Help interpreting data?
#1
Hello all,

I'm hoping someone can help me.
I'm researching an event from last night where a series of lightning strikes occurred within a small window of time. I've been able to pinpoint and capture the strikes using lightningmaps.org but need help interpreting the data!  Could one of you experts help out a newbie with an easy bunch of questions?  Huh

Thank you in advance!
Amber O.
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#2
(2015-07-01, 21:26)aorange Wrote: Hello all,

I'm hoping someone can help me.
I'm researching an event from last night where a series of lightning strikes occurred within a small window of time. I've been able to pinpoint and capture the strikes using lightningmaps.org but need help interpreting the data!  Could one of you experts help out a newbie with an easy bunch of questions?  Huh

Thank you in advance!
Amber O.

J
Hi Amber...
First- a caveat...
... if this would relate to damage, insurance, etc, Please DO NOT use Blitzortung or Lightning Maps as 'reliable' data!   ( So, I must say this, even  though we take this seriously, and know we've an excellent system) This is a 'hobby' and not a "commercial" data service. We cannot and will not supply any affidavits or 'expert' information. There are companies with 'certifications' and experts who do that.  We're all just amateur, interested, private, weather nuts, who built our own systems, and certainly have no 'legal' credentials.  But we do have dadgum good hardware, network, and processing... . Lightning

Now, if you just want some knowledge about what you see publicly, we'll try to answer as we can!

So glad you found us, and watch us!   Let us know!

Cheers!
Mike

Stations: 689, 791, 1439
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#3
Hi Mike!
Thanks for the caveat - and I completely understand.  This is for a research piece about using publicly available data
(I'm a librarian).  
I am interested in understanding how to interpret the attached image, and also what sort of reasonable assumptions can be
made (or not made) from the data. Again, this is more of a primer for me in terms of how to use the data on the site.  
So here are my two questions!
(1) Do the purple dots in the attached screenshot represent lightning strikes on the ground?
(2) How reasonable is it to assume that a specific location (in the red box on the map) could be impacted by a strike that occurred in the range of the outer circle?
The target I am interested in is lat/long 33.53/-79.98 and the strikes occurred sometime between 7pm-9pm on June 30th.
Thank you in advance for help!
Alex


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#4
(2015-07-02, 16:35)aorange Wrote: Hi Mike!
Thanks for the caveat - and I completely understand.  This is for a research piece about using publicly available data
(I'm a librarian).  
I am interested in understanding how to interpret the attached image, and also what sort of reasonable assumptions can be
made (or not made) from the data. Again, this is more of a primer for me in terms of how to use the data on the site.  
So here are my two questions!
(1) Do the purple dots in the attached screenshot represent lightning strikes on the ground?
Blitzortung RED system detects Cloud to Ground, and the occasional 'cloud to cloud, or inter-cloud' sferic. As well as rare 'false' detections. The dots do indicate that (generally) 8 - 20 or more stations detected  a discharge, within a very tight (micro-seconds) GPS based timing reference, and the 'timing' deviation errors that are computed / averaged are illustrated with that 'dot' in the center... the smaller the 'circle' the lesser computed deviation.  (possible location error). The color of the dots, by the way, relate to 'how long ago'... minutes or hours.. on the 'real-time maps'. 

(2) How reasonable is it to assume that a specific location (in the red box on the map) could be impacted by a strike that occurred in the range of the outer circle?

We can't make that assumption at all, unless we visibly see the discharge ourselves, or a qualified observer / investigator explores any residual evidence.  As you know, lightning does 'impact things'. 
Now, if your computer blew up in a thunderstorm,
or you had 'roast beef on the ground' nearby,
and you saw lightning,
and Blitzortung indicated strikes along with commercial or 'certified' networks such as Vaisalia, etc...  
Big Grin Exclamation .... well, I might bet on that horse...
you wouldn't need a lightning detector network to confirm that type of assumption. 

But the Data itself simply says there was an 'apparent' discharge within a certain radius of 'that dot'... and couldn't prove an 'impact' by itself. It could, perhaps, in some cases, be 'coincidental' data to 'support' the physical evidence.

The target I am interested in is lat/long 33.53/-79.98 and the strikes occurred sometime between 7pm-9pm on June 30th.
Thank you in advance for help!
Alex

We have to approach this with these types of answers, Amber, sorry... it's the nature of the data and the beast... 
It's just 'data' without physical or on site observational evidence!
But if I'm in an unsafe place, and see BT showing strokes approaching.... well, I go get 'safe'... Rolleyes
Lightning

Unfortunately, though the Data might support the Lightning theory for the Mt. Zion church fire, your Law Enforcement folks will have a much better handle on that.
Speaking for myself... a tragedy... and I'd much rather it be lightning than some nut running around.

Cheers!
Mike

Stations: 689, 791, 1439
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