Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
CAPE Times P Explains Lightning Over Land But Not the Land‐Ocean Contrast
- Author(s): Romps, David M
- Charn, Alexander B
- Holzworth, Robert H
- Lawrence, William E
- Molinari, John
- Vollaro, David
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1029/2018gl080267
©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. The contemporaneous pointwise product of convective available potential energy (CAPE) and precipitation is shown to be a good proxy for lightning. In particular, the CAPE × P proxy for lightning faithfully replicates seasonal maps of lightning over the contiguous United States, as well as the shape, amplitude, and timing of the diurnal cycle in lightning. Globally, CAPE × P correctly predicts the distribution of flash rate densities over land, but it does not predict the pronounced land-ocean contrast in flash rate density; some factor other than CAPE or P is responsible for that land-ocean contrast.