John Ortberg, David M. Smith, Masashi Kamogawa, Joseph Dwyer, Gregory Bowers, Jeffrey Chaffin, Jeff Lapierre, Daohong Wang, Ting Wu, Tomoyuki Suzuki

Two Laterally Distant TGFs From Negative Cloud‐To‐Ground Strokes in Uchinada, Japan

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics

AbstractWe observed two Terrestrial Gamma‐ray Flashes (TGFs) in Uchinada, Japan associated with negative cloud‐to‐ground lightning strokes exactly 1 year apart on 18 December 2020 and 2021. The events were remarkable for their lateral distance from the associated strokes—each about 5 km away from the detector site. Not only was that lateral distance remarkable on its own for a ground based detection, but the low‐altitude profile of winter thunderstorms in Japan would suggest the detections occurred at unprecedented nadir angles—73.3° off axis for the 2020 event with the standard assumption of a vertically oriented TGF. Unsurprisingly, Monte Carlo simulations of the straightforward interpretation of these events yield fluences 2 orders of magnitude lower than observed data. We investigate a variety of ways to attempt to resolve the contradiction between expected and observed behavior.

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