LIS Observations of lightning within the eyewall of Typhoon Bolaven
The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) has been flying on the International Space Station since 2017 to extend LIS observations that began with the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). This provides for nearly global observations optical detection of lightning. On 11 October and 12 October, two passes of the LIS, shown below, observed Typhoon Bolaven: the ascending pass from 2124 to 2134 UTC on 11 October, and the descending pass from 0716 to 0728 UTC on 12 October. What kind of lightning was observed and where was it observed in relation to the Typhoon?
The observations at ca. 2130 UTC on 11 October 2023 are overlain on the AWIPS plot below. Three separate groups are apparent, and we’ll focus on the two more southerly clusters that include 23 separate flash observations.
The southwesternmost cluster has 6 flashes in a region between 20.15o-20.33oN and 142.76o-142.91oE. The northeastern cluster has 17 flashes near 21.87oN 144.98oE. Where are these flashes relative to the storm?
As indicated below, the lightning detected by LIS with this system is in the southwestern eyewall of the storm, and within a vigorous outer band. (For a recent study on the relationship between lightning and storm intensity, click here; an earlier study is here)
What happened on 12 October? LIS observed 8 lightning flashes between 0718-0720 UTC in a region near 21.85oN, 143.65o E.
Where were the lightning observations in relation to the Typhoon? As at 2130 UTC on 11 October, lightning activity was detected right in the eyewall of the storm, as indicated below.
In both cases, LIS observed lightning within the eyewall of Bolaven. Such observations are consistent with the system’s strength.