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Flashy first images arrive from NOAA’s GOES-16 lightning mapper

06 March 2017

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Detecting and predicting lightning just got a lot easier. The first images from a new instrument onboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite are giving NOAA National Weather Service forecasters richer information about lightning that will help them alert the public to dangerous weather.

The first lightning detector in a geostationary orbit, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), is transmitting data never before available to forecasters. The mapper continually looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere, so forecasters know when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous. Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather.

Source: NASA

Image credit: NOAA/NASA - This is one hour of GOES-16's Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) lightning data from 14 Feb.

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