Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Mercer, Andrew E.

Committee Member

Brown, Michael E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Cloud-to-Ground (CG) lightning activity was analyzed across the lower Mississippi River valley. The goal was to determine whether certain land use/ land cover (LULC) types supported convective thunderstorms’ generation of CG lightning more than other LULC types. Results indicate that forested regions receive more CG lightning than any other LULC type represented in the study area. However, results also indicate that CG lightning activity can be enhanced locally by very large and/or sprawling areas of urban LULC. When cities from previous research, including Atlanta, GA, and Birmingham, AL, are combined in the rankings with cities in this study, the urban size difference between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Birmingham, Alabama, appears to highlight the area of urban LULC needed to enhance convection. Future research should focus on more cities within this gap of urban LULC area in order to identify the minimum areal expanse needed to alter convective ability over cities.