Vaisala Oyj
helsinki : VAIAS

June 03, 2013 08:10 ET

Top Five Greatest Moments in National Lightning Detection Network® (NLDN) 30-Year History

HELSINKI, FINLAND--(Marketwired - Jun 3, 2013) - Vaisala's celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network® (NLDN) is concluding with the announcement of the top five greatest moments in its history. Throughout the celebration Vaisala has showcased the innovations, technological advancements, dedicated individuals and organizations on the interactive website that have helped make the NLDN the most comprehensive, accurate, reliable and scientifically validated lightning detection network in the United States.

"Since the first lightning location data was recorded, the NLDN has contributed 30 years of lightning data which has helped advance meteorological and scientific understanding of lightning and severe storms," says Melanie Scott, Meteorologist in Vaisala. "Agencies such as the National Weather Service (NWS), virtually all major utility companies, and many airports have come to rely on the accuracy of the data and the reliability of the network to help protect assets and alert the public about severe storm activity."

The top five greatest moments in NLDN history starts with the first lightning data recorded and archived by the network on June 1, 1983. This historic moment demonstrates what scientific discovery, inter-organization cooperation and technology can achieve. Next, in 1989 the NLDN reached complete coverage across the continental U.S. becoming the first lightning detection network covering coast to coast. A significant innovation in lightning detection technology and the third greatest moment happened in 1992, when Magnetic Direction Finding (MDF) and Time of Arrival (TOA) technology were combined in one sensor. This innovation improved NLDN performance and lightning location accuracy. The fourth greatest moment occured in 1998 when the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN), which is owned by Environment Canada, was integrated with the NLDN allowing meteorologists to track lightning and storm activity across country borders and on a continental scale.

Finally, the fifth greatest moment in NLDN history is happening now and throughout 2013. New Vaisala digital technology sensors, with improved software to further enhance the detection of cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning detection, are being deployed within the network. This will lead to an improvement in the median lightning location accuracy of the NLDN from about 300 meters to about 150 meters in the interior of the network while enhancing our cloud detection capability even further than it is today.

Information for Editors

During Lightning Safety Week (June 23-29), the NWS will be using NLDN data to help better inform the public about lightning statistics and safety. This annual event has brought greater public awareness of the dangers of lightning and provides safety tips to prevent deaths and injuries due to lightning. Lightning is extremely dangerous and in many cases injuries and deaths occur when people are enjoying recreational activities. In 2012, nearly 30 people in the U.S. lost their lives after being struck by lightning.

The electric utility industry is a good example of an industry that is profoundly affected by lightning. Lightning damage costs: on average 30% of all power outages annually are lightning related, with total costs approaching $1 billion. Vaisala has been a leader in working with the industry to understand the impact of lightning and developing analysis systems to design, engineer and support their infrastructure in the face of this threat.

About Vaisala

Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 75 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for chosen weather-related and industrial markets. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1400 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.

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Source: Vaisala Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1706521]

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