This month, Earth Networks begins a new partnership with Weather Decision Technologies. With the agreement, lightning data from both the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network™ (ENTLN) in North America and the Earth Networks Global Lightning Network™, deployed around the world, has been integrated into the WDT weather decision-support product suite.
Nearly 100 utilities and numerous other commercial entities now have access to the largest total lightning detection network in North America. Utilities will be able to pinpoint faults caused by lightning strikes more quickly and accurately, shortening the duration of power outages caused by lightning strikes. Aviation interests such as FBOs (Fixed Base Operators) will have greater visibility into severe weather around airports and aloft, increasing flight safety. And public safety organizations will be able to use the in-cloud lightning detection capabilities of the ENTLN to receive severe weather warnings faster, potentially saving lives and property.
The importance of Total Lightning detection cannot be stressed enough. Total lightning includes cloud-to-ground lightning, but also in-cloud lightning that never reaches the ground. Since in-cloud lightning often occurs more than 10 minutes before the first strike to ground, by detecting in-cloud flashes, we can provide earlier warning of impending severe weather as well as lightning hazards. This capability specifically helps utility and electric cooperatives, the aviation industry, the insurance industry, and many other businesses whose operations and mission is impacted by weather.
As severe weather events mount and as development drives people and property into coastal, mountainous and flood-prone areas where severe weather can have a greater impact, advanced warning of severe weather becomes even more critical.