A Statistical Study of Mid-latitude Thunderstorm Characteristics associated with Acoustic and Gravity Waves

Monday, 15 December 2014: 2:55 PM
Erin H Lay, Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM, United States, Xuan-Min Shao, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, NM, United States and Alexander Kendrick, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, United States
Gravity waves with periods greater than 5 minutes and acoustic waves with periods between 3 and 5 minutes have been detected at ionospheric heights (250-350 km) and associated with severe thunderstorms. Modeling results support these findings, indicating that acoustic waves should be able to reach 250-350 km within ~250 km horizontally of the source, and gravity waves should be able to propagate significantly further. However, the mechanism by which the acoustic waves are generated and the ubiquity of occurrence of both types of wave is unknown. We use GPS total electron content measurements to detect gravity and acoustic waves in the ionosphere. We perform a statistical study from 2005 May – July to compare the occurrence rate and horizontal extent of the waves to storm size and convective height from NEXRAD radar measurements. It is found that both gravity waves and acoustic wave horizontal extent is primarily associated with storm size and not convective height.