Lightning Alerts logic

To prevent users from being overwhelmed by lightning detection alerts, we set up a rule that our software follows: for each lightning strike, an alert is sent if it’s been more than 30 minutes since the last alert or if it’s closer than the previous strike.


Could you add a 3rd consideration to those rules? I was getting alerts every 2-3 minutes as things moved closer. That’s just too many.

So, some sort of maximum alerts per time period, or perhaps looking at how much closer each time? Also, another threshold when it’s within (maybe) 2-3 miles?

Is there a measurement for the length of a lighting discharge, and if it’s cloud to ground or cloud to cloud?

Hi @chinatablet Thanks for the ideas. Best to post to so we can capture and discuss. The little lightning sensor in the AIR will measure approximate distance, but it’s not super accurate which is why the distance values are presented in range buckets. It’s really designed to notify you of approaching storms and increasing/approaching intensity. Detects both cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud energy.

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Sorry. It seemed more appropriate to put “ideas” with the current discussion.

So under “ideal” ionospheric conditions a sky wave could enable the unit to pick up lightning a lot more distant than the sensor’s rated distance, similar to VHF ducting in the troposphere?

Since I believe that the Franklin chip is listening at extremely low frequencies, I would assume that it was more like AM radio skipping off of the ionosphere than VHF tropospheric ducting.

For lightning detection at a distance, you may want to look at the descriptions:

Unfortunately, getting one of their devices is a multi-year wait. I’ve been on the list for two years, and have only moved up to #2,700 out of almost 6,000 people waiting…


I just checked and my rank is:

Your request is ranked at position 3541 of 5790 .


Thanks for the explanation, and as for Blitzortung, yup have been watching the evolution for some time, and actively use the map to compare the strikes to my WF since I got it. Today was the first time I actually saw lightning data reported on my station that was not in range, but appreciated, I used to be a CB (citizens band) user and as a kid that was what got me interested in radio :slight_smile: , Cheers

I got my Blitzortung station after about two years.
It operates from Galway, on the west coast of Ireland.


In case anyone is interested, it must be a cold day in Hades (and a hot day in Anchorage, Alaska) because I just received the long-awaited email that I am finally at the top of the Blitzortung list and can order the kit!

Ironically, there’s a thunderstorm moving in right now, almost as if mother nature is taunting me…


I moved closer too. I was at 3541. Now I am ranked at position 2231 of 4978 . So maybe in 9 months I can order one.


My request is ranked at position 2231 of 5107.

Still at 2231 but 129 more have signed up.


I just checked and…

Your request is ranked at position 2201 of 5702 .

3 months and only moved 30 positions.

Mine has been up and running since August. After finding the antenna sweet spot in the yard and doing lots of manual tuning, it is logging strikes as far away as the Azores, Canary Islands, near Hawaii, and even south of the equator in Peru and Brazil. It is frequently on the top half of page #1 of their global “most used” station list.

Anyway, it is interesting as a hobby (like DX radio), and requires manual tuning based on seasons and storm locations for best results. It is not really useful as a local safety tool, or as a weather instrument though…

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Dear @vreihen,

I hate you.

With much love.



After seeing first hand how the global system works, I now understand why they are limiting the number of stations in circulation. Each station can send 50-75 UDP signal captures per second, and their back-end servers are pretty busy with all of the calculations. The system works best with observation points located in several directions, and even a poorly tuned station can get 1000-2000 km range. North America has more than enough stations, and they are too close together for getting multiple angles needed for the most accurate strike location. Right now (just after sunrise on the east coast) and with no T-storms within 1,000 km, my station sent 27,500 signals to the servers and only 0.2% of them were chosen for use because there were closer stations from a similar direction. That’s a lot of wasted processing on the back-end, multiplied by 2000+ stations.

I can see why they are being selective and giving priority to “interesting” locations where the station density is low/none, like the southern half of South America. Did you apply for your USA address, or your sweatbox vacation home where there’s only three stations in the entire country? You might get a station faster if you apply to host it there…


Good idea. I’ll give that a try.

Your request is ranked at position 1866 of 6500 .

Maybe by the end of next year.


FWIW, my Blitzortung station (2603) is sitting in the top-15 globally right now on the most-used station list. Nearest strike 82 km, farthest strike 3877 km…