14 Sep '11, 7pm

Can Lightning Predict Hurricanes?

Can Lightning Predict Hurricanes?

Radar and satellites can track the path of storms, but Earth Networks , a company that operates networks of environmental sensors, says it can predict their intensity. Earth Networks Sensors detect the location of electromagnetic activity and send the data to supercomputers. The company has come up with a system that detects and geographically pinpoints electrical activity, that is, lightning, in storms. It then runs this information along with other meteorological data on temperature, pressure and wind speed through supercomputers to predict whether a storm will peter out as it hits land or wreak even greater havoc. “We measure every spark in the cloud,” says the company’s chief executive, Bob Marshall. “Radar is great at forecasting the track of a storm, but intensity is more of a mystery. Predicting intensity is not much better than it was a decade or two ago.” The comp...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/can-lightning-p...

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