Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items for

  • Author or Editor: Bartosz Czernecki x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Mateusz Taszarek
,
Bartosz Czernecki
, and
Aneta Kozioł

Abstract

This research focuses on the climatology of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes based on PERUN lightning detection network data from 2002 to 2013. To present various CG lightning flash characteristics, 10 km × 10 km grid cells are used, while for estimating thunderstorm days, circles with radii of 17.5 km in the 1 km × 1 km grid cells are used. A total of 4 328 892 CG lightning flashes are used to analyze counts, density, polarity, peak current, and thunderstorm days. An average of 151 days with thunderstorm (appearing anywhere in Poland) occurs each year. The annual number of days with thunderstorms increases southeasterly from the coast of the Baltic Sea (15–20 days) to the Carpathian Mountains (30–35 days). The mean CG lightning flash density varies from 0.2 to 3.1 flashes km−2 yr−1 with the highest values in the southwest–northeast belt from Kraków-Częstochowa Upland to the Masurian Lake District. The maximum daily CG lightning flash density in this region amounted to 9.1 km−2 day−1 (3 July 2012). The monthly variation shows a well-defined thunderstorm season extending from May to August with July as the peak month. The vast majority of CG lightning flashes were detected during the daytime (85%) with a peak at 1400 UTC and a minimum at 0700 UTC. Almost 97% of all CG lightning flashes in the present study had a negative current, reaching the highest average monthly values in February (55 kA) and the lowest in July (24 kA). The percentage of positive CG lightning flashes was the lowest during the summer (2%–3%) and the highest during the winter (10%–20%).

Full access
Mateusz Taszarek
,
Harold E. Brooks
, and
Bartosz Czernecki

Abstract

Observed proximity soundings from Europe are used to highlight how well environmental parameters discriminate different kind of severe thunderstorm hazards. In addition, the skill of parameters in predicting lightning and waterspouts is also tested. The research area concentrates on central and western European countries and the years 2009–15. In total, 45 677 soundings are analyzed including 169 associated with extremely severe thunderstorms, 1754 with severe thunderstorms, 8361 with nonsevere thunderstorms, and 35 393 cases with nonzero convective available potential energy (CAPE) that had no thunderstorms. Results indicate that the occurrence of lightning is mainly a function of CAPE and is more likely when the temperature of the equilibrium level drops below −10°C. The probability for large hail is maximized with high values of boundary layer moisture, steep mid- and low-level lapse rates, and high lifting condensation level. The size of hail is mainly dependent on the deep layer shear (DLS) in a moderate to high CAPE environment. The likelihood of tornadoes increases along with increasing CAPE, DLS, and 0–1-km storm-relative helicity. Severe wind events are the most common in high vertical wind shear and steep low-level lapse rates. The probability for waterspouts is maximized in weak vertical wind shear and steep low-level lapse rates. Wind shear in the 0–3-km layer is the best at distinguishing between severe and extremely severe thunderstorms producing tornadoes and convective wind gusts. A parameter WMAXSHEAR multiplying square root of 2 times CAPE (WMAX) and DLS turned out to be the best in distinguishing between nonsevere and severe thunderstorms, and for assessing the severity of convective phenomena.

Full access
Mateusz Taszarek
,
John T. Allen
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Natalia Pilguj
, and
Bartosz Czernecki

