Aerosol effects on electrification and lightning discharges in a multicell thunderstorm simulated by the WRF-ELEC model.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 18)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 220 words

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Abstract :

To investigate the effects of aerosols on lightning activity, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with a two-moment bulk microphysical scheme and bulk lightning model was employed to simulate a multicell thunderstorm that occurred in the metropolitan Beijing area. The results suggest that under polluted conditions lightning activity is significantly enhanced during the developing and mature stages. Electrification and lightning discharges within the thunderstorm show characteristics distinguished by different aerosol conditions through microphysical processes. Elevated aerosol loading increases the cloud droplets numbers, the latent heat release, updraft and ice-phase particle number concentrations. More charges in the upper level are carried by ice particles and enhance the electrification process. A larger mean-mass radius of graupel particles further increases non-inductive charging due to more effective collisions. In the continental case where aerosol concentrations are low, less latent heat is released in the upper parts and, as a consequence, the updraft speed is weaker, leading to smaller concentrations of ice particles, lower charging rates and fewer lightning discharges.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A676874839