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Use of TRMM and lightning network observations for the study of storms over the Mediterranean

Lagouvardos Konstantinos

The Mediterranean is an area where significant cyclone activity occurs, mainly during the cold period of the year. As the major number of these cyclones is formed over the sea, an especially useful tool for the observation of these systems is the use of spaceborne platforms. Moreover, during the cold period of the year, lightning usually occurs over the relatively warm surface waters and thus the study of the evolution of convective systems can be also assisted by the use of data from lightning detection devices. In this work the data explored are those provided by TRMM satellite and the lightning detection networks of the UK Met. Office and ZEUS operated by NOA. Based on the analysis of data from TRMM and the Lightning Networks, for a period spanning from September 2003 to April 2004, an investigation of the relation of lightning occurrence with parameters such as polarization corrected temperature (PCT) and radar reflectivity is performed. Further an example study of a storm over the Mediterranean (4/11/2004) is presented in order to show how the synergetic use of various spaceborne (low orbiting satellites) and ground based instruments (lightning detection systems) can be particularly useful for the observation of mid-latitude weather systems over the sea. For the same case high-resolution model simulations with MM5 model are validated against the same set of observations.