Effects of the Inductive Charging on the Electrification and Lightning Discharges in Thunderstorms

  • Author(s): Zheng Shi, Hui-Qiang Tang, and Yong-Bo Tan
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2015.12.10.01(A)
  • Keywords: Inductive charging, Lightning discharge, Non-inductive charging, Charge structure, Numerical simulation
  • Citation: Shi, Z., H. Q. Tang, and Y. B. Tan, 2016: Effects of the inductive charging on the electrification and lightning discharges in thunderstorms. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 27, 241-251, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2015.12.10.01(A)

A two-dimensional cloud model with electrification and lightning processes is used to investigate the role of inductive charge separation in thunderstorm clouds. For the same dynamic and microphysical evolution, four cases that the same non-inductive charging parameterization is combined with different inductive charging process are compared. Non-inductive charge separation alone is found to be sufficient to produce a dipolar charge structure. Intracloud (IC) and positive cloud-to-ground (+CG) flashes are initiated between a main negative charge region and an upper positive charge region. The inductive charging process between graupel and cloud droplets exhibits a normal tripole charge structure, consisting of a lower positive charge region under the main negative charge region. In the simulated tripole structure, negative cloud-to-ground (-CG) flashes are initiated between the main negative and lower positive charge regions. In addition, inductive charge separation between the graupel and ice crystal is found to be capable of producing strong charge separation in a dipole charge structure. Tests with inductive graupel-ice crystals process produce more flashes than that in the other cases.

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