Lightning at Midnight

Every night at midnight (precisely at 12:01, actually), I get a notice on my iPhone saying, “Lightning detected greater than 22 mi from [my weatherstation name].” This happens like clockwork, even when there’s not a cloud in the sky. Anyone else experience this?


Hi, this sounds more like something inside your house or around your AIR triggering a false positive strike. See Troubleshooting AIR Sensor Readings > Lightning

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Do you live in an area with rate-based electrical meters? Do you or your neighbors have an electric car or something scheduled for a delayed charge time when rates are cheaper? Set-back programmed in your heat/aircon system?

My three Airs sometimes record false lightning strikes when the well pump turns on. If you have an irrigation system programmed to turn on overnight and are on a well, that is another possibility…


Thanks for the replies here.

Do you live in an area with rate-based electrical meters?<

Not sure what a rate-based electrical meter is, but we do have “smart” electrical meters that send out a signal so they can be read from afar. Is that what you’re referring to? Other than that, none of your other suggestions sound like they’d apply. And we don’t have anything on any kind of timer that would trigger at midnight.

Curiouser and Curiouser. :confused:

Maybe not at your house but remember these little detectors ‘hear’ far.Sometimes a neighbour 100m from you has something that ‘sparks’ …
Try turning it in steps of 90°, it isn’t as sensitive in all direction and sometimes you can find a dead angle.

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Some parts of the world (I’m pointing at you, California!) :slight_smile: are cursed with smart meters where the rate you are charged changes based on the time of use. At night, the demand on the grid is lower, so they charge less for power. In the day, they charge more (despite rooftop solar capacity probably making power abundant and cheaper). Some power companies offer discounts if you agree that they can cut your power remotely if there is a high demand. My 240V electric car charger has provisions to schedule charging when the rates are lower, and the guts of most EV chargers is a noisy/unshielded 50A relay.

Our back-woods power company here on the east coast is starting to roll this stuff out, and I laugh at the rate discounts for agreeing to change to these new meters. It “might” save you money…and there’s no going back once you change! They will be removing the spinny wheel meter from my house over my cold, dead, twitching body… :rofl:

Yup, I’m in California. Perhaps that’s what it is, some kind of spike when the meter flips over to a different mode at midnight each night. That or ghosts emerging at the witching hour. :astonished:

I don’t mind the smart electrical meters so much. What I do mind is the water meters they installed a few years back, accompanied by the outrageous price of each drop of water flowing through that meter. Having a small backyard garden is becoming the domain of the wealthy.

false lightning suppression is #1 on my wishlist Wish list (suggestions for additions are welcome), but apparently some people are strongly against it, even if it is an option.

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Since it happens every night, I will suggest you open a ticket with support at and ask that the data be examined. @dsj can ask the engineers to compare several strikes and this might help improve the firmware.

While this might prove successful there is no guarantee the false reports can be eliminated.

do exactly what i do use a second Air sensor optimally positioned for lightning .note in photo temp ventilation blocked to prevent rain finding its way in ,its not used for monitoring temps etc,and yes horizontally mounted spent many months over the last two years siting it it for optimal distance coverage and away from noise generated locally. the nature of the franklin chip offers very little means of filtering and i dont think weatherflow would have direct access to adjust unless they use there own algorithm method but that has the risk of reducing sensitivity.

in a horizontal position optimally for distance and i have just sea for some 140km in a east to west direction i frequently detect storms approaching way beyond the specification of 40km .however here is the downside overhead storms in a 3-5km distance get missed but by then im well within the distance of sound and the sky being lit up .

it may not be the solution to your false lightning but its an idea you might consider the alternatives are far more expensive if your really into tracking localized storms.

as for your ideas in the thread you mention unfortunately thats just the nature very few will digest and offer an alternative most will just trash it as you found out… brian

image =

I Iike your approach. I suppost the unit is more sensitive in its normally horizontal plane. turning it sideways you might find a direction where there are no, or less false lightnings. In your case this direction is towards the sea and luckily no source of false lightnings in the opposite direction. As that direction is most interesting for you, you are all set.

I don’t have such a preferred direction for lightning to come from and also I’m living in a city, with possible sources of false lightning in any direction. So this would not be ideal for me. A simple, but probably highly effective software suppression (suggested earlier) would be a much more practical solution. Not only for me, but most likely for many other people with false lightnings.

I swear, seems like nearly every time someone on this forum posts a photo of their installation, I’m green with envy over where they live. Nice view you got there, Weather34.

Gary, a good suggestion to open a ticket. It’s not that it bothers me, but I’d be curious as to why it’s happening at precisely 12:01 each night.


good morning @sunny

idea was to use a second air and give you the option of positioning with a chance of reducing localized noise , probably now your restricted because of temperature and humidity optimization i.e shade .
i also live in a city istanbul … i spent months trying various positions often at times the combi boiler would trigger , often the elevator would trigger a strike however once i found the quiet spot not only did the distance increase but the localized noise was not a factor. as i said it took months , i call it the sweet spot . hope you get a resolution for it but i guess using a single air there is the trade off as you cant position optimally for both temp and lightning 90% of the time.

having said all that i have a third air i think 2018 model that just triggers like mad no matter where i locate it so possibly not all air production models are the same in terms of manufacturers calibration.

horizontally positioned basically changes the polarization however not sure what polarization it is exactly as its impossible to measure the lobe of the coiled antenna ,could be of any be it vertical polarization, horizontal polarization or circular polarization . anyway i find the air for storm monitoring very effective and useful .

my temperature air sits in a 5 dollar (euro) diy box made up of square plastic air vents effective for temperature and allows that also to be positioned in an open space in full sunlight however if position that air 2019 at rear of property in the shade it gets many false lightning caused by the i found its all about positioning to reduce a lower noise floor…
below shows the difference in count horizontal (h) and vertical (v)




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what? you have 3 air units? The air must be free in Istanbul. :wink:

But I’m not going to buy an extra air unit, I’m holding my breath that at some point weatherflow will program some basic false lightning suppression into their system.

Midnight used to be the time executions took place. Is there a prison within 20 miles of your station?

This could be caused by a power station automatically switching feeds. Or a manufacturing plant shutting down or starting up a large power relay.

i have a total of 6 i have the original in bits and about probably 5 sky units , i have donated two complete packages to locals here in jstanbul one which is still awaiting install, students are busy this time of year . living in this windy location i get the chance to really tackle the rain issues , it has improved vastly over time but still vulnerable when winds frequently hit 50kmh in short periods ,mounting or pole vibrations is not the issue if installed correctly its shear wind force hitting the rain component area , to explain in an easier understanding violent frequent gusts not sure how that can ever be resolved due to the nature of the technology and design . upto the point of rainfall under mild wind conditions the sky measures perfectly in comparison to the davis vp2 tipping bucket but as above as soon as the winds turn to frequent minutlely gusts of 50kmh or more it all goes wonky. below highlights that no rain seen that day outside…but another discussion for another day…

as its public now ill re add my image

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Is there a recreation area near you where they turn off the lights at midnight?