Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
Research article
31 Mar 2022
Research article |  | 31 Mar 2022

Differentiating lightning in winter and summer with characteristics of the wind field and mass field

Deborah Morgenstern, Isabell Stucke, Thorsten Simon, Georg J. Mayr, and Achim Zeileis

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Cited articles

Bentley, M. L., Riley, C., and Mazur, E.: A Winter-Season Lightning Climatology for the Contiguous United States, Meteorol. Atmos. Phys., 131, 1327–1340,, 2019. a
Brook, M., Nakano, M., Krehbiel, P., and Takeuti, T.: The Electrical Structure of the Hokuriku Winter Thunderstorms, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 87, 1207–1215,, 1982. a, b, c, d, e, f
Cotton, W., Bryan, G., and van den Heever, S.: Storm and Cloud Dynamics. The Dynamics of Clouds and Precipitating Mesoscale Systems, International Geophysics Series, vol. 99, Academic Press, 2nd edn., ISBN 978-0-12-0885428, 2011. a
Dewan, A., Ongee, E. T., Rafiuddin, M., Rahman, M. M., and Mahmood, R.: Lightning Activity Associated with Precipitation and CAPE Over Bangladesh, Int. J. Climatol., 38, 1649–1660,, 2018. a
Diendorfer, G., Pichler, H., and Mair, M.: Some Parameters of Negative Upward-Initiated Lightning to the Gaisberg Tower (2000–2007), IEEE T. Electromagn. C., 51, 443–452,, 2009. a
Short summary
Wintertime lightning in central Europe is rare but has a large damage potential for tall structures such as wind turbines. We use a data-driven approach to explain why it even occurs when the meteorological processes causing thunderstorms in summer are absent. In summer, with strong solar input, thunderclouds have a large vertical extent, whereas in winter, thunderclouds are shallower in the vertical but tilted and elongated in the horizontal by strong winds that increase with altitude.