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Fair weather criteria for atmospheric electricity measurements

Harrison, R. G. ORCID: and Nicoll, K. A. ORCID: (2018) Fair weather criteria for atmospheric electricity measurements. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 179. pp. 239-250. ISSN 1364-6826

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2018.07.008


The global atmospheric electric circuit, which links the space environment with terrestrial weather, has mostly been investigated using fair-weather surface atmospheric electricity measurements. Retrieving global circuit information, however, requires the selection of “fair weather” data, to avoid local meteorological disturbances. The research results presented here challenge the applicability of long-standing definitions of electrically fair weather atmospheric conditions. From detailed new measurements and theory, three improved requirements (FW1 to FW3) for fair weather atmospheric electricity conditions are described. These are: (FW1) absence of hydrometeors, aerosol and haze, as apparent through the visual range exceeding 2 km, (FW2) negligible cumuliform cloud and no extensive stratus cloud with cloud base below 1500 m, and (FW3) surface wind speed between 1 m s−1 and 8 m s−1. Automatic and manual measurement approaches to identifying these requirements are given. Through applying these criteria at the many measurements sites now operating, the noise from meteorological variability will be reduced, leading to data more representative of the global electric circuit.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:78451


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