Lightning Sensors Could Help Predict Intensity of Storms

Radar and satellites can track the path of storms, but Earth Networks, a company that operates networks of environmental sensors, says it can predict the intensity of storms.

The company has come up with a system that detects and geographically pinpoints electrical activity – lightning -- in storms. Earth Networks then runs this information along with other meteorological data on temperature, pressure and wind speed through supercomputers to predict whether a storm will peter out as it hits land or wreak even greater havoc.

Lightning produces a brief electromagnetic pulse that is detected by the company’s lightning sensors, essentially large antennas connected to computers. By analyzing the times that various sensors detect pulses, Earth Networks can triangulate the location and path of electrical activity.

Learn more from The NY Times.

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