A cloud-to-ground climatology for Belgium
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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In this study, spatial and temporal characteristics of cloud-t—ground (CG) lightning in Belgium are presented. For this, observations made by the EUCLID network spanning a period of 10 years between 2004 and 2013 are collected and analyzed. It is found that mean CG flash densities vary between 0.3 kmˉ²yrˉ¹ in the west up to 1.8 kmˉ²yrˉ¹ forward the east of Belgium, based on a spatial resolution, of 5 x 5 km². The average flash density in Belgium is 0.7 kmˉ²yrˉ¹. The same behavior is found in terms of thunderstorm days and hours, where in the east more activity is observed with a drop-off toward the coast. The majority of lightning activity takes place in the summer months between May and August, accounting for nearly 90% of the total activity. Furthermore, the thunderstorm season reaches its highest activity in June-July in terms of CG detections, while the diurnal cycle peaks between 1500 and 1600 UTC. In attrition, there is a growing need to present the data in a clear and concise way. This should be tailored to the needs of the enquirer, but is also limited to what is technically possible. This is certainly true when displaying for instance the CG flash density Ng. A different approach is required since he level of details needed depends strongly on the target group. Obviously, to evaluate the risk of lightning damage for a specific building or storage facility, a higher level of detail is required in order to put an adequate protection in place, than when, for example, general info is requested by the media. Therefore, great attention is given to the different possibilities to present the flash density in Belgium. We propose that, besides displaying Ng graphically as a function of an underlying spatial resolution, it can be more sensible in some cases to allocate one value per commune or province when a detailed distribution of the flash density is not desired.
CitationPoelman, D.; Delobbe, L. (2015). A cloud-to-ground climatology for Belgium. , Vol. 66, Issue Publication scientifique et technique n° - Wetenschappelijke en technische publicatie nr., IRM,