The characteristics of convective cells and the lightning flash rates in thunderstorms are investigated by using 13 years of TRMM observations. First, the Precipitation Features (PFs) are defined by contiguous raining area detected by TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) or Microwave Imager (TMI). Then, the convective cells in each PF are defined by contiguous pixels with PR reflectivity greater than 30 dBZ at 6 km, or contiguous convective pixels identified by the TRMM 2A23 algorithm. The numbers of lighting flashes detected by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) inside and outside these convective cells are summarized. The relations between flash rate and the characteristics of PFs from TMI and PR are investigated. The major questions being addressed include:
• How often does lightning flash occur in anvil and stratiform region of storms?
• What properties of precipitation systems observed from radar and microwave radiometers have the best correlations with the flash rate?
• And the most intriguing one: why lightning flashes are so rare over the ocean?
Visit Coordinator: Daniel Cecil (UAH)