Searching for effects caused by thunderstorms in midlatitude sporadic E layers

Veronika Barta, Christos Haldoupis, G. Sátori, Dalia Buresova, Jaroslav Chum, Mariusz Pozoga, Kitti A. Berényi, József Bór, Martin Popek, Árpád Kis, Pál Bencze

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Possible thunderstorm – sporadic E (Es) layer coupling effects are investigated during two measurement periods, one in 2013 and one in 2014. The analysis was based on ionospheric observations obtained from a Digisonde at Pruhonice, the Czech Republic, an ionosonde at Nagycenk, Hungary, and a 3.59 MHz five-point continuous HF Doppler system located in the western part of the Czech Republic. The latter is capable of detecting ionospheric wave-like variations caused by neutral atmospheric waves generated by thunderstorms. The present study searches for possible impacts on Es layers caused by the presence of two active thunderstorms: one passing across the Czech Republic on June 20, 2013 (19:00–01:00 LT), and one through Hungary on July 30, 2014 (11:00-01:00 LT). During these two time periods, presence and parameters of Es layer were inferred from ionograms, recorded every minute at Pruhonice and every two minutes at Nagycenk, whereas concurrent lightning activity was monitored by the LINET detection network. In addition, transient luminous events (TLEs) were also observed during both nights from Sopron, Hungary and from Nýdek, the Czech Republic. A noticeable fact was the reduction and disappearance of the ongoing Es layer activity during part of the time in both of the traversing thunderstorms. The analysis indicated that the critical frequency foEs dropped below ionosonde detection levels in both cases, possibly because of thunderstorm activity effects. This option, however, needs more case studies in order to be further substantiated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-159
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017



  • Atmospheric gravity waves
  • Ionosphere coupling
  • Lightning
  • Sporadic E layer
  • Sprites
  • Thunderstorm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Barta, V., Haldoupis, C., Sátori, G., Buresova, D., Chum, J., Pozoga, M., Berényi, K. A., Bór, J., Popek, M., Kis, Á., & Bencze, P. (2017). Searching for effects caused by thunderstorms in midlatitude sporadic E layers. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 161, 150-159.