Cloud electrification processes during CHUVA field experiments

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 12:00 AM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Rachel I. Albrecht, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and C. A. Morales, W. F. A. Lima, and T. S. Biscaro

The CHUVA Project – CHUVA meaning “rain” in Portuguese – is a series of itinerant field campaigns with the objective of characterizing the main precipitating systems observed in Brazil. In addition to the rain measurements, CHUVA is also measuring lightning activity and electrical fields to understand the cloud electrification processes. To depict precipitating systems, CHUVA uses among other instruments a mobile XPOL Doppler and operational S-band radars, and lightning data is provided by VLF systems such as STARNET and GLD360. However, during its fourth field campaign conducted at Vale do Paraiba in São Paulo, Brazil, several lightning location systems (LLS) were deployed as part of GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and MTG Lightning Imager (LI) pre-launch activities. Four of these networks detect total (intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground) lightning, including a Lightning Mapping Array (LMA), allowing a detailed description of the cloud electrification. The precipitation data collected by these radars and the lightning detected by the LLS were grouped in a structure of storm features built by tracking the precipitating systems and its associated lightning. This storm feature database makes it easier to group similar convective systems and compare them in terms of area, lifetime, rainfall and convection intensity, lightning activity, and more. We will show the relationship between storm type/size and its microphysical-electrical characteristics by presenting the role of storm morphology on cloud electrification, rainfall and severe weather (hail and damaging winds) production across CHUVA field experiments.