US weather: Watch lightning spread across America in unprecedented satellite video

Such intense lightning could be a signal that severe weather is on its way

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 24 May 2018 14:20
Comments
Watch lightning spread across America for first time in satellite video

Stunning footage shows much of the US lit up with bright lightning as it spreads across the country.

The video – taken by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – comes from a brand new satellite launched to survey weather over the US. It allows scientists and weather experts to see activity above the Western Hemisphere in unprecedented detail.

The data shown in the video can be used to plot where lightning is striking. That, in turn, allows them to predict whether intense weather and storms might be forming and then becoming dangerous – potentially allowing experts to spot deadly storms before they actually arrive.

It will also allow them to watch storms as they travel, even before the lightning has actually struck. That can be important in particularly dry areas, where lightning storms could spark forest fires that can cause vast amounts of damage and endanger life.

The video was sent from the GOES-17 satellite, which was recently launched and is currently being tested out.

Soon, the satellite will move over to the West, above the Pacific Ocean, where it will track weather systems and environmental hazards. When it does so it will become known as GOES-West, and join another satellite called GOES-East in giving NOAA the ability to track much of the globe.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in