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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Lightning and Precipitation Activities in Three Severe Convective Events Based on Doppler Radar and Microwave Radiometer over the Central China Region

1
Hubei Key Laboratory for Heavy Rain Monitoring and Warning Research, Institute of Heavy Rain, China Meteorological Administration, Wuhan 430205, China
2
Hubei Lightning Protecting Center, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10060298
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Severe Storm)
Hubei Province Region (HPR), located in Central China, is a concentrated area of severe convective weather. Three severe convective processes occurred in HPR were selected, namely 14–15 May 2015 (Case 1), 6–7 July 2013 (Case 2), and 11–12 September 2014 (Case 3). In order to investigate the differences between the three cases, the temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of cloud–ground lightning (CG) flashes and precipitation, the distribution of radar parameters, and the evolution of cloud environment characteristics (including water vapor (VD), liquid water content (LWC), relative humidity (RH), and temperature) were compared and analyzed by using the data of lightning locator, S-band Doppler radar, ground-based microwave radiometer (MWR), and automatic weather stations (AWS) in this study. The results showed that 80% of the CG flashes had an inverse correlation with the spatial distribution of heavy rainfall, 28.6% of positive CG (+CG) flashes occurred at the center of precipitation (>30 mm), and the percentage was higher than that of negative CG (−CG) flashes (13%). Moreover, the quantity of thunderstorm cells in Case 1 was more than other cases, the peak time of +CG flashes was prior to that of total CG flashes in Case 2 and Case 3, and the time of +CG flashes’ peak in Case 2 was prior to that of precipitation at about 2 h. Based on the analysis of the cloud environment, there are three main reasons for the differences of CG flashes and precipitation. Firstly, the structure of the LWC vertical profile and the height of the LWC peak are different, and high LWC makes it difficult for the collision of ice particles to generate electricity. Secondly, the differences between convective available potential energy (CAPE), precipitation, and CG flashes is caused by the sudden increase of VD from 1.5 km to 3 km, and thirdly, the production of CG flashes is very sensitive to RH at the surface layer and the total CG flashes increase as the RH increasing. View Full-Text
Keywords: cloud-to-ground lightning; precipitation; radar; China; ground-based microwave radiometers cloud-to-ground lightning; precipitation; radar; China; ground-based microwave radiometers
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Sun, J.; Chai, J.; Leng, L.; Xu, G. Analysis of Lightning and Precipitation Activities in Three Severe Convective Events Based on Doppler Radar and Microwave Radiometer over the Central China Region. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 298.

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