Sunday, June 15, 2014


I am fascinated with weather and subscribe to a number of forecasting sites. The internet is saturated with websites that give you weather information, and frankly, most of them suck. Very few allow you to see lightning around the world in real-time, and even fewer give you this data for free. But there is one nugget of gold tucked deep in the confines of Europe that gives you the best of the best, all for free.
Blitzortung is a small project run by a handful of people in Germany that connects a network of hundreds of lightning sensors around the world to track lightning strikes within seconds of their striking the surface of the earth. As the site is based in Europe, they have hundreds of sensors concentrated around Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, with fewer in a multitude of other countries. The United States itself has 44 sensors that join a handful in other North and South American countries to keep tabs on your storm activity.
France has been the hotbed of lightning activity in Europe so far this year, and it's easy to understand why given our recent bout of severe weather.
You can choose a location almost anywhere on the planet and see real time displays that give information in pretty exciting realtime graphic formats.  You can become a participant in the program if you'd like. If you're an engineering/tech whiz and enjoy computing and electrical projects, Blitzortung is always looking for people to purchase and assemble lightning detector kits to help them expand their network.

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