascinating natural phenomenon, plays a unique role in the Earth system. From a weather point of view, lightning flashes associated with individual thunderstorms are of serious concern for public safety in many developing countries. On the global scale, lightning is a key component of the climate system and has profound impacts on the atmospheric composition through lightning produced nitrogen oxides.
In the seminar, the speaker will introduce the basic lightning physics (storm electrification mechanism) and how the state of the art numerical models that we use for climate projections represent lightning (lightning parameterization). Then the speaker will present the results of his recent work on the relationship between atmospheric instability (CAPE), the horizontal size of thunderstorms, and lightning flash rates. Implications of the results on existing lightning parameterizations will be discussed.