Lightning Detection from Satellites

  • R. E. Orville
  • B. Vonnegut
Conference paper


The detection of lightning by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) of the United States is reported and two cases are analyzed for lightning flash density. The first is a squall line to the west of Florida on 14 November 1972 (06:27 UT), which has a flash density of 2,4 × 10-5 flashes/(sec km2). The second is the severe storm system of 3–4 April 1974 recorded on 4 April 1974 (05:54UT), which has a flash density of 1.5 × 10-4 flashes/(sec km2), or six times higher than the first case. We suggest that lightning flash density determined from satellites may be one of several indicators of the presence of a severe storm system.


Cloud System Squall Line Lightning Flash Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Storm System 
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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG., Darmstadt 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. Orville
    • 1
  • B. Vonnegut
  1. 1.Dept. of Atmospheric SciencesState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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