Earth Networks Brings Advanced Weather Technology to Panama

  • Sep 11, 2015

Weather events often act as a natural trigger for various life-changing incidents. Lightning strikes can cause fires. Strong winds can damage homes and power lines. Heavy rains can create massive flooding.

While we may consider these events as oddities in our every day lives, they happen much more often than you think: Especially in the Central American country of Panama.

Panama experiences those three severe weather conditions. Lightning, wind, and rain not only cause damage to Panama’s homes and disrupt businesses but also, sadly, claim lives.

In order to help protect Panama’s people, business assets and infrastructure, Earth Networks has teamed up with the Hydrometeorology Department of Empresa de Transmisión Elétrica, S.A (or ETESA), which is currently the acting national weather agency for the country.

Early detection of severe weather is critical in enabling sufficient time for preparations as dangerous conditions approach. Our goal within this collaboration is to support the operations of ETESA’s Hydrometeorology Department and bring the advantages of this innovative solution to other areas of government, business and the public.

With the implementation of this system, we have delivered the most advanced severe weather monitoring technologies and early warnings to Central America for the very first time. Some components of this system are described here:

Early Warning System

The early warning system provides ETESA with desktop visualization tools that alert them to approaching severe weather. The system gathers real-time lightning activity and issues severe storm warnings (called Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts) all through internet-connected sensors located throughout the country.

Lightning Sensors


Earth Network’s lightning sensors are the most advanced when it comes to detecting both cloud-to-ground lightning and in-cloud lightning. In-cloud lightning can account for 80% of all lightning strikes and is often a precursor to life-threatening cloud-to-ground strikes as well as other severe weather conditions.

The Earth Networks system uses both in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning, called Total Lightning, to identify a storm’s location, direction, and severity. Our Total Lightning Network generates Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts when severe weather is approaching. These types of storms are often associated with other severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind shear, and hail. These alerts are automatically sent to authorities throughout the affected regions in Panama.

Knowing what type of weather is approaching helps people stay safe and informed. At Earth Networks, we believe that everyone deserves to be alerted on threatening weather and be prepared for any impending dangerous conditions. That’s why over the past five years, we’ve teamed up to develop similar early warning systems in both developed and emerging countries on six continents.

Lightning, wind, and rain are dangerous forces that can alter lives in an instant. The only way to combat the uncontrollable severe weather conditions is to be aware, be prepared, and Know Before®.

To learn more about Earth Networks and ETESA’s efforts in Panama, follow the think to our press release.