Lightning activity on the central Tibetan Plateau and its response to convective available potential energy
QIE Xiushu1, R. Toumi2 & ZHOU Yunjun1 1. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2. Department of Physics, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK
Lightning flash activities on the central Tibetan Plateau have been studied by using the satellite-based Light-ning Imaging Sensor (LIS) database from January 1998 to July 2002. The lightning activity shows a clear diurnal varia-tion on the central Plateau. The peak lightning activity ap-pears at about 17︰00 which is 3 h earlier than that in Jing-zhou, Hubei in the same latitude belt nearby, indicating that the lightning activity is a sensitive indicator of solar heating on the Plateau. The lightning discharge is weaker on the Plateau than Jingzhou, Hubei and other low-altitude conti-nental regions because of the lower convective available po-tential energy (CAPE) on the Plateau. The CAPE on the Plateau is 12 times lower than that in Jingzhou, Hubei, and 20 times lower than that in the sea-level region, such as Guangzhou and Florida. However, the sensitivity of lightning activity to CAPE changes on the Plateau is up to 30 times more sensitive than other prominent low-altitude regions.
【CateGory Index】： P237