13th Conference on Applied Climatology and the 10th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology

Tuesday, 14 May 2002: 3:45 PM
Observations of the Decay of Electric Fields, Reflectivity and Microphysics in Anvils near Kennedy Space Center
J. E. Dye, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. Defer, C. A. Grainger, M. Bateman, and D. Mach
Airborne observations of electric fields and associated microphysics have been made in anvils of active and decaying thunderstorms over or near Kennedy Space Center from the Univ. of No. Dakota Citation II jet aircraft. Simultaneous observations of lightning were made using the Kennedy Space Center Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR) and CG Lightning Detection Systems. The aircraft measurements were coordinated with and guided by scans of the 5 cm Patrick Air Force Base WSR74-C and the Melborne NEXRAD 10 cm radars. This allows us to study the evolution and structure of storms and anvils in which the Citation was flying. Different cases will be presented to illustrate: 1) the presence of thunderstorm strength electric fields and particle concentrations and sizes in the anvils near and downwind of the storm cores; 2) the decrease of electric field and particle concentrations with distance downwind of cores still producing lightning; 3) after the last lightning flash, the temporal and spatial decay of electric fields, particles and reflectivity in anvil debris; and 4) that 1 1/2 to 2 hours after the last lightning, electric fields in the decaying anvils can be quite weak.

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