Sprites, ELF Transients, and Positive Ground Strokes

  title={Sprites, ELF Transients, and Positive Ground Strokes},
  author={Dennis J. Boccippio and Earle R. Williams and S. J. Heckman and Walter A. Lyons and Ian T. Baker and Robert Boldi},
  pages={1088 - 1091}
In two summertime mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), mesospheric optical sprite phenomena were often coincident with both large-amplitude positive cloud-to-ground lightning and transient Schumann resonance excitations of the entire Earth-ionosphere cavity. These observations, together with earlier studies of MCS electrification, suggest that sprites are triggered when the rapid removal of large quantities of positive charge from an areally extensive charge layer stresses the mesosphere to… 

Characteristics of Thunderstorms and Lightning Flashes Which Produce Mesospheric Transient Luminous Events

Space Dynamics Lab, EL241, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322 USAABSTRACT: A six year record of optical observations of lightning-induced mesospheric transient luminous events(TLEs) is

On ELF pulses from remote lightnings triggering sprites

ELF waveforms at large distances from strong CG (cloud‐to‐ground) discharges are evaluated in the framework of Greifinger's night‐time propagation model. It is shown that if the CG discharges

Sprites triggered by negative lightning discharges

High altitude air breakdown, manifested as “red sprites,” is reported in close association with negative cloud‐to‐ground lightning (−CG) on at least two occasions above an unusual storm on August 29,


Abstract Over a decade of monitoring mesospheric transient luminous events (TLEs) above U.S. high plains storms confirmed sprites are almost exclusively associated with positive polarity

Evidence for continuing current in sprite‐producing cloud‐to‐ground lightning

Radio atmospherics launched by sprite-producing positive cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and observed at Palmer Station, Antarctica, exhibit large ELF slow tails following the initial VLF portion,

Observations of Western Mediterranean TLE: LS8000 intracloud lightning and high-speed video

Transient luminous events (TLE) are electrical phenomena occurring between the ionosphere and the tops of thunderstorms. First discovered in 1989, the family of TLE now consists of different

Elves triggered by positive and negative lightning discharges

Optical flashes in the lower ionosphere due to the transient heating caused by lightning electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are unambiguously identified with the Fly's Eye photometric array. Data from a

Maximum Sprite Streamer Luminosity Near the Stratopause

Sprites are composed of numerous streamers which exhibit transient luminosities in the upper middle atmosphere above thunderclouds after initiation by an intense positive lightning discharge, often



Heating, ionization and upward discharges in the mesosphere, due to intense quasi‐electrostatic thundercloud fields

Quasi-electrostatic (QE) fields that temporarily exist at high altitudes following the sudden removal (e.g., by a lightning discharge) of thundercloud charge at low altitudes are found to

Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Activity in Mesoscale Convective Complexes

Abstract A study of cloud-to-ground lightning activity attending an important subclass of mesoscale convective weather systems called the mesoscale convective complex shows that groun discharge flash

Meteorological and Electrical Conditions Associated with Positive Cloud-to-Ground Lightning

Abstract Meteorological and electrical conditions associated with the occurrence of positive cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning (i.e., lightning that lowers positive charge to ground) are examined.

Common physical processes in natural and triggered lightning in winter storms in Japan

An analysis of measurements of electric, magnetic, and radiation field variations produced by rocket-triggered discharges in winter storms in Japan shows that a discharge initiated by a rocket with

Bipole patterns revealed by lightning locations in mesoscale storm systems

A bipole pattern has been observed in the locations of lightning flashes that lower positive and negative charge to earth in mesoscale storm systems. The pattern has a characteristic size of about

On the physics of high altitude lightning

Past and recent observations indicate the presence of lightning at altitudes in excess of 30 kin. The phenome- non is manifested as a high altitude optical flash, correlated with the presence of

The Oklahoma-Kansas mesoscale convective system of 10-11 June 1985: precipitation structure and single-Doppler radar analysis

Abstract The 10–11 June mesoscale convective system observed in Kansas during PRE-STORM is studied using a variety of observations including conventional radar, satellite, and single-Doppler radar.

Observations of lightning in the stratosphere

An examination and analysis of video images of lightning, captured by the payload bay TV cameras of the space shuttle, provided a variety of examples of lightning in the stratosphere above

Horizontal Distribution of Electrical and Meteorological Conditions across the Stratiform Region of a Mesoscale Convective System

Abstract Five soundings of the electric field and thermodynamic properties were made in a mesoscale convective system (MCS) that occurred in Oklahoma and Texas on 2–3 June 1991. Airborne Doppler

The Schumann Resonance: A Global Tropical Thermometer

The Schumann resonance, a global electromagnetic phenomenon, is shown to be a sensitive measure of temperature fluctuations in the tropical atmosphere, which increases nonlinearly with temperature in the interaction between deep convection and ice microphysics.