- NOAA has released an animation of the satellite’s first shot at tracking lightning across the United States
- The new “Geostationary Lightning Mapper” watches for lightning strikes across the Western hemisphere, helping meteorologists to more accurately determine where storms are forming and where they’re headed
America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a video showing a string of lightning strikes from its newest satellite’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument.
The instrument watches for lightning strikes across the Western hemisphere, helping meteorologists to more accurately determine where storms are forming and where they’re headed.
“The mapper observes lightning in the Western Hemisphere, giving forecasters an indication of when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous,” NOAA writes in the video description.
“Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm may strengthen quickly and could produce severe weather. During heavy rain, GLM data can show when thunderstorms are stalled or if they are gathering strength. When combined with radar and other satellite data, GLM data will help forecasters anticipate severe weather and issue flood and flash flood warnings sooner. ”
The GOES-17 satellite, launched on March 1, is still in its testing phase, but will eventually move over to the West Coast later this year and provide a watchful eye on the weather with the latest in weather technology. The GOES-17 is in the midst of a six-month checkout period. When this is complete, the spacecraft will move about 50 degrees of longitude to the west — out to sea above the Pacific Ocean — and begin its planned 15-year mission, which involves tracking weather systems and a variety of environmental hazards here on Earth, as well as monitoring solar activity and space weather.
Watch the video below.