First detection of transient luminous events associated with winter thunderstorms in the eastern Mediterranean

Michal Ganot*, Yoav Yair, Colin Price, Baruch Ziv, Yosef Sherez, Eran Greenberg, Adam Devir, Roy Yaniv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the winter of 2005-6, optical ground-based observations were performed to detect transient luminous events (TLEs) above winter thunderstorms in the vicinity of Israel and the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Two sites were used: the Tel Aviv University (TAU) campus in Tel-Aviv (32.5N, 34.5E) and the Wise astronomical observatory in the Negev desert (30.6N, 34.76E). We also conducted ELF and VLF electromagnetic measurements from the TAU array in southern Israel. In 4 different winter storms we detected 30 events: 26 sprites and 4 elves. The detection ranges varied from 250 to 450 km. Sprites were found to be produced exclusively by +CGs that can be traced to active cells with a vertical dimension of 5-7 km and cloud top temperature ∼-40°C, embedded in a much larger matrix of stratiform cloudiness. This configuration closely resembles the conditions for winter sprites in the Hokuriku region of Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL12801
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume34
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2007

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