Large dependency of charge distribution in a tropical cyclone inner core upon aerosol number concentration

Yousuke Sato, Yoshiaki Miyamoto, Hirofumi Tomita

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The impacts of aerosols on the charge distribution of hydrometeors and lightning flash density in a tropical cyclone (TC) were investigated using a meteorological model coupled with an explicit lightning model. The meteorological model successfully simulated the tripole structure of charge density distribution in a TC, as reported by previous studies. The impacts of aerosols were investigated through a sensitivity experiment with changing the aerosol number concentration. The tripole structure became unclear with increasing aerosol number concentrations. The positive charge distribution located in the lower layer was not seen, and raindrops with negative charge distribution reached the surface. As a result, the vertical structure of the charge density was dipolar in the polluted case. As the tripole structure shifted to dipole, the magnitude of the electric field tended to be large, and the flash number was large. By contrast, in the pristine case, the tripole structure was dominant, and the flash number was much smaller than in the polluted case. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalProgress in Earth and Planetary Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1


  • Aerosol
  • Lightning
  • Tropical cyclone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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