Aerosol Impacts on Storm Electrification and Lightning Discharges Under Different Thermodynamic Environments

Mengyu Sun, Xiushu Qie, Edward R. Mansell, Dongxia Liu, Yoav Yair, Alexandre O. Fierro, Shanfeng Yuan, Jingyu Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impacts of aerosol and thermodynamics on electrification and lightning activities have been investigated in detail using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model coupled with a double-moment microphysics parameterization and an explicit electrification lightning scheme. To obtain a varied combination of convective available potential energy (CAPE) values and aerosol concentrations, a sounding was modified consistently and initiated with five sets of aerosol concentrations that served as cloud condensation nuclei. The simulated electric processes respond to the varying dynamical and microphysical characteristics associated with the different CAPE and aerosol conditions. Under high CAPE circumstances, the augmentation of ice-phase particle leads to the enhancement of non-inductive charging primarily through the dynamic processes. Increased aerosol content further invigorates the electrification through microphysical processes. Elevated aerosol loading under low CAPE conditions increases cloud droplet and ice crystal numbers. Larger graupel particle size further leads to the enhanced electric intensity and lightning discharges.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JD037450
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number8
StatePublished - 27 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 42230609, 41630425, 41875007, 42030606), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China in collaboration with the Israel Science Foundation (Nos. 41761144074, 2640/17).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


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