WMO Report Confirms Need for Early Warning Systems

According to the WMO, early warning systems save millions of lives. A recent WMO fact sheet provides supporting evidence as to why these systems help communities, regions and nations avoid disaster.

WMO fact sheet

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Severe Weather Strikes Sydney

Hail, heavy rain and thunderstorms pushed through Sydney, Australia on Saturday, April 25.   There were confirmed reports of 1-2 cm sized hail and accumulating rainfall that flooded some areas of the region.  Australia’s Total Lightning Network detected significant amounts of lightning as far west as Wallacia, an area located approximately 56 kilometers  NNW of Sydney.

Lx Sydney Austrailia_04292015

The presence of significant lightning activity can be a precursor and detailed indicator of severe weather developments. Our local weather partner, Weatherzone, issued multiple dangerous thunderstorm alerts (DTAs) as the weather conditions escalated.

The severe weather stranded motorists and pedestrians, and some needed to be rescued from flooded roadways. According to local reports, the storms collapsed buildings, damaged rooftops, and downed trees throughout the area.


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Severe Storms & Tornado Leave Thousands Homeless in Brazil

Several strong storms drove through the western Santa Catarina, Brazil region on Monday, April 20, 2015. There were countless reports of damaged property, downed power lines and trees. The National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) confirmed that the storms produced at least one tornado in Xanxere that killed two people. Several Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (DTA) were issued. An initial DTA issued approximately 50 kilometers west of Xanxere city would have provided a 47 minute early warning of the extreme weather. Two people in Xanxere were killed because of the violent weather conditions and many were hospitalized.

There were substantial amounts of in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning associated with each of the tracked storm cells. The lightning detected by Earth Networks helps provide important storm parameters, critical data, visualization and advanced alerting.

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Partnering for Power in Communities

Electricity fuels our active lives. Helping to keep the power on in communities is why we’ve teamed with National Grid. As part of a major initiative, we are completing the installation of 55 WeatherBug Weather Stations throughout New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These new stations, plus more than 200 others placed throughout the region at schools, town halls, emergency response centers, and other locations, report current weather conditions within communities.

This hyper-local, real-time weather data is then fed into ENcast, our advanced weather forecasting system, to generate pinpoint, accurate and reliable nowcasts to extended 15-day forecasts. These forecasts are then input into outage models that significantly improve National Grid’s ability to predict, monitor and respond to outages in a timely and efficient manner.


Read our announcement to learn more.

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Protecting Lives & Livelihoods in Australia

Weatherzone, Australia’s leading commercial weather information provider, today announces an agreement with Earth Networks, the operator of the world’s largest and most advanced total lightning detection network. With the agreement, companies in Australia gain improved access to the best lightning detection and severe weather nowcasting services available globally.


Weatherzone Managing Director, Charles Solomon, said lightning was the number-one cause of storm-related deaths in Australia and cost businesses millions of dollars in asset damage or operational shut-down costs. Accurate tracking of lightning activity is a key concern for many Australian businesses in industries that include electric utilities, mining, aviation, public safety and fire protection services.

Read the announcement to learn more.

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Lightning Strikes and Kills Ugandan Father and Son

A family of four in Bukamboli village, Uganda, were tragically struck by lightning in their home on Wednesday, February 18. Bukamboli, an Iwemba sub-county in Uganda, was hit with strong storms that released heavy rain and produced severe lightning across the entire region.

A single stroke of lightning killed 32-year-old Alfred Kundu and his 5–year-old son Josy. His wife, Anna Maria Nelina, and their 5-year–old daughter, Patricia Naliaka, sustained burns on their heads and hands from the same lightning strike.

Given the recent availability of real-time lightning strike data in the region, it is our hope that tragedies like this one become a thing of the past. We envision alerting the public to the dangers of lightning via SMS, outdoor horns or other methods to help people stay safer from impending danger.

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Lightning Kills 2 in Brazil

On January 6, 2015, two men were struck by lightning in Embu, Brazil, a rural area just outside of São Paolo. The two men were attempting to take shelter from a violent storm when they were struck and killed. Two additional people were also struck, but fortunately recovered in a local hospital emergency room.

Our network detected lightning as it approached the area:

The storm produced heavy rain with significant lightning. This severe weather incident follows another deadly lightning strike in São Paolo that killed a family of four on a local beach in late December.

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New Partnership with Baron Services for Lightning Data

At the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Meeting and Conference in Phoenix this week, we are announcing our partnership with Baron Services to deliver the most complete and precise lightning strike information to motorists, pilots, boaters and broadcasters across the U.S. and beyond.

“Baron Services switched to Earth Networks after an extended and extensive evaluation of all available lightning data providers. Baron Services found Earth Networks to have excellent lightning detection efficiency and location accuracy, while offering comprehensive lightning detection from the Earth Networks Total Lightning and Global Lightning Networks,” says Baron Services Chief Development Officer Bob Dreisewerd.


Earth Networks and Baron Services are working together to deliver lightning data. Pictured from left to right: Baron Services’ Chief Development Officer Bob Dreisewerd, Baron Servies’ President & CEO Robert (Bob) Baron, Earth Networks’ President & COO Rich Spaulding, and Earth Networks’ VP, International Jim Anderson.

With the new partnership, real-time total lightning data from Earth Networks’ Pulse API data feed will be integrated into Baron Services’ software and systems. Earth Networks patented lightning-based alerts will be implemented in the future. The data, as part of Baron’s full suite of data products, delivers critical weather intelligence that helps ensure public safety and supports critical decision making by aiding everyone from commuters to recreational boaters to pilots. The data will also benefit Baron’s local television broadcast clients as they deliver weather information to over two-thirds of the U.S. population.

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Lightning Kills 4 in Brazil

A violent storm suddenly rolled above the beach at Praia Grande, Brazil, on December 28, catching beachgoers unaware. Tragically, a lightning strike from this storm killed four people on the beach as they huddled to escape the rain under a beach umbrella. This timelapse shows lightning detected by the BrasilDAT Total Lightning Network from Sunday afternoon, December 28, to Monday morning on December 29.

Data gathered from the BrasilDAT network, combined with our automated, lightning-based storm cell tracking and Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (shown as purple polygons) provided detailed information about the thunderstorm’s location, direction, speed, and severity. Combined with alerting capability, this technology can help warn people of severe weather and keep people safer. Worldwide, thousands are killed and seriously injured from lightning strikes every year, which highlights the need for advanced alerting to protect lives and livelihoods.

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National Grid and WeatherBug Team Up

National Grid committed to installing weather stations throughout New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to keep communities safer by providing real-time alerts and forecasts to local officials, first responders and others who require real-time local weather.

Several of the new WeatherBug weather sensors are placed at K-12 schools, such as Gordon Creek Elementary in Ballston Spa, New York. Learn how the school is benefitting from real-time local weather information by watching this short video:

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