Radarmeteo and Earth Networks Focused on Lightning Safety for “The Floating Piers”
Since its opening on 18 June 2016, Christo’s “The Floating Piers” has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to Italy’s Lake Iseo. The impressive bright yellow structure is made up of over 43 miles of fabric. It’s supported by a modular system of floating platoons that allow observers to walk on top of the lake. The massive size and outdoor location of the piece not only create a truly one-of-a-kind art experience, but also leave the piece and its observers at the constant mercy of the elements; including the weather. This vulnerability prompted Christo to commission our Italian partner Radarmeteo to interpret weather information and keep visitors safe.
Lake Iseo’s location in the foothills of Lombardy makes it a prime area for frequent and intense summer thunderstorms. While there are other weather forecasting systems used in the area, Christo turned to Radarmeteo for real-time, reliable weather information to ensure safety levels are strictly observed and emergency situations avoided. Radarmeteo’s months of planning with Christo’s staff and their utilization of the Earth Networks’ Total Lighting Network™ (ENTLN) allow them to interpret and predict sudden storms and plan evacuations and closures according to a storm’s distance and direction.
26 June Storm
This evacuation plan was put to the test during the evening hours of 26 June 2016. When ENTLN detected a strong storm moving towards Lake Iseo from the West, Radarmeteo confirmed the severe weather and implemented a code red evacuation to protect those out on the piers.
Over 33,000 total lightning strikes battered the area of Lake Iseo during a 12-hour period. The video above shows the fast-moving storm as it approached and covered Lake Iseo and the piers. Advanced warnings, called Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts (DTA’s), helped Radarmeteo and the Christo team to evacuate the pier. They moved all guests to safety in just 10-20 minutes. 30 DTA’s were generated by ENTLN and are represented in the photo below by the purple polygons.
The piers are scheduled to remain open until 3 July 2016 and will do so thanks to Radarmeteo’s continued vigilance in detecting sudden summer storms and protecting lives. If you’d like to learn more about Radarmeteo’s involvement with “The Floating Piers”, please visit their blog.