Air Force Weather Agency Selects Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Data and Weather Visualization Tool for Operational Support

  • Jun 12, 2013

june12Data from World’s Largest Total Lightning Network and Weather Monitoring Solution, StreamerRT, to Support Air Force Operations around the Globe

Germantown, MD – June 12, 2013 – Earth Networks, the owner of WeatherBug and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, is providing global lightning data to the United States Air Force’s Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. With the contract, AFWA will use data from the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) and StreamerRT weather monitoring tool to inform and support Air Force operations around the world.

Earth Networks is providing the Air Force Weather Agency with real-time data, 24/7, from its global Total Lightning Network, which is the world’s largest total lightning network. The network consists of hundreds of broadband weather sensors deployed worldwide that continuously monitor and detect both in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning in real time. In contrast with older systems that only detect cloud-to-ground strikes, the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network also senses in-cloud lightning, which is more difficult to detect. In-cloud lightning comprises the vast majority of lightning activity and often serves as a precursor to extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain and hail, high wind and gust fronts, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and tornadoes.

Additionally, the Air Force Weather Agency will have access to Earth Networks’ StreamerRT, a comprehensive weather visualization tool, to monitor total lightning and track severe weather in real-time. StreamerRT is used across industries to track conditions at local, regional, national and international levels for critical decision making, and can be configured to provide views from nearly 100 layers of weather information and severe alerts.

The Air Force Weather Agency is the latest federal organization to utilize atmospheric data, products and services from Earth Networks. Earth Networks’total lightning data and the StreamerRT tool are in use at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), aiding Wallops personnel in decision making and helping to ensure range safety during rocket launches and aircraft operations. Earth Networks also delivers total lightning data to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). NWS forecast offices and centers access Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Network data and StreamerRT to monitor and precisely track, in real-time, severe storms as they form and move throughout the country.

Total lightning data also provides critical information for safety and operations to the commercial aviation sector. Because weather and severe storms cause a significant portion of air traffic delays, total lightning data is used to improve air routing, flight safety and ground operations. By utilizing Earth Networks Total Lightning data during incident investigations in which aircraft encountered convective weather that resulted in injuries and damage, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)published a safety recommendation stating that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should consider using total lightning data at air route traffic control centers, terminal radar approach control facilities, and within in-flight tools for pilots.

Visit to learn more about the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network.

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