Saturday, June 07, 2008

How would he know?

One of the TV weather guys said there have been 4,000 lightning strikes tonight (I think just in Milwaukee County!).

At first I thought, "Wow, that's a lot of lightning strikes!"

Then I thought, "How would he know how many there have been? Who is out there counting them?"

Then my husband told me that a short time earlier, the same weather guy said there were 20,000 lightning strikes.



Michael Pereckas said...

Lightning is easy enough to detect by radio. As you might imagine, a huge electric arc will tend to give off lots of radio frequency energy. There are networks of detectors to locate lightning. Aircraft sometimes carry their own lightning detectors to help avoid thunderstorms, as well.

Patrick O'Hara said...

In fact the National Weather Service run the nation-wide network that detects and tracks lighting strikes. This information along with the information from the doppler radar network (no your local station doesn't own that) is used to predict severe weather that might damage property or threaten lives. Of course all of the information from these networks is public domain, therefore available to anyone, even a local weatherman, who wants it.

Your tax dollars at work.
Pat O