An overview of the lightning and atmospheric electricity observations collected in southern France during the HYdrological cycle in Mediterranean EXperiment (HyMeX), Special Observation Period 1
Abstract. The PEACH project (Projet en Electricité Atmosphérique pour la Campagne HyMeX – the Atmospheric Electricity Project of the HyMeX Program) is the atmospheric electricity component of the Hydrology cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX) experiment and is dedicated to the observation of both lightning activity and electrical state of continental and maritime thunderstorms in the area of the Mediterranean Sea. During the HyMeX SOP1 (Special Observation Period) from 5 September to 6 November 2012, four European operational lightning locating systems (ATDnet, EUCLID, LINET, ZEUS) and the HyMeX lightning mapping array network (HyLMA) were used to locate and characterize the lightning activity over the northwestern Mediterranean at flash, storm and regional scales. Additional research instruments like slow antennas, video cameras, microbarometer and microphone arrays were also operated. All these observations in conjunction with operational/research ground-based and airborne radars, rain gauges and in situ microphysical records are aimed at characterizing and understanding electrically active and highly precipitating events over southeastern France that often lead to severe flash floods. Simulations performed with cloud resolving models like Meso-NH and Weather Research and Forecasting are used to interpret the results and to investigate further the links between dynamics, microphysics, electrification and lightning occurrence. Herein we present an overview of the PEACH project and its different instruments. Examples are discussed to illustrate the comprehensive and unique lightning data set, from radio frequency to acoustics, collected during the SOP1 for lightning phenomenology understanding, instrumentation validation, storm characterization and modeling.