NOAA and NASA have finally broadcasted their first footage from their advanced Geostationary Lightning Mapper. Now, predicting and detecting climate and lightning strikes has become a lot easier. This is the first time in geostationary orbit an instrument is working as a lightning detector. Soon NOAA's GOES-16 will help weather forecasters and alert the public before lightning strikes hit the door.
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) captured stunning images from miles above Western Hemisphere. According to Mail Online, GLM will indicate all of the powerful storms at a time with white splotches. GLM transmits the weather and climate information to NOAA’s advanced GOES-16 satellite which started its journey since November 2016.
GLM continuously monitors Western hemisphere. The main purpose of GLM is to indicate climate scientists about the lightning flashes so that scientists could measure the intensity of the storm and inform people before it becomes more dangerous. NASA said that increasing rate of lightning flashes are the sign of powerful storms that is approaching quickly.
Phys reported that GLM started it’s monitoring the process from February 14th. It captured every sign of storms that was popped up in the west. Brighter colored spots indicate the areas with higher lightning energy.
NASA created a video which indicates the storms and countless flashes over southeast Texas. The brightest point of the video indicates the most powerful storm which took place on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The green dotted lines are indicating the coastal lines of Texas, while the green cross pointing at Houston.
NASA rendered the animation in 25 fps for better viewing experience of human eyes. During heavy rains, the instruments would show when a thunderstorm has stalled. According to NASA, researchers can predict climate condition and alert the affected areas earlier than ever. This system will help peoples of those areas and allow weather stations to issue flood and flash flood warnings.
The instrument is also helpful for dry areas which are prone to lightning-induced wildfires. Not only wildfires GLM is also capable of detecting in-cloud lightning. Usually, this kind of lightning occurs almost 10 minutes before cloud-to-ground strikes.Forecasters will be able o alert peoples in advance from deadly lightning strikes.