Global Lightning Forecast by ECMWF on Windy.com
Marienka last edited by Simona Polackova
Back in July 2018, Windy.com was the 1st weather app to deliver global lightning density forecast in combination with rain forecast. Windy integrates flash lightning forecast data by ECMWF into the 'Rain, snow' 10-day forecast by ECMWF, including all the visualizations and interactions that Windy can do. Also, for better clarification the lightning density has been added as a separate Thunderstorm layer. With this unprecedented innovation, no storm will hit you unprepared!
At any given moment, approximately 2,000 thunderstorms occur on the Earth's surface, triggering 100 lightning strikes in every single second. No doubt, lightning is one of the most spectacular meteorological phenomena. Lightning can affect the environment, and our everyday life. According to estimates, lightning kills over 20,000 people and injures another 240,000 every year. Lightning is responsible for many wildfires around the world each year, killing livestock caught out in the open, disrupting air traffic, damaging buildings, or causing power supply outages.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has developed global predictions of lightning flash density with great accuracy when compared to existing measurements. Moreover, unlike other lightning forecasting projects, this one is run globally – which makes it the first of its kind. There are several local projects that predict severe weather (ESTOFEX in Europe, or Convective Outlook by NOAA in the United States). Windy.com is proud to be the first to visualize lightning forecasts to the wider public for free.
Director of Forecasts at ECMWF Florian Pappenberger said: “We are delighted that Windy.com is making this innovative product available to its users through its impressive visualisations. Although it is not possible to predict individual lightning strikes, forecasts for average lightning activity can have useful skill up to several days ahead. This is because the atmospheric conditions that cause lightning are routinely predicted by today’s powerful numerical weather prediction models.”
This thunderstorm forecast can save lives, but we need to spread the word about it. If you are a journalist, please promote information about this service. Windy is free, without ads, and we just want to help others.
Stay safe and let us know how you like it!