Atmospheric Electricity in Israel

New research of PhD Student: Roy Yaniv, Advisors: Prof. Colin Price and Prof. Yoav Yair



The global electric circuit (GEC) on earth is driven by electrified shower clouds and thunderstorms. The current flows up to the ionosphere from severe weather regions and returns back to earth in areas known as fair weather regions. The vertical conduction current density (Jz) is of typical value of ~1-2 pA m-2. The vertical electrical field (Ez) is of typical value between 100-300 V/m near ground and correlates with the diurnal thunderstorm activity - known to be the Carnegie curve.



We built 2 measurement stations in Mizpe Ramon and Mount Hermon to measure the parameters of the GEC. 2 conducting plates to measure the conduction and displacement currents. The second station is a rotating Electric field meter (Campbell Scientific).



The diurnal changes of the vertical E-field (Ez) in fair weather days in Mitzpe Ramon were found to correlate with the Carnegie curve and are influenced by the morning heating of the sun that lift aerosols and increase the Ez. The results in the Hermon found a greater morning increase as a results from the uplift of a charged aerosol layer to the mountain top in the morning hours in what known as "Austausch". The layer is charged overnight in the surrounded valleys when the inversion is low in what known as the "electrode effect".


The fair weather data is used for future studies on the impact of solar storm on the global circuit. We want to study the impacts of daily local changes on the global circuit parameters.


Graph of Mean diurnal fair weather behavior of the vertical electric field in Israel

Mean diurnal fair weather behavior of the vertical electric field in Israel

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