Hourly lightning data were obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission dataset collected through the Lightning Imaging Sensor instrument from 1998 to 2011 to analyze the diurnal pattern of lightning activity in the tropical and subtropical northern hemispheric Americas. The majority of the lightning strikes occurred over land, with relatively lower strike rates over the oceanic areas. The results of our studies showed substantial spatial variations in the time of maximum and strength of the diurnal cycle in the study area. A clockwise progression in the time of maximum was observed across most of the study area, particularly over North America where an east-west orientation was observed. The findings of our study were mainly a result of the interaction between local topography such as the Andes and Rocky mountains, and surface level atmospheric circulations. The strength of the observed diurnal cycle was greatest in the Gulf of Mexico region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science