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A comparison of the fine-scale structure of the diurnal cycle of tropical rain and lightning

Venugopal, V and Virts, K and Sukhatme, J and Wallace, JM and Chattopadhyay, B (2016) A comparison of the fine-scale structure of the diurnal cycle of tropical rain and lightning. In: ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH, 169 (B, SI). pp. 515-522.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2015.09.004 ...


In this study, the fine-scale structure of the diurnal variability of ground-based lightning is systematically compared with satellite-based rain. At the outset, it is shown that tropical variability of lightning exhibits a prominent diurnal mode, much like rain. A comparison of the geographical distribution of the timing of the diurnal maximum shows that there is very good agreement between the two observables over continental and coastal regions throughout the tropics. Following this global tropical comparison, we focus on two regions, Borneo and equatorial South America, both of which show the interplay between oceanward and landward propagations of the phase of the diurnal maximum. Over Borneo, both rain and lightning clearly show a climatological cycle of ``breathing in'' (afternoon to early morning) and ``breathing out'' (morning to early afternoon). Over the equatorial east coast of South America, landward propagation is noticed in rain and lightning from early afternoon to early morning. Along the Pacific coast of South America, both rain and lightning show oceanward propagation. Though qualitatively consistent, over both regions the propagation is seen to extend further in rainfall. Additionally, given that lightning highlights vigorous convection, the timing of its diurnal maximum often precedes that of rainfall in the convective life cycle. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 360 PARK AVE SOUTH, NEW YORK, NY 10010-1710 USA
Keywords: Tropical rain; Lightning; Diurnal cycle; Propagation
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 05:02
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2016 05:02
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53128

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