Strongest Storm in 18 Years for Paraguay

  • Feb 12, 2016

A strong thunderstorm system that began in the early hours (local time) of 4 December 2015 killed two and caused extensive damage throughout Paraguay.


The above screenshot from StreamerRT℠, our comprehensive visualization tool for current and forecast weather conditions, shows the storm over Paraguay. The storm brought 90 mm (3.5 inches) of rainfall in just 2 hours which created 18 reported landslides throughout the country.


Wind speeds up to 161 km/h (100 mph) uprooted over 80 trees as the storm sat on top of the country. The capital of Asuncion saw some of the worst of the damage. Raging flood waters destroyed homes as well as roads, making it difficult for emergency workers to access some of the most severely damaged areas. Over 300,000 people lost power and in some areas the drinking water was compromised.

The video above shows the incredible amount of 69,816 lightning strikes that hit the area during the 6 hour period of 6-12 UTC. Earth Networks Total Lightning Network detects both cloud-to-ground (yellow) and in-cloud (purple) lightning. The ability to differentiate between cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning is extremely important in accessing storm development and the potential for severe weather.


The above photo is a visualization of the total lightning over the affected region during this historic storm. Notice the high presence of purple in-cloud lightning. In-cloud lightning is a known precursor to dangerous and severe weather conditions and accounts for 80% of all lightning. While most radar capabilities ignore in-cloud lightning, we know that detecting it makes a difference when minutes matter. No only does taking all lightning into account help meteorologists track the path of the storm, but it also provides a warning for dangerous weather conditions like tornadoes, down bursts, and extreme hail.


When in-cloud lightning is taken into account, Earth Networks can warn people 50% faster than other real-time weather radar providers. The purple polygons in the above image show our Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, or DTA’s, which are just another product used to protect lives and critical infrastructure from dangerous weather. The colorful lines and circle represent the multiple storm cells in this storm and the path that they took.


DTA’s are also available on our consumer mobile app.