Abstract

Simultaneous measurements of current and multiple‐station electric fields associated with a 5.4‐kA‐peak M‐component in rocket‐triggered lightning are presented in this study. A close‐range electric field measurement site was located northeast of the triggering site, 195° clockwise from South, at a distance of 78 m, while the distant multiple stations in this study were located southwest of the lightning triggering site (25–48°, clockwise from South) at a distance ranging from 69 to 126 km. Both the fast microsecond‐scale and slow millisecond‐scale pulses were observed at six distant stations. At the close station, the fast pulse was not noticeable. The magnitude and half‐peak width of the fast pulse were in the range of 0.91–1.93 V/m and 2.0–3.0 μs, respectively. The corresponding parameters for the slow pulse were, respectively, in the range of 0.59–1.29 V/m and 20.0–25.1 μs. The time lag between the onset of the channel‐base current and the far electric field of the M‐component was 18 μs. This time lag was used to deduce the ratio of the M‐component channel length and the wave speed. The classical guided wave M‐component model proposed by Rakov et al. (1995, https://doi.org/10.1029/95JD01924) to simulate the slow, millisecond‐scale field pulse assumes that neither the incident nor the reflected current wave undergoes attenuation even though the wave propagation occurs along a lossy channel. A modified guided wave M‐component model is proposed in this study in which the M‐component current wave attenuates with an exponential decay. Based on the best agreement achieved between the simulated fields using the modified two‐wave M‐component model and the observed near and far electric fields, the channel length, the M‐component wave speed, and the current attenuation constant were inferred, respectively, as 1.8 km, 1 × 108 m/s, and 3 km. It is shown that the modified guided wave M‐component model is able to reproduce reasonably well the electric fields both at close and far distance ranges.

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