Abstract

Observations of the spectrum of light from thunderstorms indicate that the radiance amplitude of the near-IR portion of the spectrum is often relatively greater in comparison with the amplitude of the radiance of the visible portion of the spectrum than it is in the spectrum of solar radiation at the surface. Observational data suggest that two mechanisms may cause this effect. The first is the reduction in the shorter wavelengths due to selective scattering, and the second is selective reflection from foliage.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  2. K. N. Liou, An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1980).
  3. G. Wyszecki, W. S. Stiles, Color Science. Concepts and Methods. Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1982).
  4. E. L. Krinov, Spectral Properties of Natural Formations, Technical Translation TT-439 (E. Belkov, translator) (National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 1953).
  5. C. J. Riordan, D. R. Myers, R. L. Hulstrom, Solar Spectral Radiation Data Base Documentation, (Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo., 1990), Vol. 1.
  6. G. D. Freier, Weather Proverbs (Fisher Books, Tucson, Ariz., 1992).
  7. C. F. Bohren, A. B. Fraser, “Green thunderstorms,” Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 2185–2193 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  8. F. W. Gallagher, “Ground reflections and green thunderstorms,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 40, 776–782 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
  9. C. L. Braun, S. N. Smirnov “Why is water blue?” J. Chem. Educ. 70, 612–614 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  10. M. Iqbal, An Introduction to Solar Radiation (Academic, Toronto, Canada, 1983).

2001 (1)

F. W. Gallagher, “Ground reflections and green thunderstorms,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 40, 776–782 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1993 (2)

C. F. Bohren, A. B. Fraser, “Green thunderstorms,” Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 2185–2193 (1993).
[CrossRef]

C. L. Braun, S. N. Smirnov “Why is water blue?” J. Chem. Educ. 70, 612–614 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Beasley, W. H.

F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Bohren, C. F.

F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
[CrossRef]

C. F. Bohren, A. B. Fraser, “Green thunderstorms,” Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 2185–2193 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Braun, C. L.

C. L. Braun, S. N. Smirnov “Why is water blue?” J. Chem. Educ. 70, 612–614 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Fraser, A. B.

C. F. Bohren, A. B. Fraser, “Green thunderstorms,” Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 2185–2193 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Freier, G. D.

G. D. Freier, Weather Proverbs (Fisher Books, Tucson, Ariz., 1992).

Gallagher, F. W.

F. W. Gallagher, “Ground reflections and green thunderstorms,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 40, 776–782 (2001).
[CrossRef]

F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Hulstrom, R. L.

C. J. Riordan, D. R. Myers, R. L. Hulstrom, Solar Spectral Radiation Data Base Documentation, (Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo., 1990), Vol. 1.

Iqbal, M.

M. Iqbal, An Introduction to Solar Radiation (Academic, Toronto, Canada, 1983).

Krinov, E. L.

E. L. Krinov, Spectral Properties of Natural Formations, Technical Translation TT-439 (E. Belkov, translator) (National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 1953).

Liou, K. N.

K. N. Liou, An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1980).

Myers, D. R.

C. J. Riordan, D. R. Myers, R. L. Hulstrom, Solar Spectral Radiation Data Base Documentation, (Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo., 1990), Vol. 1.

Riordan, C. J.

C. J. Riordan, D. R. Myers, R. L. Hulstrom, Solar Spectral Radiation Data Base Documentation, (Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo., 1990), Vol. 1.

Smirnov, S. N.

C. L. Braun, S. N. Smirnov “Why is water blue?” J. Chem. Educ. 70, 612–614 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Stiles, W. S.

G. Wyszecki, W. S. Stiles, Color Science. Concepts and Methods. Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1982).

Wyszecki, G.

G. Wyszecki, W. S. Stiles, Color Science. Concepts and Methods. Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1982).

Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. (1)

C. F. Bohren, A. B. Fraser, “Green thunderstorms,” Bul. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 2185–2193 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. (1)

F. W. Gallagher, W. H. Beasley, C. F. Bohren, “Green thunderstorms observed,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 2889–2897 (1996).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Meteorol. (1)

F. W. Gallagher, “Ground reflections and green thunderstorms,” J. Appl. Meteorol. 40, 776–782 (2001).
[CrossRef]

J. Chem. Educ. (1)

C. L. Braun, S. N. Smirnov “Why is water blue?” J. Chem. Educ. 70, 612–614 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Other (6)

M. Iqbal, An Introduction to Solar Radiation (Academic, Toronto, Canada, 1983).

K. N. Liou, An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1980).

G. Wyszecki, W. S. Stiles, Color Science. Concepts and Methods. Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, New York, 1982).

E. L. Krinov, Spectral Properties of Natural Formations, Technical Translation TT-439 (E. Belkov, translator) (National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 1953).

C. J. Riordan, D. R. Myers, R. L. Hulstrom, Solar Spectral Radiation Data Base Documentation, (Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colo., 1990), Vol. 1.

G. D. Freier, Weather Proverbs (Fisher Books, Tucson, Ariz., 1992).

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Figures (13)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Curves of solar irradiance measured outside the Earth’s atmosphere and at the Earth’s surface. The shading represents absorption that is due to the indicated gasses in the clear, aerosol-free atmosphere. The air mass is unity (adapted from Iqbal10).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Spectrum of a green thunderstorm. Recorded on 7 May 1995 at 2212 UTC in Mountain Park, Oklahoma.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Spectrum of a green thunderstorm. Recorded on 25 May 1996 at 0002 UTC 18 km east of Miami, Texas.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Spectrum of young wheat growing in a field in Mountain Park, Oklahoma. Spectrum was recorded on 7 May 1995 at 2208 UTC looking to the northwest.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Spectral reflectance curve of green grass (after Wyszecki and Stiles3).

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

A comparison of the ratio of 748–412-nm wavelengths at various observation angles over water and over a field of growing wheat. The spectra over the water (solid curves) were recorded on 17 March 1997 looking east over the Chesapeake Bay. The spectra over wheat (dashed curves) were recorded on 17 April 1997 in Moore, Oklahoma.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Direct normal surface solar spectral irradiance measured on 4 June 1987 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The dashed curve is the original 2-nm spectral data. The solid curve is the smoothed 5-nm spectral data used for the simulation calculations. Data taken from Riordan et al.5

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

A spectrum of the light from a red-hot stove element set to the highest temperature setting. There is no near-IR signal in this spectrum.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Computed attenuation ratio of blue (470 nm) light to red (700 nm) light in a molecular atmosphere.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Spectra of solar radiation reflected off the MacBeth “White” square on the MacBeth Color Checker Chart at various solar zenith angels. The spectra were recorded on 18 October 1996 in Moore, Oklahoma. There were no clouds in the sky during the time the spectra were recorded. Solar zenith angles are indicated in the legend.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Difference spectrum between spectra recorded at solar zenith angles of 61.9° and 86.8°. The spectra were recorded on 18 October 1996 in Moore, Oklahoma. There were no clouds in the sky during the time the spectra were recorded.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Spectrum of a “brownish” cloud. Spectrum recorded on 7 May 1995 at 2232 UTC 16 km east southeast of Mountain Park, Oklahoma. The dominant wavelength is 568.2 nm, and the purity is 7.6%.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Spectrum of a “brownish” cloud. Spectrum recorded on 18 May 1995 at 0011 UTC in Rose, Oklahoma. The dominant wavelength is 578 nm, and the purity is 13.4%.

Equations (1)

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ratio=exp- 0.001hcos θλr-4-λb-4,

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