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Tropical TGF Paradox: A Perspective From TRMM Precipitation Radar
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  • Carlos A. Morales Rodriguez,
  • Joan Montanyà,
  • Ferran Fabró,
  • Jesús Alberto López Trujillo,
  • Oscar A. van der Velde
Carlos A. Morales Rodriguez
Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Joan Montanyà
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
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Ferran Fabró
Technical University of Catalonia
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Jesús Alberto López Trujillo
Technical University of Catalonia
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Oscar A. van der Velde
Technical University of Catalonia
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The Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGF) to lightning ratio, computed over the 3 tropical chimneys, presents a paradox: African thunderstorms produce the most lightning but yield the lowest fraction of TGF when compared to American and Southeast Asian thunderclouds. To understand the physical insights into this asymmetry, TRMM Precipitation Radar measurements are used to depict the vertical precipitation structure of the observed thunderstorms in the 3 regions and the thunderstorms during TGF occurrences detected by AGILE, Fermi-GBM and RHESSI sensors. African thunderstorms are taller, smaller and have higher concentration of dense ice particles above the freezing level. TGF thunderstorms are taller and less intense (0.5-2dBZ), besides presenting similar radar reflectivity decay with height independent of the region. In addition, these storms show thicker electrical charge layers separated by 4.7-5.2 km and also a positive charge fraction reduction between -20 o C and -40 o C and enhancement above -50 o C when compared to the overall thunderstorms.
27 Jul 2021Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres volume 126 issue 14. 10.1029/2021JD034698