Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nasa Research Helps Highlight Lightning Safety Awareness Week

24.06.2003


WORLDWIDE LIGHTNING STRIKES

Imaging Sensor (LIS) Science Team
Data from space-based optical sensors reveal the uneven distribution of worldwide lightning strikes, with color variations indicating the average annual number of lightning flashes per square kilometer. The map includes data obtained from April 1995 to February 2003 from NASA’s Optical Transient Detector; and from January 1998 to February 2003 from NASA’s Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). CREDIT: NASA MSFC Lightning


LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE

Within Valine and Krider’s study sample of 386 flashes of lightning, each cloud-to-ground flash struck the ground in 1.45 places, increasing the chance of being struck by 45%. CREDIT: Photograph by M. Garay


The arrival of summer brings increased chances of thunderstorms and dangerous lightning. NASA marks National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 22-29, by highlighting the unique contributions agency lightning research makes to climate studies, severe storm detection and prediction.

Lightning is dangerous, so improving our understanding of it and its role in weather and climate is important. NASA researchers at the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Ala., created lightning maps that show where and how much lightning strikes worldwide. This data is important to climatologists, because lightning indicates the location of large storms that release latent heat; the "fuel supply" that helps drive the Earth’s climate "engine."

Steven Goodman, Dennis Boccippio, Richard Blakeslee, Hugh Christian, and William Koshak from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., helped create a high-resolution world map showing the frequency of lightning strikes. The lightning science team recently presented the animated lightning maps and 11 technical papers at the 12th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, Versailles, France.



Goodman said the global lightning maps are "animated maps of lightning activity worldwide, and have just been updated to include eight years of data." The maps are color coded to indicate concentrations of lightning strikes. Each frame represents average lightning activity on each day of the year. These data, compiled from space-based optical sensors, reveal the uneven distribution of worldwide lightning strikes, and the maps provide a unique look at climate information. They also show where lightning activity increased and decreased during the recent El Nino event.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service’s regional forecast offices in Alabama have been using NASA’s North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array since November 2001. The data have helped to characterize thunderstorm initiation, identify weakening and strengthening storms by the change in the rate of flashes, and evaluate the trend of the flash rate to improve severe storm detection and lead-time. Understanding lightning has the potential to improve severe storm warning lead-time by up to 50 percent and decrease the false alarm rate for non-tornado producing storms.

NASA’s lightning research is also being applied to aviation safety. NASA technology is helping aviators avoid turbulence, over offshore areas, by using surface lightning measurements and combining them with satellite lightning data and other measurements.

According to the National Weather Service, lightning kills an average of 73 people annually in the United States. Lightning kills more people than hurricanes or tornadoes. William Valine and Phillip Krider, two NASA-funded scientists from the University of Arizona, discovered lightning frequently strikes the ground in two or more places. This means the risk of being struck by lightning is 45 percent higher than previously thought.

NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, which funds lightning research, is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.

Rob Gutro | Goddard Space Flight Center
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0619lightning.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>