Boundary Layer Model and Calculation for Horizontal Thundercloud Electrification Preceding Natural and Rocket-Triggered Lightning

  • G. C. Dijkhuis


An electro-hydrodynamic model is presented for horizontal thunderclouds in the atmospheric boundary layer combining turbulent shear flow with space charge from fair- weather electricity. Horizontal electrification is obtained from circulation of charged eddies carrying a spin current through wind-sheared air layers. Upstream deflection of downward field lines by eddy circulation in stratified space charge is found compatible with available fair-weather data. In weather conditions with reduced ohmic conductivity the spin current accumulates positive charge on leading cloud sections as seen in winter thunderstorms above the Sea of Japan.

The Poisson equation is solved on a square mesh for dipolar thundercloud electrifications approached by wire-trailing rockets. Equipotential plots show electric field reversal at ground level in bifurcation points of the zero potential line. Field strength plots identify dipolar clouds by a saddle point, and show regions of field reversal as electric cusps.


Atmospheric Boundary Layer Spin Current Ball Lightning Cloud Region Logarithmic Velocity Profile 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Dijkhuis
    • 1
  1. 1.Zeldenrust College and Convectron N.V.TerneuzenHolland

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