Fair weather condition

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Fair weather condition concerns the electric field and the electric current in the air as well as the conductivity of the atmosphere.[1] It is the electrostatic longitudinal modes and electromagnetic transverse mode or state of different meteorological conditions, concerning measurements of atmospheric electrical and meteorological parameters. Fair weather have as component parts an expansive stability range during natural fluctuations.[2]


Around June 1752, Ben Franklin reportedly performed his famous kite experiment. L. G. Lemonnier (1752) reproduced Franklin's experiment with an aerial, but substituted the ground wire with some dust particles (testing attraction). He went on to document the fair weather condition, the clear-day electrification of the atmosphere, and the diurnal variation of the atmosphere's electricity. G. Beccaria (1775) confirmed Lemonnier's diurnal variation data and determined that the atmosphere's charge polarity was positive in fair weather. H. B. Saussure (1779) recorded data relating to a conductor's induced charge in the atmosphere. Saussure's instrument (which contained two small spheres suspended in parallel with two thin wires) was a precursor to the electrometer. Saussure found that the fair weather condition had an annual variation. Saussure found that there was a variation with height, as well. In 1785, C. A. Coulomb discovered the conductivity of air. His discovery was contrary to the prevailing thought at the time that the atmospheric gases were insulators (which they are to some extent, or at least not very good conductors when not ionized). His research was unfortunately completely ignored. P. Erman (1804) theorized that the Earth was negatively charged. J. C. A. Peltier (1842) tested and confirmed Erman's idea. Lord Kelvin (1860s) proposed that atmospheric positive charges explained the fair weather condition and, later, recognized the existence of atmospheric electric fields.

See also[edit]

Atmospheric electricity, Geophysics, Atmospheric sciences, and atmospheric physics
Earth's magnetic field, Sprites and lightning, space charge, Telluric currents


  1. ^ Soaking in atmospheric electricity Archived 17 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ This ranges from very unstable to strong stability.

External articles and references[edit]


  • Le Monnier, L.-G.: "Observations sur l'Electricité de l'Air", Histoire de l'Académie royale des sciences (1752), pp. 233ff. 1752.
  • Sven Israelsson, On the Conception Fair Weather Condition in Atmospheric Electricity. 1977.
  • Ogawa, T., "Fair-weather electricity". J. Geophys. Res., 90, 5951-5960, 1985.
  • Wåhlin, L., "Elements of fair weather electricity". J. Geophys. Res., 99, 10767-10772, 1994
  • RB Bent, WCA Hutchinson, Electric space charge measurements and the electrode effect within the height of a 21 m mast. J. Atmos. Terr. Phys, 196.
  • Bespalov P.A., Chugunov Yu. V. and Davydenko S.S., Planetary electric generator under fair-weather condition with altitude-dependent atmospheric conductivity, Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, v.58, #5,pp. 605–611,1996
  • DG Yerg, KR Johnson, Short-period fluctuations in the fair weather electric field. J. Geophys. Research, 1974.
  • T Ogawa, Diurnal variation in atmospheric electricity. J. Geomag. Geoelect, 1960.
  • R Reiter, Relationships Between Atmospheric Electric Phenomena and Simultaneous Meteorological Conditions. 1960
  • J. Law, The ionisation of the atmosphere near the ground in fair weather. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 1963
  • T. Marshall, W.D. Rust, M. Stolzenburg, W. Roeder, P. Krehbim A study of enhanced fair-weather electric fields occurring soon after sunrise.
  • R Markson, Modulation of the earth's electric field by cosmic radiation. Nature, 1981
  • Clark, John Fulmer, The Fair Weather Atmospheric Electric Potential and its Gradient.
  • P. A. Bespalov, Yu. V. Chugunov and S. S. Davydenko, Planetary electric generator under fair-weather conditions with altitude-dependent atmospheric conductivity.
  • AM Selva, et al., A New Mechanism for the Maintenance of Fair Weather Electric Field and Cloud Electrification.
  • M. J. Rycroft, S. Israelssonb and C. Pricec, The global atmospheric electric circuit, solar activity and climate change.
  • A. Mary Selvam, A. S. Ramachandra Murty, G. K. Manohar, S. S. Kandalgaonkar, Bh. V.Ramana Murty, A New Mechanism for the Maintenance of Fair Weather Electric Field and Cloud Electrification. arXiv:physics/9910006
  • Ogawa, Toshio, Fair-Weather electricity. Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 90, Issue D4, p. 5951-5960.
  • An auroral effect on the fair weather electric field. Nature 278, 239 - 241 (15 March 1979); doi:10.1038/278239a0
  • Bespalov, P. A.; Chugunov, Yu. V., Plasmasphere rotation and origin of atmospheric electricity. Physics - Doklady, Volume 39, Issue 8, August 1994, pp. 553–555
  • Bespalov, P. A.; Chugunov, Yu. V.; Davydenko, S. S. Planetary electric generator under fair-weather conditions with altitude-dependent atmospheric conductivity. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics.
  • A.J. Bennett, R.G. Harrison, A simple atmospheric electrical instrument for educational use