Initiation of positive streamer corona in low thundercloud fields

Qiheng Cai, Jaroslav Jánský, Victor P. Pasko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Scopus citations


    Formation of filamentary gas discharge forms, commonly referred to as streamers, is one of the conditions required for initiation and subsequent propagation of lightning leaders. It is quantitatively demonstrated that streamers can be initiated under thunderstorm conditions when two precipitation particles cause an enhancement of the electric field by passing in close vicinity of each other. Conditions for avalanche-to-streamer transition are documented using a model of two spherical hydrometeor particles placed in uniform ambient field. The results are presented in scaled form using similarity relations for gas discharges and can be applied for a wide range of thunderstorm conditions, including different air pressures, electric fields, and particle dimensions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5758-5765
    Number of pages8
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Jun 16 2017

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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