Relationship between Lightning Activity over Peninsular India and Sea Surface Temperature

M. I. R. Tinmaker Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India

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Kaushar Ali Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India

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G. Beig Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India

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Abstract

This paper presents a study of spatiotemporal variation of lightning activity over Peninsular India (8°–22°N, 72°–88°E) by using monthly satellite-based lightning flash grid (1° × 1°) data for a period of 10 yr (1998–2007). The data are examined in terms of spatial, annual, and seasonal distribution of the lightning activity. It is found that lightning activity is higher over south Peninsular India and eastern India. On a seasonal time scale, the lightning activity shows two maxima—first in the month of May and then in the month of September. The lightning activity in the monsoon period is noticed to be considerable because of the occurrence of the low-level jet and increase in the monsoon break period. During the postmonsoon, the activity is mainly due to the presence of the convective nature of the disturbed weather during the northeast monsoon season over most parts of the east coast of south Peninsular India. The relationship between lightning activity over Peninsular India and sea surface temperature in the bordering seas (Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal) is also examined. The results disclose a significant link between them.

Corresponding author address: Kaushar Ali, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411 008, India. Email: kaushar@tropmet.res.in

Abstract

This paper presents a study of spatiotemporal variation of lightning activity over Peninsular India (8°–22°N, 72°–88°E) by using monthly satellite-based lightning flash grid (1° × 1°) data for a period of 10 yr (1998–2007). The data are examined in terms of spatial, annual, and seasonal distribution of the lightning activity. It is found that lightning activity is higher over south Peninsular India and eastern India. On a seasonal time scale, the lightning activity shows two maxima—first in the month of May and then in the month of September. The lightning activity in the monsoon period is noticed to be considerable because of the occurrence of the low-level jet and increase in the monsoon break period. During the postmonsoon, the activity is mainly due to the presence of the convective nature of the disturbed weather during the northeast monsoon season over most parts of the east coast of south Peninsular India. The relationship between lightning activity over Peninsular India and sea surface temperature in the bordering seas (Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal) is also examined. The results disclose a significant link between them.

Corresponding author address: Kaushar Ali, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411 008, India. Email: kaushar@tropmet.res.in

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