CAPE Threshold for Lightning Over the Tropical Ocean

Online seminar by Prof. Daehyun Kim from University of Washington

08 April 2022
KST 14:00 – 15:00

Join us online: Meeting ID: 965 4259 1084 Passcode: 980824

We investigate the relationship between convective available potential energy (CAPE), precipitation, the number and size of storms and overshooting tops, and lightning stroke density (f) over the Central America region. While f increases almost linearly with CAPE1/2 over land, f is nearly muted over the ocean when CAPE is small. In the high-CAPE regime, on the contrary, oceanic storms produce as many lightning flashes as land storms. We show that individual oceanic storms are smaller and contain fewer overshooting tops compared to land storms, although the difference exists across low- and high-CAPE regimes. While f increases as individual storm size increases, the storm size required to produce lightning appears to be disproportionately high in the low-CAPE regime, likely due to the stronger entrainment effect. The entrainment effect on f in the low-CAPE regime appears to be much weaker over land. Applying the CAPE threshold for lightning over the ocean to the CAPE-based lightning parameterization scheme of Romps et al. (2014) improves its performance, in particular, at representing the land-sea contrast in f.

The seminar will be based on the following paper:

Cheng, W.-Y., Kim, D., & Holzworth, R. H. (2021). CAPE threshold for lightning over the tropical ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126, e2021JD035621. https://doi. org/10.1029/2021JD035621