Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

An Assessment of Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Lightning Occurrence with Elevation, a Case of Uganda

Version 1 : Received: 25 October 2021 / Approved: 27 October 2021 / Online: 27 October 2021 (18:13:44 CEST)

How to cite: Wasswa, P.; Sabiiti, G.; Okal, H.; Kato, P.; Lunyolo, J.; Namulindwa, H. An Assessment of Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Lightning Occurrence with Elevation, a Case of Uganda. Preprints 2021, 2021100422 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0422.v1). Wasswa, P.; Sabiiti, G.; Okal, H.; Kato, P.; Lunyolo, J.; Namulindwa, H. An Assessment of Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Lightning Occurrence with Elevation, a Case of Uganda. Preprints 2021, 2021100422 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202110.0422.v1).

Abstract

Lightning has received a lot of attention in scientific literature during the recent decade, not only because it is an impressive atmospheric phenomenon but also its associations with severe storms that cause unprecedented damages to agriculture, electric power networks, property, and life. This study assessed the Spatio-temporal characteristics of lightning occurrence with elevation in Uganda using lightning flash and elevation datasets for a period of fifteen years (1998-2013). Datasets used in this study included daily lightning flashes as captured by Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) aboard on Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite and elevation data in form of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) obtained from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Spatio-temporal results indicated that ~80% of areas with an elevation that ranges from 800-1200 m above mean sea level (masl) in Uganda had severe lightning occurrences and ~20% of areas with an elevation greater than 1200 m (masl) had severe lightning occurrences. The country received an enhanced number of lighting events with the highest number in 1999. Subsequently, a reduced trend was observed from 2002 to 2007 followed by an increment in the number of lightning events in (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013). The intensity of the events decreased gradually though two peaks were observed, (1998-2001) and (2010-2013). Furthermore, results indicate escalations in the frequency and duration of lightning events from 60 times in 1998 to approximately 200 times in 2013 and from 1000 microseconds in 1998 to more than 2000 microseconds in 2013. Generally, the country experienced an enhanced increase in lighting occurrences over the study period which therefore calls for urgent actions to combat the root cause and also provide effective measures to reduce the impacts of lightning strikes.

Keywords

spatio-temporal; lightning; elevation; Uganda

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Atmospheric Science

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