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31 January 2020
There may be a way to make airplanes less prone to lightning strikes. The trick, surprisingly, might be to give airplanes a bit of an electrical charge when they are in the air, say scientists reporting their experimental work in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
30 October 2019
Dr. Frankenstein aside, science doesn’t intend to be spooky. Sometimes it just comes out that way. Scientific endeavors have revealed some eerie places and a symphony of scary sounds from all over the planet — everything from bellowing sand dunes and whistling lightning, to groaning ice shelves of Antarctica. We got them here in our 2019 Halloween playlist.
12 September 2019
Anybody who has ever tried to photograph lightning knows that it takes patience and special camera equipment. Now, a new study is using those brief but brilliant flashes to illuminate cloud structures and shed light on storm cell behavior, giving weather forecasters new tools for predicting lightning hazards.
10 September 2019
The lightning season in the Southeastern U.S. is almost finished for this year, but the peak season for the most powerful strokes of lightning won’t begin until November, according to a newly published global survey of these rare events.
7 June 2019
Climate change could affect the regularity of summer afternoon thunderstorms in some parts of the world, according to new research. A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters modeled weather patterns in western Germany, northern France and parts of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, under climate change.
17 May 2018
A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres observes rare terrestrial gamma ray flashes produced by lightning strikes.
4 May 2017
The new GOES-16 weather satellite has something no geostationary weather satellite has ever had before. An instrument that can see lightning. In real time. It’s called the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM for short), and while we have been seeing some real time images from GOES-16 for over a month now, the GLM is still being checked out. Today, NASA and Lockheed released some new video of the GLM in action …
30 March 2017
During a thunderstorm, lightning that hits the ground may be shooting powerful electromagnetic radiation skyward. At least that is the new theory from a physicist in China who specializes in laser-plasma interactions.
6 March 2017
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is working. This instrument will likely be a revolutionary advance in severe storm forecasting and warnings and can measure the total lightning in storms. Current lightning data sees cloud to ground strokes, but these coordinate poorly with severe weather. Research shows that total lightning does correlate well with severe weather and can significantly increase lead times and it will likely reduce false alarms as well. I was …
24 August 2016
Meteorologist John Jensenius at NOAA keeps track of the deaths from lightning each year, and I asked him to send me a list of the deaths each month, so that I could share. We are now up to 30, and it is worth noting that 80% of the deaths are male and 20% female, a fact that is not unusual, with far more males rather than females becoming victims each …
12 April 2016
Two new studies are unraveling some of the mysteries of this violent phenomenon and revealing the similarities – and differences – between volcanic lightning and the kind of lightning produced by thunderclouds. Understanding how this process works could enable scientists to use volcanic lightning to monitor and track the progress of powerful eruptions in real time, according to the studies’ authors.
5 October 2012
Meteorologists have documented upward lightning, which travels upward from the ground to the clouds, since 1939, but they remain puzzled about how it happens. Now, one research team’s analysis of high-speed video taken in Rapid City, South Dakota, captures a possible clue: a downward flash that preceded most upward lightning filmed by the observers.