Vonnegut, Bernard Formerly, Department of Atmospheric Science, State University of New York, Albany, New York.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Disturbed-weather phenomena
- Electrical conductivity
- Fair-weather field
- Electricity as global index
- Electrification mechanisms
- Effects of thunderstorm electricity
- Possible role of fair-weather electricity
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Electrical processes that take place in the lower atmosphere. This activity is ubiquitous and is of two kinds: the intense local electrification accompanying storms, and the much weaker fair-weather electrical activity occurring over the entire globe that is produced by the thousand or so electrified storms continuously in progress. The relative importance of the various mechanisms that cause storms to accumulate electrically charged particles is unknown, and the extent to which atmospheric electricity affects meteorological processes has yet to be determined. It is possible that atmospheric electricity may be important in forming precipitation and in providing energy to severe tornadoes. See also: Precipitation (meteorology); Tornado
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