Abstract

Long-term trends in the historical frequency of environments supportive of atmospheric convection are unclear, and only partially follow the expectations of a warming climate. This uncertainty is driven by the lack of unequivocal changes in the ingredients for severe thunderstorms (i.e., conditional instability, sufficient low-level moisture, initiation mechanism, and vertical wind shear). ERA5 hybrid-sigma data allow for superior characterization of thermodynamic parameters including convective inhibition, which is very sensitive to the number of levels in the lower troposphere. Using hourly data we demonstrate that long-term decreases in instability and stronger convective inhibition cause a decline in the frequency of thunderstorm environments over the southern United States, particularly during summer. Conversely, increasingly favorable conditions for tornadoes are observed during winter across the Southeast. Over Europe, a pronounced multidecadal increase in low-level moisture has provided positive trends in thunderstorm environments over the south, central, and north, with decreases over the east due to strengthening convective inhibition. Modest increases in vertical wind shear and storm-relative helicity have been observed over northwestern Europe and the Great Plains. Both continents exhibit negative trends in the fraction of environments with likely convective initiation. This suggests that despite increasing instability, thunderstorms in a warming climate may be less likely to develop due to stronger convective inhibition and lower relative humidity. Decreases in convective initiation and resulting precipitation may have long-term implications for agriculture, water availability, and the frequency of severe weather such as large hail and tornadoes. Our results also indicate that trends observed over the United States cannot be assumed to be representative of other continents.

Open access
Mateusz Taszarek
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Bartosz Czernecki
,
Piotr Szuster
, and
Krzysztof Fortuniak

Abstract

We compare over 1 million sounding measurements with ERA-Interim reanalysis for the 38-yr period from 1979 to 2016. The large dataset allows us to provide an improved insight into the spatial and temporal distributions of the prerequisites of deep moist convection across Europe. In addition, ERA-Interim is also evaluated. ERA-Interim estimates parameters describing boundary layer moisture and midtropospheric lapse rates well, with correlation coefficients of 0.94. Mixed-layer CAPE is, on average, underestimated by the reanalysis while the most unstable CAPE is overestimated. Vertical shear parameters in the reanalysis are better correlated with observations than CAPE, but are underestimated by approximately 1–2 m s−1. The underestimation decreases as the depth of the shear layer increases. Compared to radiosonde observations, instability in ERA-Interim is overestimated in southern Europe and underestimated over eastern Europe. High values of instability are observed from May to September, out of phase with the climatological pattern of wind shear, which peaks in winter. From September to April, favorable conditions for thunderstorms occur mainly over southern and western Europe with the peak location and higher frequency shifting to central and eastern Europe from May to August. For southern Europe, the annual cycle peaks in September with high values of inhibition suppressing thunderstorm activity in July and August. The area with the highest annual number of days with environmental conditions favorable for thunderstorms extends from Italy and Austria eastward through the Carpathians and Balkans.

Open access
Mateusz Taszarek
,
John Allen
,
Tomáš Púčik
,
Pieter Groenemeijer
,
Bartosz Czernecki
,
Leszek Kolendowicz
,
Kostas Lagouvardos
,
Vasiliki Kotroni
, and
Wolfgang Schulz

Abstract

The climatology of (severe) thunderstorm days is investigated on a pan-European scale for the period of 1979–2017. For this purpose, sounding measurements, surface observations, lightning data from ZEUS (a European-wide lightning detection system) and European Cooperation for Lightning Detection (EUCLID), ERA-Interim, and severe weather reports are compared and their respective strengths and weaknesses are discussed. The research focuses on the annual cycles in thunderstorm activity and their spatial variability. According to all datasets thunderstorms are the most frequent in the central Mediterranean, the Alps, the Balkan Peninsula, and the Carpathians. Proxies for severe thunderstorm environments show similar patterns, but severe weather reports instead have their highest frequency over central Europe. Annual peak thunderstorm activity is in July and August over northern, eastern, and central Europe, contrasting with peaks in May and June over western and southeastern Europe. The Mediterranean, driven by the warm waters, has predominant activity in the fall (western part) and winter (eastern part) while the nearby Iberian Peninsula and eastern Turkey have peaks in April and May. Trend analysis of the mean annual number of days with thunderstorms since 1979 indicates an increase over the Alps and central, southeastern, and eastern Europe with a decrease over the southwest. Multiannual changes refer also to changes in the pattern of the annual cycle. Comparison of different data sources revealed that although lightning data provide the most objective sampling of thunderstorm activity, short operating periods and areas devoid of sensors limit their utility. In contrast, reanalysis complements these disadvantages to provide a longer climatology, but is prone to errors related to modeling thunderstorm occurrence and the numerical simulation itself.

Open access