Influence of Land Use and Land Cover Change on the Lightning

Lightning is unpredictable disaster and it occurs as a result of high air temperature near the surface during summer days and started to begin as result of static charges in a rain cloud. With the extensive land use and land cover change there is huge influence on trends of atmospheric temperature which forces climatic changes.

Due to the urbanization which caused due to the high demand of population and human activities, land use and land cover is changing rapidly. As a result of this change it leads to change surface characteristics which are not affects only the dynamic and physical processes in the atmospheric boundary layer, but also affects the surface heat budget to make urban heat island (UHI).

With increasing of human activities, manmade aerosols contribution is increasing and it leads significant impact on local thunderstorm formation. This leads to increase the cloud-to-ground lightning activity over a certain region.

However, no attempt has yet been made to investigate the urban effect on lightning activity over Sri Lanka. In this study a physical relationship between the lightning activities, topography and land use and land cover are expected. Cloud to ground lightning data were used to examine the regional differences in convective activity in urban areas in Sri Lanka. Cities were selected to span a range of sizes, population characteristics and topographic features.