Assessment of Turbulence Intensity in Different Spots of Lightning Flash Propagation

Jessica C.S. Souza, Eric C. Bruning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The updraft speed is correlated to the total lightning flashes a storm produces. Shear along updraft gradients is one of the mechanisms responsible for the production of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE). Thus, the radar-estimated eddy dissipation rate (EDR) overlapped with Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data is used to evaluate the storm's kinematic and electrical relationship. The majority of the sampled flashes shows higher turbulence intensities close to lightning initiation regions. As the distance from initiation increases along the lightning propagation path, there is a gradient to less turbulent regions. We identified small-sized and medium-sized flashes initiated at lower altitudes in regions of smaller EDR values consistent with the unmixed flow within inner part of updrafts. Furthermore, there were a concentration of small flashes initiated in the upper portion of the cloud in high EDR values due to their associated small-scale variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL095923
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021


  • eddy dissipation rate
  • lightning propagation
  • turbulence


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