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Atmosphere 2016, 7(3), 39; doi:10.3390/atmos7030039

Characteristics of Preliminary Breakdown Pulses in Positive Ground Flashes during Summer Thunderstorms in Sweden

Ångström Laboratory, Division of Electricity, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Centre for Power Electrical Engineering Studies, Universiti Teknologi Mara, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Faculty of Electronics and Computer Engineering, Telecommunication Engineering Department, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Hang Tuah Jaya, 76100 Durian Tunggal, Malacca, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Farhad Rachidi
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 10 March 2016
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This paper presents the characteristics of the preliminary breakdown pulses (PBP) in 51 positive ground flashes recorded during 2014 summer thunderstorms in Sweden. Electric field measurements were conducted remotely using a broadband antenna system (up to 100 MHz) for a recording length of 1 s with 200 ms trigger time. In the analysis, PBP trains were observed in 86% of the cases. Based on the number of trains preceding the first return stroke, the PBP were classified into single and multiple train PBP. Characteristics of the first PBP train were determined and based on the initial polarity of the pulses, three types of PBP were identified. Characteristics of the subsequent PBP trains in the multiple train PBP were also analyzed and they were compared with the first PBP train. Based on the conceptual charge cloud configuration, we found that the inverted dipole is consistent with our observation. We also found that PBP in positive ground flashes during summer thunderstorms in Sweden are weak since the average ratios of the PBP peak to the first return stroke peak lie only between 0.21 and 0.26. Possible reasons for no detection of PBP and the different types of PBP observed were also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: lightning; positive ground flashes; preliminary breakdown pulses; multiple train PBP lightning; positive ground flashes; preliminary breakdown pulses; multiple train PBP

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Johari, D.; Cooray, V.; Rahman, M.; Hettiarachchi, P.; Ismail, M.M. Characteristics of Preliminary Breakdown Pulses in Positive Ground Flashes during Summer Thunderstorms in Sweden. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 39.

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