Electric Field Variations Caused by Low, Middle and High-Altitude Clouds over the Negev Desert, Israel

Roy Yaniv, Yoav Yair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ground-based measurements of the electric field from a station located in the arid Negev region of southern Israel have been conducted continuously since 2013. We present here results of observations of the electric field (Potential Gradient, PG) variability during 22 cloudy days, with varying cloud types and cloud base heights, and compare the measured values with the mean fair-weather PG. The results show an increase of PG (~+10 to +70 V m−1) from mean fair weather values during times of low clouds. During times of mid-altitude (alto) clouds or during a superposition of low and high clouds, there were small departures in the PG values (~0 to −30 V m−1) compared to mean fair weather PG values. During times of high-altitude cirrus clouds there is a clear decrease of the PG (~−40 to −90 V m−1). The data was compared with the Israeli meteorological service cloud data and with MODIS 7 satellite cloud top height maps. In addition, AERONET aerosol optical depth values and wind speed magnitude from a local meteorological station were analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1331
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1848/20). We thank the AeroNet Sde Boker team for letting us use their data. We thank IMS for letting us use their meteorological data. We acknowledge the use of imagery from the NASA Worldview application ( https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov (Accessed on 1 July 2022)), part of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS). Thanks are due to S. Ben-Gigi of Tel-Aviv University for hosting our instruments at the Wise Observatory.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • fair-weather electric field
  • global electric circuit
  • potential gradient


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