European cold season lightning map for wind turbines based on radio soundings

Stephan Vogel, Joachim Holbøll, Javier Lopez, Anna Candela Garolera, Søren Find Madsen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    In this paper, the meteorological data of cold season thunderstorms in Japan and Spain are reviewed to determine the threshold conditions at which cold season lightning was recorded in the past. The variables investigated are the height of the -10°C and 0°C isotherms above ground, the wind velocity, the precipitable water in the cloud, and the wind direction. Meteorological data of 72 radio sounding stations in Europe is analyzed for a 5 year period (2009-2014) in the months from October until March. Based on this information, a European map has been created indicating areas where the meteorological conditions for self-triggered upward lightning, as being observed in Japan and Spain, are identified. This map may give an indication if a potential wind power plant or structure has the risk to be affected by frequent lightning attachments in the cold season which are predominantly upward initiated. The advantage of using meteorological parameters to define cold season thunderstorm areas is the independence of Lightning Location Systems (LLS), which are limited to detect upward lightning. Additionally, meteorological data is publicly available.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of International Colloquium on Lightning and Power Systems
    Number of pages7
    PublisherCIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems)
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventInternational Colloquium on Lightning and Power Systems - Bologna, Italy
    Duration: 27 Jun 201629 Jun 2016


    ConferenceInternational Colloquium on Lightning and Power Systems


    • Upward Lightning
    • Tall structures
    • Wind turbines
    • Winter lightning
    • Cold season lightning
    • Radio sounding


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