Analyzing the Relationship Between Positive and Negative Leader Growth and Continuing Current

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 1:30 PM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jeff Lapierre, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM; and R. Sonnenfeld, H. E. Edens, and M. Stock

It has long been speculated that the source of current during continuing current (CC) is provided by the growth of the in-cloud leader. In a recent study, we used Langmuir Electric Field Array (LEFA) and Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) data to investigate these speculations for 9 negative cloud-to-ground (CG) flashes. We were unable to find any correlation between positive leader growth and the duration or occurrence of CC during a negative CG flash. In this work we extend our analysis to negative channel growth during CC in positive CG flashes. Our preliminary results show that negative leader growth does increase significantly during CC occurring after a positive return stroke. This contrary result to that of the negative CG flashes may, once again, illustrate the difference in physical processes between the negative and positive leader growth.