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Analysis of blue corona discharges at the top of tropical thunderstorm clouds in different phases of convection
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  • Krystallia Dimitriadou,
  • Olivier Chanrion,
  • Torsten Neubert,
  • Alain Protat,
  • Valentin Louf,
  • Matthias Heumesser,
  • Lasse Husbjerg,
  • Christoph Köhn,
  • Nikolai Østgaard,
  • Víctor Reglero
Krystallia Dimitriadou
National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space)

Corresponding Author:krstd@space.dtu.dk

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Olivier Chanrion
National Space Institute (DTU Space)
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Torsten Neubert
Department of Solar System Physics, Denmark
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Alain Protat
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
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Valentin Louf
Monash University
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Matthias Heumesser
National Space Institute (DTU Space)
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Lasse Husbjerg
National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space)
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Christoph Köhn
Technical University of Denmark
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Nikolai Østgaard
Birkeland Centre for Space Science,University of Bergen
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Víctor Reglero
University of Valencia
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We report on observations of corona discharges at the uppermost region of clouds characterized by emissions in a blue band of nitrogen molecules at 337 nm, with little activity in a red band of lightning leaders at 777.4 nm. Past work suggests they are generated in cloud tops reaching the tropopause and above. Here we explore their occurrence in two convection environments of the same storm: one is developing with clouds reaching above the tropopause, and one is collapsing with lower clouds. We focus on those that form a distinct category with fast risetimes below 20 µs, signifying they are at the very top of the clouds. The discharges are observed in both environments. In the collapsing cells they are related to substructures of convection. The observations suggest that a range of storm environments may generate corona discharges, and that they may be quite common in convective surges.
28 Mar 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 6. 10.1029/2021GL095879