The Role of Particle Interactions in the Distribution of Electricity in Thunderstorms

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
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Abstract

The growth of electric fields in clouds resulting from charge rearrangement due to particle interaction and translation is calculated under the assumption that the initial electrification is provided by the fair weather charge distribution of the atmosphere or by some other basic charge separating process. The results demonstrate that particle interaction must be taken into account in the electrification process during the precipitation formation period. In fact, they show that, starting with the normal fair weather field, it is possible to explain qualitatively and quantitatively many of the presently known observations of the electrical growth and field recovery behavior of thunderstorms.

Abstract

The growth of electric fields in clouds resulting from charge rearrangement due to particle interaction and translation is calculated under the assumption that the initial electrification is provided by the fair weather charge distribution of the atmosphere or by some other basic charge separating process. The results demonstrate that particle interaction must be taken into account in the electrification process during the precipitation formation period. In fact, they show that, starting with the normal fair weather field, it is possible to explain qualitatively and quantitatively many of the presently known observations of the electrical growth and field recovery behavior of thunderstorms.

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