P14.1 Overview of the 2003 and 2004 field program phases of the Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment (TELEX)

Thursday, 7 October 2004
Dave Rust, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and D. MacGorman, T. Schuur, E. Bruning, J. Straka, B. Rison, T. Hamlin, P. Krehbiel, C. Ziegler, T. Mansel, M. Biggerstaff, K. Eack, and B. Beasley

Recent research has raised several issues that have significant implications for understanding storm electrification and lightning. The scientific purpose of TELEX is to test and revise hypotheses concerning the inter-relationships among the wind field, microphysical characteristics, electrical structure, and lightning of isolated severe storms and mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). We conducted the field program of TELEX in central Oklahoma, 11 May┬ľ6 June 2003 and 9 May-20 June, 2004. By the beginning of the 2003 field program, several new and upgraded observing systems had been operating in central Oklahoma: the polarimetric part of the KOUN 10-cm wavelength Doppler radar, the Oklahoma three-dimensional lightning mapping array (OK-LMA), and a mobile lab for storm intercept and mobile ballooning with up to four soundings being made simultaneously. Also, the electric field meters were substantially upgraded (both mechanically and electronically) to make them more able to survive high-wind launches and to provide higher resolution data, including more accurate determination of instrument orientation to provide increased resolution of the three-dimensional electric field vectors in context of the three-dimensional structures of storm parameters and lightning. Presented in this paper are examples from both years in which instrumented balloons carrying a radiosonde and electric field meter obtained soundings. In 2003, fourteen soundings were obtained. Owing to a scarcity of isolated deep convection in the target area during the 2003 program, the flights were mostly in nighttime multicellular storms and MCSs. Electric fields ranging to above 100 kV/m were measured. By the due date of this abstract in 2004, soundings were made through deep convection and an anvil. Again electric fields around 100 kV/m have been observed, including in the anvil. We are conducting analyses in which the three-dimensional polarimetric radar, lightning mapping, and electric field data are compared to test hypotheses concerning the relationship of electrification and lightning to other storm characteristics, including severe weather.
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