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Spatiotemporal Variability of Lightning Flash Distribution over Sri Lanka

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The variation of the lightning activities over Sri Lanka and surrounded costal belt (5.750N-10.000N and 79.50E-89.000E) is studied using lightning flash data of Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) which was launched in November 1997 for NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The LIS data for the period of 1998 to 2014 are considered for this study. The spatial and temporal variation of lightning activities is investigated and respective results are presented. The diurnal variation over the studied area presents that maximum and minimum flash count recorded at 1530-1630 Local Time (10-11UTC) and 0530-0630LT (00-01UTC) respectively. Maximum lightning activities over the observed area have occurred after the 1330LT (08UTC) in every year during the considered time period. The seasonal variation of the lightning activities shows that the maximum lightning activities happened in First inter monsoon season (March to April) with 30.90% total lightning flashes and minimum lightning activities recorded in Northeast monsoon season (December to February) with 8.51% of total lightning flashes. Maximum flash density of 14.37fl km-2year-1 was observed at 6.980N/80.160E in First inter monsoon season. These seasonal lighting activities are agree with seasonal convective activities and temperature variation base on propagation of Intra-Tropical Convection Zone over the studied particular area. Mean monthly flash count presents a maximum in the month of April with 29.12% of lightning flashes. Variation pattern of number of lightning activities in month of April shows a tiny increment during the time period of 1998 to 2014. Maximum annual flash density of 28.09fl km-2yr-1 was observed at 6.980N/80.170E. The latitudinal variation of the lightning flash density is depicted that extreme lightning activities have happened at the southern part of the county and results show that there is a noticeable lack of lightning activities over the surrounded costal belt relatively landmass.


International Letters of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy (Volume 82)
U.G.D. Maduranga et al., "Spatiotemporal Variability of Lightning Flash Distribution over Sri Lanka", International Letters of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Vol. 82, pp. 1-13, 2019
Online since:
March 2019

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[1] M. Edirisinghe, U. Maduranga, "Distribution of Lightning Accidents in Sri Lanka from 1974 to 2019 Using the DesInventar Database", ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, Vol. 10, p. 117, 2021