Upward lightning flashes characteristics from high-speed videos Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. One hundred high-speed video recordings (72 cases in Brazil and 28 cases in USA) of negative upward lightning flashes were analyzed. All upward flashes were triggered by another discharge, most of them positive CG flashes. A negative leader passing over the tower(s) was frequently seen in the high-speed video recordings before the initiation of the upward leader. One triggering component can sometimes initiate upward leader in several towers. Characteristics of leader branching, ICC pulses, recoil leader incidence, and interpulse interval are presented in this work. A comparison of the results is done for data obtained in Brazil and USA. The duration of ICC and the total flash duration are on average longer in Brazil than in USA. Only one fourth of all upward leaders are followed by any return strokes both in Brazil and USA, and the average number of return strokes following each upward leader is very low. The presence and duration of CC following return strokes in Brazil is more than two times larger than in USA. Several parameters of upward flashes were compared with similar ones from cloud-to-ground flashes.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Saba, M., Schumann, C., Warner, T. A., Ferro, M., de Paiva, A. R., Helsdon, J. J., & Orville, R. E.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Saba, Marcelo MF||Schumann, Carina||Warner, Tom A||Ferro, Marco Antonio S||de Paiva, Amanda Romao||Helsdon, John Jr||Orville, Richard E

publication date

  • July 2016