• S D Pawar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Anomalous electric field changes and high flash rate beneath a thunderstorm in northeast India

      S D Pawar P Murugavel V Gopalakrishnan

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      In spite of many experimental and theoretical studies the relationships between storm dynamics, severe weather,and lightning activity have been least understood.Measurements of electric field made under a severe thunderstorm at a northeastern Indian station,Guwahati,India are reported. Lightning flash rate increases drastically to about 84 flashes per minute (fpm)during the active stage which lasted for about 7 minutes,from about 15 flashes per minute during the initial phase of thunderstorm.Sudden increase in lightning flash rate (‘lightning jump ’)of about 65 fpm/min is also observed in the beginning of the active stage.The dissipating stage is marked by slow and steady decrease in lightning frequency.Despite very high flash rate during the active stage, no severe weather conditions are observed at the ground.It is proposed that the short duration of the active stage might be the reason for the non-observance of severe weather conditions at the ground.Analysis of Skew-t graph at Guwahati suggests that vertical distribution of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE)also may play some role in non-occurrence of severe weather at ground in spite of large lightning flash rate and lightning jump observed in this thunderstorm.Further,all electric field changes after a lightning discharge indicates the presence of strong Lower Positive Charge Centers (LPCC)in the active and dissipation stages. This suggests that LPCC plays an important role in initiation of lightning discharges in these stages.

    • New particle formation by ion-induced nucleation during dissipation stage of thunderstorm

      S D Pawar P Murugavel V Gopalakrishnan

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      A case of new particle formation observed during dissipation stage of a thunderstorm at a tropical station, Pune, India on 3 June 2008 is reported. The flash rate and rainfall intensity increased as high as 110 flashes per 5 minutes and 150 mm hour−1 respectively during the active stage of thunderstorm, and then gradually decreased during the dissipation stage. The number concentration of particles in the size range of 10–100 nm sharply increased from 350 particles cm-3 to ∼8000 particles cm-3 during the dissipation stage of a thunderstorm and grew to larger diameter subsequently. Observations suggest that the atmospheric conditions such as (i) reduced background aerosol concentration after heavy rain, (ii) high humidity condition, and (iii) increased ion concentration during the dissipation stage by corona discharges, favoured generation of new particles by ion-induced nucleation (IIN). Observations also suggest that generation of unipolar ions by corona discharges may be more favourable for IIN and subsequent growth of the particles.

    • Air ion and pollution index variation for indoor and outdoor atmosphere at rural station Ramanandnagar (17° 4′N, 74° 25′) India

      S D Pawar

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      In the present study, the observation of indoor air ion concentration at a rural site has been carried out for the first time. These indoor observations are compared with outdoor air ion concentration. Net charge can be introduced into the atmosphere by processes such as combustion, rainfall and ultraviolet radiation. As compared to indoors, average air ions of both the polarities at outdoors are higher. Moreover, the air ion concentrations, experience large fluctuations during daytime, as compared to nighttime values. Positive and negative air ion concentrations are lower and uniform throughout the night both for indoor and outdoor conditions. Pollution index is more or less unity for outdoors in all-the-time period, which is good for human health. Due to limited sources of air ions indoors, it is observed that pollution index decreases from 00:00–02:00 hours and minimum is reached during 12:00–14:00 hours for indoors. During 00:00–02:00 hours, the indoor pollution index is 1.55, which is very harmful to human health.

    • Recovery curves of the lightning discharges occurring in the dissipation stage of thunderstorms

      S D Pawar A K Kamra

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      Measurements of atmospheric electric field made below two thunderstorms show that all lightning discharges occurring in the dissipating stage of a thunderstorm occur at almost the same value of the predischarge electric field at the ground surface. The observation is explained on the basis of the shielding of the electric fields generated by the positive charge in the downdrafts by the negative charge in the screening layers formed around them in the subcloud layer. Our observations suggest that in the dissipating stage of the thunderstorm, the charge generating mechanisms in cloud have ceased to operate and the charge being transported from the upper to lower regions of cloud by downdrafts is the only in-cloud process affecting the surface electric field and/or enhancing the electric field stress in and below the cloud base to cause yet another lightning discharge.

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