Lightning In Katrina

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I understand that lightning in hurricanes is rare, but I've heard of severe hurricanes having nearly continuous lightning in the eyewall thunderstorms.

Anyone know what the lightning situation is in Katrina? It would be interesting to take night pictures of Katrina to see lightning discharges in the clouds.

:shock:

edited to clarify-I meant SATELLITE pictures. :oops:
 
A reconaissance ob last night indicated lightning in the eyewall. That was around the time that rapid deepening commenced. I am not saying I think there is a correlation.
 
Just scanning over the COD lightning images right now, I don't see any associated with the eyewall. Also the Hurricane Hunter remarks don't indicate lighting this morning.

There is, however, lighting associated with the outer squalls around the peremeter of the storm.
 
Yes, because the outer bands of the storm are sort of independent, and become their own storm, so to speak, and therefore will have discharges. Where did you get the COD Lightning images?
 
I just took a look at our NLDN feed. There's a decentamount of lightning near the eye of Katrina, and significant amount in the outer bands.
 
Originally posted by Ben Cotton
I just took a look at our NLDN feed. There's a decentamount of lightning near the eye of Katrina, and significant amount in the outer bands.

Is the lightning frequency you see near the eye unusual?
 
I don't know how usual or unusual it is, since I don't normally look. I have heard that as a rule hurricanes are generally low-lightning events (excepting TSRA that form in the outer bands).
 
Originally posted by Ben Cotton
I don't know how usual or unusual it is, since I don't normally look. I have heard that as a rule hurricanes are generally low-lightning events (excepting TSRA that form in the outer bands).

Interesting...this sounds like something I should do some research on. I think what I read had to do with a typhoon, which had winds around 200 mph. A hurricane hunter saw continuous lightning in the eyewall thunderclouds.

Now, if I could only remember the name of the typhoon...
:?
 
In general, lightning indicates some change within a hurricane. Either it is weakening, or strengthening. Steady-state hurricanes lack lots of lightning because winds are horizontal. In a strengthening storm, the turbulence and updrafts are greater, thus creating lightning the same way there is lightning in severe thunderstorms.
 
Hi Owen,

Dod you think it may have anything to do with the thermal structure of a tropical cyclone?

Thanks!!
 
Andrew

It was said by one observer in 1992 that Andrew had significant lightning when it struck South Miami, and that the lightning was a (curious?) azure color. Sorry I don't have a link to that account.
 
I'm not quite sure as to what is meant by "thermal structure." For a hurricane such as Katrina, the thermal structure is pretty much textbook-standard. Basically, the enhanced updraft/downdrafts of a strengthening cyclone will aid in the separation of charged particles, like all supercell thunderstorms (with ice particles being hoisted up to the anvil-level being oppositely charged from the water molecules at the base of the cloud). This also explains why planes can fly through an intense hurricane, but may not survive if flying through an intense storm cell with strong updrafts and downdrafts. The horizontal component of the winds in a steady-state hurricane are much greater than the vertical component.
 
Re: Andrew

It was said by one observer in 1992 that Andrew had significant lightning when it struck South Miami, and that the lightning was a (curious?) azure color.
Azure? Most likely, that wasn't lightning, but exploding power transformers. Saw the same thing in Andrew in Louisiana myself.
 
Wow, their really is a lot in this thing! Mainly however, just the bands. Check it out! Their is so much lightning that it takes the shape of the outer bands.

strikes9jd.jpg
 
Re: Andrew

It was said by one observer in 1992 that Andrew had significant lightning when it struck South Miami, and that the lightning was a (curious?) azure color. Sorry I don't have a link to that account.

When broken up Pacific hurricanes travel north up the Baja Peninsula and import moisture into the Southwestern Monsoon (Arizona), I have also noticed that the lightning with these systems is often azure in color. I would be curious as to an explanation. As I have seen, this seems to occur more frequently in late August and early September, when the Monsoon can be affected by moisture imported by Mexican tropical systems.
 
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