FOR all of 2019, Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Network detected 3,22,38,667 lightning strikes in India, of which 12,04,81,82 were dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes. The top five states with the most lightning last year were Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkland, and Karnataka. Earth Network, operator of a nationwide lightning detection network in India, recently released its 2019 India Lightning Report and interactive map.
- Odisha led all states with just over four million total strikes, with total lightning counts peaking in June
- West Bengal was issued over 3,000 Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, leveraging a proprietary alerting methodology which tracks the most severe storms and lightning activity that have proven to act as a precursor to damaging weather including tornados, hail, and high winds
- Over 18,026 of Earth Networks’ Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts were issued throughout the country, with a high concentration located within the east area of the country
“We have had a presence in India since 2012 working with the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and other government entities. Since then we have expanded our cooperation with disaster management agencies, commercial organisations and other entities across India to build capacity through the addition of severe weather early warning systems,” said Rich Spaulding, Chief Executive Officer at Earth Networks. “The result, evident in this report, is a nationwide weather and total lightning network enabling powerful storm-tracking capabilities such as the PulseRad simulated radar system, forecasting, and critical life-saving alerts such as our patented Dangerous Thunderstorm Alert (DTA), that is entirely derived from a high rate of lightning activity.”
Results That Matter
Lightning is a major weather threat in India, killing nearly 3,000 people per year. Since deploying Earth Networks’ early warning solution, including Sferic Siren, an onsite lightning proximity alerting system, the state of Odisha has reported a more than 30% decrease in lightning related deaths. This amazing reduction in loss of life is because Odisha is now able to send alerts with as much as 45 minutes lead time ahead of strong storms.
Each state has taken a unique approach to leveraging this data, showing the flexibility of working with network-based weather information. In Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar, Earth Networks’ lightning and Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts are sent to the public via regional free mobile apps and SMS. In Andhra Pradesh, Earth Networks’ patented Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, lightning data and proximity alerts are also delivered to the state’s Disaster Management Authority via API. Assam Disaster Management Authority, the most recent state entity to join the network, also plans to build a weather alerting app for its residents.
With over 1,800 sensors in over 100 countries, Earth Networks Total Lightning Network is the most extensive and technologically advanced lightning network in the world. Its ability to monitor both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning enables forecasters to generate faster, localized storm alerts and warn of other forms of severe weather such as downbursts, hail, heavy rains, and high winds – in turn setting it apart from other lightning networks. Lightning data from the network are fundamental to the real-time identification of thunderstorm occurrence, location, coverage, intensity and trends.
With Earth Networks’ partnerships in India come new datasets and observations, in addition to comprehensive visualisation tools that enable India’s disaster management agencies to issue automatic alerts and estimate storm arrival times. What’s more, these partnerships are a win for both government and civil defence agencies who are able to access products that further aid the states in saving lives and reducing property damage that occurs due to severe weather, while helping private industry partners access new sources of severe weather data to optimise operations, analyse trends and protect critical infrastructure.