Vaisala enhances lightning data

Vaisala, which owns and operates a global lightning detection network, the Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, now offers lightning data with greater location accuracy, improved polarity classification and peak current estimates. These enhancements will help customers make more informed decisions, increase operational safety and efficiency, company officials said.

Vaisala has implemented a new processing algorithm that allows the global network to identify the location of a cloud-to-ground lightning stroke within a range of 2-5 kilometers. Polarity classification accuracy now stands at better than 90%, while peak current estimates have been improved to be accurate within 25% of the peak current value, company officials said.

“For the first time, quality lightning warnings are now possible on a global-scale,” says Nick Demetriades, Offering Portfolio Manager for Vaisala’s Airports business. “The significant improvement in the GLD360 data quality due to the vastly improved location accuracy of the global network, combined with its ability to detect approximately 70% of all cloud-to-ground lightning flashes, will improve the safety and efficiency of airport operations across the world.”

Vaisala’s GLD360 is now able to locate and characterize lightning in areas of the world where meteorological observations may be partially lacking or absent. Data from the network can be easily assimilated into weather models to improve short-to-medium term weather forecasts, company officials said. In addition, it can be used as a proxy for weather radar information in areas with limited or non-existent radar coverage.

Since Vaisala owns and operates the global network and delivers lightning data as a service, customers can access the information available in the GLD360 without having to make substantial hardware investments, officials add.

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