Gadget can record if lightning strikes twice

| 06/04/2011

(CNS): Local weather experts have a new gadget with which they can measure the frequency of lightning, which they say will not only improve weather forecasting but also safety at the airport. The long-range lightning detection system, which was funded by the UK, now links the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS) to the UK’s detection grid, and if lightning does strike twice in the same place the gadget will know. The system, which is now installed and being tested, is capable of detecting lightning generated anywhere in the Caribbean. CINWS Director General Fred Sambula said it would reveal intensity as well as frequency of lightning all over the region.

“We are very pleased to have the system up and running,” he said. “Once fully commissioned, we should be able to see where lightning is more intense in the immediate vicinity as well as the whole Caribbean region. This will boost safety in airport and aircraft operations.” He added that the system improves weather forecasting by providing data on lightning frequency and intensity in all weather conditions.

UK Met Office Engineer Bernie Ryley led the installation on the CINWS grounds on Owen Roberts Drive of the antenna and the sophisticated computer unit inside that is linked to the UK Met’s headquarters in Exeter, England. Ryley was assisted by Kenneth Maxwell of the Cayman Islands Airport Authority in setting up the complex electronics unit.

Head of the Governor’s Office, Steve Moore, said he was delighted that the UK Met office could help with enhancing weather forecasting as well as airport and aircraft safety management systems in Cayman. “The Cayman Islands is now geared up to be part of a global lightning detection network.” 

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Caymanians for Good says:

    Can it see the drug canoes? If they can detect lightning across the “entire Caribbean” surely the “complex electronics unit inside” can be put to other use such as finding small outboard engines within 200 miles.

    Come on UK, send us some real technology to deal with our problems.

    • Night Flyer says:

      Caymanians for the good 04/06/2011

      I appreciate it, am sure some other folks do.Thanks UK.