Optical data are presented for two intracloud flashes in which there were five events having large amplitude, bipolar electric field change (E-change) pulses and strong VHF emissions. These bright events occurred 18.98–67.33 ms after the initiating event and 10–59 ms after the end of the initial breakdown stage. The three largest events were coincident with WorldWide Lightning Location Network detections of the sort previously associated with terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs); these pulses had range-normalized E-change amplitudes of 8.73, 8.33, and 3.81 V/m and estimated peak current magnitudes of 262, 250, and 114 kA. The other two events were 3.20 and 1.62 V/m (96 and 49 kA). All five events have bright enhanced luminosity (>10% above background) for durations of 0.7–1.20 ms, similar to durations of their moderate-to-strong VHF emissions. Full-frame peak intensities are factors of 1.82–4.46 times the background level. Maximum cumulative intensity in the camera frame occurs 84–98 μs after the E-change peak in three cases and ranges from −10 μs (before) to +115 μs (after) for all cases. Notably, in all five events the luminosity starts increasing when the E-change and VHF sensors begin detecting oscillations, 135–550 μs before the E-change peak. Pulse locations of each event extend through 3.6 to 4.3 km depth, starting below and ending above the altitude of flash initiation, and the linear path-length of activity with these events is estimated at 8.9–11.3 km within radar reflectivities of 20–40 dBZ. Although these events are not initial breakdown pulses, their luminosity could be visible from satellite-borne instruments and they may be associated with TGFs.
Stolzenburg, M., Marshall, T. C., Bandara, S., & Siedlecki, R. (2022). Luminosity with large amplitude pulses after the initial breakdown stage in intracloud lightning flashes. Atmospheric Research, 267, 105982. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2021.105982
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