The developer of a global lightning detection network will provide access to its Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, which holds lightning data with peak current estimates, greater location accuracy, and improved polarity classification than previously available. The enhancements in data quality will help users make more informed decisions, increase operational safety and efficiency, and deliver better services.
Vaisala has implemented a new processing algorithm that lets the global network identify the location of a cloud-to-ground lightning stroke within a range of 2 to 5 km. 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. The GLD360 is the only global lightning dataset, say developers, that provides polarity and peak current estimates for lightning events. “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 is due to a vastly improved location accuracy of the global network, combined with its ability to detect about 70% of all cloud-to-ground lightning flashes. This will improve the safety and efficiency of airport operations across the world.”
According to the company, the global lightning-detection network provides uniform coverage with high detection efficiency over the entire world because it has more lightning information than any other comparable dataset in the world. Daily counts routinely exceeding 1.5 million events.
The 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 is easily assimilated into weather models to improve short-to-medium term forecasts. In addition, it can be used as a proxy for weather-radar information in areas with limited or non-existent radar coverage. Because the company owns and operates the global network and delivers lightning data as a service, users can access the information in the GLD360 without having to make substantial hardware investments.
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