New publication in Geoscientific Model Development
“A parameterization of long-continuing-current (LCC) lightning in the lightning submodel LNOX (version 3.0) of the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy, version 2.54)” by Francisco J. Pérez-Invernón et al. has been published in the EGU journal “Geoscientific Model Development”.
Abstract: Lightning flashes can produce a discharge in which a continuing electrical current flows for more than 40 ms. Such flashes are proposed to be the main precursors of lightning-ignited wildfires and also to trigger sprite discharges in the mesosphere. However, lightning parameterizations implemented in global atmospheric models do not include information about the continuing electrical current of flashes. The continuing current of lightning flashes cannot be detected by conventional lightning location systems. Instead, these so-called long-continuing-current (LCC) flashes are commonly observed by extremely low-frequency (ELF) sensors and by optical instruments located in space. Reports of LCC lightning flashes tend to occur in winter and oceanic thunderstorms, which suggests a connection between weak convection and the occurrence of this type of discharge.
In this study, we develop a parameterization of LCC lightning flashes based on a climatology derived from optical lightning measurements reported by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) on board the International Space Station (ISS) between March 2017 and March 2020. We use meteorological data from reanalyses to develop a global parameterization that uses vertical velocity at the 450 hPa pressure level as a proxy for the ratio of LCC to total lightning in thunderstorms. We implement this parameterization into the LNOX submodel of the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) for usage within the European Center HAMburg general circulation model (ECHAM)/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) model and compare the observed and simulated climatologies of LCC lightning flashes using six different lightning parameterizations. We find that the best agreement between the simulated and observed spatial distribution is obtained when using a novel combined lightning parameterization based on the cloud-top height over land and on the convective precipitation over ocean.
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Pérez-Invernón, F. J., Huntrieser, H., Jöckel, P., and Gordillo-Vázquez, F. J.: A parameterization of long-continuing-current (LCC) lightning in the lightning submodel LNOX (version 3.0) of the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy, version 2.54), Geosci. Model Dev., 15, 1545–1565, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-1545-2022, 2022.