The thunderstorm activity in tropical region is interesting and believed to have relation with climate changes in terms of the global thermal energy source. Meteorologists are mainly concerned with the rainfall in the tropical region to investigate this, and a satellite named TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission) will be launched in August, 1997 as a collaboration between NASA and NASDA).

According to our preliminary observation the total lightning activity correlate with the precipitation on the ground linearly, and 3,000 cubic meters corresponds to one lightning flash. From this meaning knowing statistics of lightning activity may give us one of the keys to understand the global climate changes, and LRG has been conducting the thunderstorm observation in Darwin, Australia as a collaboration among U.S.A., New Zealand, and Australia. At the very beginning the project was a part of MCTEX (Maritime Continent Thunderstorm EXpetriment), and it becomes an original project for LRG since 1996.

During a building up stage of a rainy season of northern Australia, that means in November, LRG has a campaign with Gifu University and Global Lightning Technology PTY LTD (GLT). LRG equips the two interferometer to accomplish a three dimensional imaging of lightning channels. Gifu University operates so called ALPS to measure the return stroke current velocity. GLT conducts Rocket Triggered Lightning Experiment simultaneously.

Climatic Averages in Darwin, AUSTRALIA

Lightning Flash Counter Registraions, January to December 1995 at Australian Stations (Northern Territory)

Thunderdays, January to December 1995 at Australian Stations (Northern Territory)

3D imaging of lightning channels in Darwin


Australian Sprites Gallery