Implementation of Lightning-Based Early Warning Systems Outside the U.S

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 5:00 PM
225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jim Anderson, Earth Networks, Germantown, MD; and A. Davidov and M. Borges

An effective early warning system is critical to disaster risk reduction empowering individuals and communities to respond in a timely manner to a variety of weather and climate induced hazards. In the United States and a few other developed countries, significant investment over decades has resulted in robust early warning infrastructures. In least developing countries, and even in some developed nations, the situation is very different, where many countries have little or no functioning infrastructure to provide visualization or alerting of impending severe weather events. Earth Networks is working to assist these countries design and implement early warning system infrastructures enabling monitoring and advanced warning of severe weather for the first time in many of these countries, as well as to enhance capabilities in others. Earth Networks' Early Warning System (EWS) provides a cost-effective integrated approach, ensuring timely, accurate delivery of warnings and forecast information. The EWS enables the National Meteorological Services (NMS) to monitor and provide advance warnings using integrated observational and total lightning data. Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) provides in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning detection from compact sensors that are deployed on mobile communication towers and integrated with automatic weather stations (AWS). Total lightning data from the ENTLN is then used to create a low cost radar-like display, PulseRad and Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, used for severe weather and precipitation monitoring and alerting. Additionally, weather and lightning data is integrated into ENcast for high resolution weather forecasts providing thunderstorm probability forecasting. Visualization is provided using StreamerRT, a real-time decision support tool. Earth Networks has implemented this end-to-end capability as part of demonstration programs with the National Department of Meteorology of Guinea, Turkey, China and Japan. This talk will detail the implementation, operation, and results of each of these demonstration programs.