My understanding is that positive CG flashes are more common on the leading edge or tail end of a storm, and can be associated with weakening storms. Shouldn't the most powerful lightning strikes (+CG flashes can have a peak current of 500 kA) occur in the most powerful part of the storm, and signify a strengthening storm?

The only exception I've read in the literature was the Spencer, SD F4 on May 30, 1998. The precip core of the supercell spit out +CG flashes as the tornado levelled the town.

  • $\begingroup$ Not in a situation to research and try to go in depth right now (and it's an area that I'm certainly no expert in)... but first I'd offer a question of is the "most powerful" part of the storm really about the precipitation (or tornado)? Or could it about wind motion? In terms of ice creation, collision, and separation... it should be where the rising motion is greatest. And that's the updraft. Or where the ice crystals\charges are left after completing their ascent in that tilted updraft. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ And then the diagrams I've seen of positive strikes suggest it's where the - is no longer below the + (where it's mainly intracloud?)... the spot for which would be where there's no precipitation? Also journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/mwre/120/4/… seems to suggest some positive strikes near the core. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ And typically the tornado is found near the tail end of the storm (precipwise) in a supercell, so not sure Spencer is any different than what you're saying the articles you read showed, radar on tornadotalk.com/spencer-sd-f4-tornado-may-30-1998 suggests the tornado was removed from the precip? I've certainly seen plenty of positive strikes from wall clouds\near tornadoes in other storms :-) So maybe you haven't come across enough information yet? $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 3:07

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